Expand Your Living Space With an Attic Conversion

You may have thought your current home had plenty of living space when you bought it, but your growing family is now feeling cramped and needs more room. This is a situation that happens to many people, but there are only a couple ways to solve the dilemma. Perhaps the easiest way for your growing family to gain the extra room needed is to list your home for sale and search for one with more square footage and more bedrooms. However, in the current real estate market selling and buying can be an uncertain endeavor. You may also be reluctant to leave your current neighborhood and the home you are familiar with.

Considering the disadvantages of selling your current home and searching for one that will better meet your needs, you may want to consider finding additional living space in your current home. Some of your options include building an addition, finishing your basement or converting your attic to add a room or two. Attic conversions are a popular choice of homeowners if there is unused space in the second or third floor of their home.

There are some obvious benefits to finishing your unused attic space. Converting your attic will not require additional construction. The existing walls and ceiling will remain in place, although you may need to install windows and finish these surfaces with new drywall and paint. Connecting to the existing electrical and heating systems is a fairly simple process since they are only one floor below. If you want to include an additional bathroom in your attic conversion, it should be positioned directly above an existing bathroom.

If your attic does not have adequate insulation, you will want to add enough to provide an R value high enough to prevent heat loss. Your attic will probably need a new floor since it has not previously been used as a living space, and it may also need some reinforcement. Many homes have only a folding ladder that allows access into their attic area. This type of access will not be permitted, so a new stairs will need to be built if that is the case.

There are times when a homeowner has enough knowledge and ability to do their own home updates, but your best option will probably be to hire a professional remodeling contractor. You should contact at least three contractors in your area and ask them to give you an estimate of how much they will charge and when they will be able to do the work. It is also important that you discuss your plans for the conversion, and ask the professional to offer any additional ideas or concerns you have not thought of.

There are some home updates that do not require a building permit, but any changes to electrical and plumbing need a building permit followed by inspection. The building inspector needs to approve the changes before the project can be completed. While hiring a remodeling contractor will be more costly than you finishing the work on your own, the expense will probably be less than selling your property and purchasing a different one. Since additional living space adds value to your property, the increased equity you gain can be a financial advantage over time.

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