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Attic Living Space
Many treasures can be found in the attic, and not just old family heirlooms either. Some fortunate people are discovering much needed living space! In many cases, an attic remodel can be easier and cheaper than building a home addition or moving.
atic fans, attic stairs

First Look - Trusses or Rafters?

To see if a attic remodel is possible for your home the first thing to look for is whether your attic has rafters or trusses. Framing with rafters allows for more open space. If you've got rafters, your attic can likely accommodate remodeling.

Trusses on the other hand can not be altered and do not offer enough open space in the attic for habitable rooms.

Sometimes it is necessary to alter the support system that is in place before the rooms are created. In such cases it is important to consult a engineer or architect. The goal is to create a simple, safe and straightforward design that is economically feasible.
attic vents, attic windows

Usable Space

In order for the attic space to be livable and useful each room should be about 70 to 100 square feet or better. In accord with most building codes, half of the usable floor space should have a ceiling height of at least 71/2 feet to 8 feet. Usable floor space includes areas that have a ceiling height of least 5 feet.
Dormers are the best way of adding both headroom and floor space. They not only add space, but they also give light, ventilation and visual interest to the attic living space!

Have plans designed specifically for your attic. Doing so can prevent costly mistakes and produce a living space that functions well and is enjoyable to be in.
attic vetilation, attic insulation

Utilizing your attic expands the living space in your home. Here are some of the uses that homeowners have remodeled their attics for:

  • Family rooms
  • Children's bedrooms
  • Master bedroom and master bathroom
  • Loft style studio space
  • Office
  • Home gym
  • Rental income as an apartment, complete with a kitchen
    Endeavor to keep the space as expansive as possible. If you are putting in a kitchen, for example, keep it open by installing a bar or an island. Lighter paint colors also give the space the feeling of being airy and not so closed in. Attics can feel claustrophobic if you're not careful. Properly planned and executed, however, slanted ceilings and shorter walls can even add architectural focal points.
    Added Value Features:
    • Dormers
    • Skylights
    • Windows
    • A deck
    • French patio doors
    • Exterior fire exit and stairs
    • Interior stairs
    • Built in shelving and storage
    • Hardwood floors
    • Carpet
    • Insulation
    • HVAC
    Terms for the Attic's Support System:
    • Rafters
    • Floor joists
    • Cords
    • Webs
    • Gable wall
    • Interior load bearing wall
    • Exterior load bearing wall
    • Rafter ties
    • Strut
    • Purlin
    • Collar tie
    • Gable Vent
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