Turn your attic into a living space

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When purchasing a home, people have some projection of the future. However, it is hard to predict everything. This is why we like getting a place with the room for improvement and expansion. The attic is probably one of the first choices for home expansion of growing families. It often seems miraculous the way an empty, or a storage room, turns into a comfortable living space.

The purpose :

The purpose of your loft-conversion is an important element of the project planning. Some of the most convenient and usual purposes are a playroom, an office, an entertainment room, or a bedroom. Decide the most convenient purpose depending on what you lack space for. Perhaps this can give your children enough space to play when they are indoors, or finally give you the master bedroom you’ve always wanted. The purpose will determine the layout, the amenities, and the type of access.

The access :

Perhaps you are used to using the attic ladder, however, when this becomes a room you use every day, the ladder is no longer acceptable. First of all, consider the space you have. Is there anything on the floor below which will make fitting a staircase difficult? Perhaps in certain scenarios, it could block one of the doors into one of the rooms. Hire a professional to make a plan for the stairs, unless you are a professional, or truly experienced. Safety should be your priority. Also if your loft is meant to be a playroom, you should definitely get a banister and a safety get at the top and the bottom.

The style :

Does your attic currently have enough space for your purpose? Is the ceiling high enough? Do you have enough windows? Check your local regulations, get the required licenses and choose the style of the conversion. There are three common styles of the loft conversion, mansard, dormer, and roof light. Roof light is probably the most convenient one as it does not require major alterations to your roof. This is the reason why there is usually no need for planning permits.  The other two styles, however, involve creating more space and offer a better choice of windows. You can get more daylight and a possibility of installing shutters and other window treatments greater energy-efficiency.

Electricity/Plumbing/HVAC :

Hire a licensed electrician to establish whether your current system can handle the increase in the electrical load required for the new room. Let them do the wiring. Look for the main stack and plan your bathroom in that area. A professional plumber should have no trouble setting it up. Finally, the last contractor you will need for this type of project is a HVAC specialist. They will tell you if the current system can support another room and set it up.

Insulation :

Insulation is another essential part of the conversion. Perhaps even the most important one. Without it, the room would be impossible to live in due to extreme temperatures. It protects a room from the weather elements and increasing energy-efficiency. Hang drywall once you are done insulating.

Flooring :

The floor insulation is not so much for the sake of warmth, but for the sake of noise. Installing floorboards requires an excellent subfloor to reduce the squeakiness. Also, a carpet may be a good choice as it absorbs a lot of noise. While you are at it, carpet tiles are excellent for a playroom. They are not slippery, they absorb sound and they are easily removed and replaced.

The room now fulfills all standards to be lived in. All you are now left with are the finishing touches. You need to select the colors, the furniture, and decor.  Do so according to the purpose of the room and your taste.

Bio: David Koller is a freelance blogger passionately interested in minor house fixes and home décor.

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