Converting an unfinished attic into a usable bedroom suite, complete with a bathroom, is an effective way to maximize livable space without adding square footage to a home. A successful attic conversion is usually less expensive than constructing additional rooms. It is also an investment that recoups, on average, 74% of renovation costs if the owners decide the sell the property. Homeowners considering converting their attics into a bedroom and bathroom should start by thoroughly examining the condition of the space to determine how much work needs to be done.
Measure Your Space
Before you start making plans for your attic renovations, measure the length, width and height of the space to determine exactly how much room you have to work with. Pay careful attention to the height of the attic. You'll need about 10 feet at the apex to allow enough clearance for most people to feel comfortable. Once you've determined the dimensions of your attic, allot approximately 1/3 of the space for the bathroom; the remainder can be used to create a bedroom.
Plumbing and Electrical Outlets
Locate your water pipes with a pipe detector. Once you've found your pipes, it is best to situate the bathroom nearby so hot water pipes can be easily extended into the attic to allow for a sink fixture, shower/bath and toilet. Once you've determined the location of the bathroom, decide how many and where you would like to place your power outlets. The bathroom and bedroom should each have at least one power outlet. You should also make provisions for telephone and Internet connections, if they will be needed in the new bedroom.
Lighting, Soundproofing and Insulation
Since attics are poorly lit. In order to make one seem welcoming you'll want to ensure there is plenty of light. If possible, install windows and skylights to allow natural light to enter the space. You may wish to have more than one light source in the bedroom to guarantee it is well-lit, since lighting can give the illusion of space. If you intend to install carpet, it is best to lay down sound absorbers that will muffle daily noises, such as people walking around, to prevent them from disturbing those living below. In order to make the attic livable, you'll also want to make sure the space is adequately insulated and free of leaks.
Work with the Angles
Many attics have sloped ceilings. Use them to your advantage to create built-in bookshelves and storage. This will help you make the most out of your space and let you store your necessities without introducing furniture, as large bookcases and dressers, which may be difficult to move up to the attic.
- Photo Credit interior of a bedroom image by Aleksandr zholobov from Fotolia.com
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