Thinking about remodeling your attic? Previously on our home remodeling blog, we talked about attics and a few smart additions you should consider making if you want the space to become a functional part of your home.
If you’re ready to remodel using those suggestions or beyond, that’s great! Few parts of your home are more fun to watch transform; Witnessing your attic go from a household afterthought to a vibrant hangout room is pretty much as gratifying as home remodeling gets.
Attic renovations are awesome indeed, but just like any home change, you don’t want to go into it ill-informed. Below, Intelligent Design Corporation, your Maple Grove providers of home restoration services, remodeling, and more, tackles what every homeowner should know before taking the plunge.
You can also check out our blog about preparing for an attic remodel.
1. Does Your Attic Meet Local Building Codes?
If your attic is not already living space, it’s important to make sure your attic meets your local building codes. While your requirements may vary depending on your city, there are a few general guidelines to follow.
● Your attic must have at least 7 feet of vertical clearance in the majority of the room
● Must have at least 70 square feet of space available
● Accessible by a full-size staircase
● Have a secondary exit for emergencies, such as a window
While you’re checking with your local area for building codes, make sure you ask if your attic remodel needs a building permit. Typically you only need a permit if you are adding electrical or ventilation, or if you are planning on changing the structure of the house.
2. Pick Flooring With Care
Of course, you should always make flooring decisions conscientiously, but attics require an extra helping of forethought in this respect. First and foremost, different attics can handle differing amounts of weight; you’ll need to take care that your flooring isn’t too heavy so that it doesn’t compromise the structure.
Second, you’ll need to make sure that that flooring can handle the seasonal temperature changes that most attics must ensure. Though you may be able to insulate the space, generally speaking, it’s much less stable from a climate standpoint than the rest of your home—which can pose issues for some types of flooring.
Learn more about that in this article.
3. Insulation Is to Be Used Wisely
Take it from an insulation contractor: we love the stuff, and it has its place in attic renovations. When used properly, it can stop major heat loss and make owning such a space all the more affordable.
But certain insulation types in certain situations can majorly cut down on headroom, which in turn cuts down on usable renovation space.
Make sure to consider how much room you’ll need for insulation and balance that with how much headroom you’ll need to make the renovation worthwhile.
4. Don’t Cut Corners With Your HVAC System
Planning on heating and cooling the space? Don’t try to do the electricity up there yourself.
HVAC systems are finicky, and one wiring job done wrong can mean a fire—which means fire damage. Always get professional help for this part of the job.
You will also need to make sure your current HVAC system is capable of heating and cooling your new attic space. You may need to add ductwork to reach that space if there isn’t anything existing.
Some cost effective options include baseboard heating and mini-split systems.
5. Determine Plumbing and Electrical Needs
If you are adding a bathroom or anything that requires plumbing, you want to make sure your current plumbing can handle the addition of another bathroom or sink.
For electrical, you will want to hire someone to come and determine how to wire the attic space properly.
6. Be Prepared for Setbacks
Every construction project will have setbacks. Adjust your expectations so you aren’t upset if something happens to delay the attic remodel.
It’s also a good idea to have some emergency funds to fall back on if your contractor uncovers unexpected problems, such as mold or rotting supports.
Intelligent Design Corporation: For All Your Home Remodeling Needs
From house painting to window installation, our comprehensive services can leave your home looking like new. Reach our Maple Grove office today at 763-315-6628.