While the housing market is recovering, after the economic recession, progress is still slower than most property owners would like. These days, it isn’t always viable to sell your home and upgrade, even if you’re a growing family with a need for extra space. This is why the popularity of attic conversions has soared in recent years.
Think about it. Why sell a house that you love for extra space when you have so much of it sitting right above your head already? Yes, an attic conversion requires a significant amount of investment, but it can also add a huge amount of resale value to a property if done correctly. It also represents an opportunity for growth and development, whether you’re looking to add a new bedroom, an office, or a playroom.
This guide to getting your attic transformation right, first time, will help you create something truly special.
Make Room for the Light
One of the first things to consider when planning an attic conversion is how you’re going to get access to all of the natural light right above you. Fortunately, there’s an easy answer; after all, the attic is perfectly positioned to be bathed in sunlight. Broad, beautiful skylights are a great choice, because they let in plenty of light and they fit the shape of the ceiling.
Check the Measurements
Before you start making major changes, just check that the dimensions of the space are suitable for conversion. There are laws in place that restrict the height of legal ceilings (at a minimum of around 7 feet, 6 inches). Unfortunately, if the ceiling in your attic is not tall enough, you will not be able to turn it into an extra room. It is also a good idea to have a structural expert inspect the floors, just to confirm that they are solid enough to take the extra weight.
Add Soundproofing Features
For your attic conversion to really add value, the space needs to be fully functional. This means that you need to think about from a number of different perspectives. For example, what happens if the bedroom below is constantly disturbed by noise and activity in the attic? Most attic spaces are positioned directly above a bedroom, so avoid conflict by adding insulation to the attic floor joists and a thick carpet, with foam padding.
Consider Foam Insulation
The roof is the primary pathway for heat – both in terms of loss and gain – so you’re going to need to think about insulation options. While spray foam insulation is significantly more expensive than standard fibreglass batt insulation, it is a lot more effective. And, if you’re going to create a permanent bedroom in the attic, heat is not really something that you can compromise on. It is worth considering whether this could be a good place to splash the cash.
Keep Plumbing Costs Low
To create a beautiful attic conversion, without spending so much that it dwarfs the potential resale benefits, minimise the distance between new and existing plumbing to lower costs and limit the amount of wall renovations needed. This is a great way to add an additional bathroom or an upstairs toilet for your new guest bedroom.
Some Handy Bits and Pieces
It is also worth thinking about some of the smaller details. For instance, how are you going to hear the doorbell if you’re working in an attic office? You can buy special doorbell extenders which hook up with your existing system, but snake through the house and into the attic. That way, the two bells ring at the same time, whenever a guest arrives. You’ll never miss the postman again. Also, creating a space for cleaning supplies means that you won’t have to haul everything up and down the stairs every time.