An attic is a spacious room for storage, but if you already have plenty of storage in the garage or a shed outside the house, then an attic is wasted space that can be converted into a usable room, perhaps a guest bedroom, a den, an office, or an art studio.
Access And Ventilation
In transforming an attic into an extended living space, the first thing you have to think about is access and ventilation. If you need to use a drop-down ladder or rickety stairs, you will want to consider new stairs. If you have small windows or only a vent in the attic, you will want to consider getting some good windows, even big storm windows.
One Room or Many?
Your attic may be huge, in which case you have the option of creating more than one room. One room, of course, is simpler to redesign, but you may also have a desire for many functional rooms.
Assuming you decide on a single room and you have clear ideas on how to improve access and ventilation, you should consider the electrical features of your attic. Discover where all the electrical outlets are and whether or not they work. Outlets at every six feet will allow you to set up a television, a phone, a computer, and any other electrical amenity you may need. By adding a 20 amp breaker in your electrical panel, you can connect all the other lines in your house to the new room.
With the wiring in place, insulate all the walls, as well as the ceiling. In choosing the walls, the most common choices are tongue-in-groove, sheetrock, and paneling. Your choice will impact the look and the functionality of the room.
Use sheetrock if you’re planning on a bedroom, a home cinema room, or an office. Sheetrock can be painted any color you like. It gives a room ambiance.
Use paneling or tongue-in-groove if the attic is to become a den or a game room.
The first thing you have to do is make sure the floor is level enough to accommodate a carpet or a linoleum floor. If it isn’t, you’ll need to replace the floor boards or apply a concrete-like mix used by floor installers to level out uneven surfaces.
Again, the choice of materials used will depend on the function of the room. Should you decide on a bedroom, a home cinema room, or an office, then carpeting will work well. The advantage of carpeting is that it is comfortable to walk on. Should the room be designated as a game room, then linoleum floors will do the job. The advantage of linoleum is that it is easy to clean should there be a spill.
Putting in a nice ceiling will be the finishing touch to your renovated space. Besides deciding on the building material for the ceiling also spend some time considering which lighting fixtures will work well for the ambiance of the room.
If you chose sheetrock for the walls, you can also make the ceiling out of this building material. The advantage is that you can paint it to match the rest of the room. You can also paint patterns on the ceiling to make it more interesting.
If you used tongue-and-groove for the walls, this makes for great ceilings, too, giving the room a warm and inviting knotty pine look.
New Room, New Experience
Once you’ve transformed your attic from a storage room into livable space, your whole house will feel different, with more space for your family to do the things they like inside the house. Besides the gift of spaciousness, the process of renovation is in itself rewarding, opening your mind to more possibilities about how to enjoy your expanded personal space.