The Brief Guide That Makes It Simple to Finish an Attic

Do you want to turn your attic into a spare bedroom, man cave, or entertainment room? Here's a brief guide that makes it simple to finish an attic.

Are you hoping to design the ultimate man cave in your home? Do you dream of a dedicated entertainment room or in-home movie theater? Or, maybe you just need some extra space for houseguests or a growing family.

Whatever the case, why not take advantage of existing space in your home and finish an attic?

Here are five tips to guide you through the attic conversion process.

1. Check Local Laws & Regulations

Before you get too excited about your project, you need to ensure you’re legally allowed to finish an attic. Local building codes generally require:

  • A minimum of seven feet of vertical clearance in the majority of the room
  • Easy accessibility via a full-sized staircase (no pull-down ladders)
  • An extra exit in the event of an emergency (i.e., a window that opens)

Reach out to your city or county office and find out if you need a building permit before you get started. This is usually required if you’ll be adding ventilation or electrical wiring, or you plan to knock down or build a new wall.

2. Call in a Pro for Analysis

Your attic might be sturdy enough to store your holiday decorations, but is it strong enough to hold heavy furniture and six of your closest friends?

Don’t assume you can nail down a few floorboards and call it a “conversion.” You need guidance from a seasoned contractor who can do a complete structural analysis of the space. They’ll check your floors, your roof, and your HVAC system to determine how easy (or complicated) your project will be.

3. Choose Your Attic Flooring

When you get your analysis, the contractor will be able to tell you whether your attic is capable of the conversion. If the joists are 2×6’s or 2×8’s, they won’t be adequate for the extra weight of furnishings and human traffic.

If you get the green light, try using loft boards on a raised timber sub-frame. This is the easiest and most cost-effective way to lay a floor in your new room.

4. Add Space for a Bathroom

Although not strictly necessary, an attic bathroom will make the new space much more comfortable and convenient. This is especially true if you’re converting the attic into a bedroom or guest room. (Bonus: It will also boost your home’s resale value.)

Even if you only have enough room for a half-bath, it’s worth the extra effort to install. Check out some creative attic bathroom designs for inspiration.

5. The Finishing Touches

Once the new flooring is down, it’s time to insulate your attic space and add drywall. Next, you’ll enclose everything with walls and a ceiling.

After a fresh coat of paint, all that’s left to do is furnish, decorate, and enjoy your finished attic!

Finish an Attic & Enjoy Your New Space

If you’ve had the goal to finish an attic for a while, 2021 is the perfect year to make it happen. Follow the tips outlined above to ensure your attic conversion is a complete success!

While you’re enjoying your new attic space, you’ll need some interesting articles to read. Keep browsing our site for more stellar lifestyle tips and advice.

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