Creating an Attic Room? Answer These Questions First

In lieu of embarking on a major addition, many homeowners are opting to convert unfinished attic space into a usable room. Here are some important decisions you must make before heading up into the garret.

1. Who will be using the room? While the attic makes an ideal haven for your teenage son, not so much for your mother-in-law. Make sure the attic makes sense for its intended inhabitant.

2. How much head space is available? Not all attics are created equal, so unless you intend to raise the roof, make sure there’s enough space to comfortably move around. If not, consider a dormer or two to provide more usable space.

3. How much light will you need? Adding windows to your attic room is essential for safety, fresh air and natural light. Plan enough windows for the size of the space – skylights provide the perfect solution on all counts and instantly make your attic more spacious.

4. Where will the stairs go? Strict rules now govern what is considered an acceptable staircase. Make sure you know what your local code is, and plan on carving out plenty of space.

5. Can you squeeze in a bathroom? Bottom line, bathrooms add value. If it’s within your budget and you have the space, consider adding at least a small half-bath to your attic space.