Five Things to Consider Before Remodeling Your Attic

Attics are extremely versatile rooms, whether you use them for extra storage space, an at home office, family entertainment room, or bedroom. Depending on the amount of space you have to utilize, you could virtually transform any unfinished attic into any room of your dreams. Have you thought about remodeling your attic recently? If so, here’s a few things to go over with your contractor before you start the remodeling process.

Check Safety and Building Codes. Not all attics meet safety and building code standards. For example, your space will need to meet the minimum ceiling requirements (7ft, 6in) and have a minimum floor area of 70 square feet. Your attic room will also have to meet safety standards, requiring at least two exits (windows and staircase).

Addressing Room Access. If you do not have a staircase leading up to your attic, you will need to determine if you have the space and the budget to build one. You’ll also have to install a second exit, either a window or another staircase.

Structural Support and Insulation. You will need to determine if your current attic can structurally support the remodel you’re planning. If not, you may want to reconsider doing the remodel. Second, you may want to add extra insulation into your attic to prevent noise from escaping to the bedrooms below.

Plumbing, Electrical, and HVAC. If your attic meets the appropriate code requirements, you’ll have to factor in the additional cost of adding plumbing, electrical, or air-conditioning/heating. Depending on how you intend to use your new space, you may need to extend all three basic structural amenities to your attic.

Plan for Setbacks. Don’t finish your remodel plan or set a budget without first establishing a backup plan with emergency funds. Once your contractors begin a remodel, they may run into a few unpredictable snags, i.e. structural damage due to mold. If the unexpected does happen, you’ll be glad you had a Plan B.

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