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By Jason Kay
There are a lot of reasons that people are converting their attics into living spaces. They might be making room for another child or they might be thinking about renting it out to help supplement their income. Regardless of the reason, there are certain variables that need to be kept in mind. In order to make the space truly livable certain accommodations need to be made. Here is a quick overview of the entire process.
How to Convert Your Attic Into a Living Space
Before you start looking at the room itself, you need to take a moment to make sure that you are happy with the way that it is currently accessed. Some attics have a interior stairway, exterior stairway, and some are no more than a ladder that pulls down from the ceiling. Regardless of how you are going to access the attic, it is important that it is compatible with how you want to use it. For example, if you plan on renting it out, you may want exterior access so that your renter doesn’t have to stomp through your house. Plus, it will give them a greater feeling of privacy.
Once you have your access route the way that you want it, looking at the walls is the next step. You need to make sure that they are properly insulated, otherwise an attic can be very difficult to heat and cool. Additionally, you want to make sure that the walls are in good condition. Additionally, if you want to make the space usable, you will need to ensure that there are several electrical outlets as well. Because attics tend to be smaller, it is a good idea to choose colors that make it look and feel more spacious. Smart accent colors and trim can make this much easier.
The next thing you need to determine is what type of flooring you want to use. Many attics already have wood floors. If the floor is in fairly good condition, then a simple reconditioning may be all that it needs. However, to compliment the insulation in the walls, adding carpet is a good idea. As with all rooms in your house, it is best to choose the flooring based upon how it will be used. For example, if a younger person is staying up there, then stain resistant carpet or linoleum might be your best choice.
When deciding upon the ceiling there are a lot of options available. Many attics still have the support beams visible. This does not necessarily need to dealt with, because as long as they are finished nicely, these support beams can not only look great, but can also be functional. By leaving them in the open, it is easy to hang things, such as lighting, from the ceiling with little effort.
Throughout this process, it is a good idea to keep in mind the type and quantity of furniture that you will be adding to the attic. It may impact what type of ceiling or how many electrical outlets would be best. As long as you pay special attention to all 4 areas, it is easy to convert your attic into a livable space. Once you have addressed access, walls, flooring, and the ceiling, you will know how to convert your attic into a living space.
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