For many families, the attic is a place to store old clothes, holiday decorations and other things that aren’t used on a regular basis. If you need additional space for your growing family or for people to work or study at home, converting your attic can be a smart move that can pay off when you eventually sell your home.
Reasons to Convert Your Attic
Building an addition is an expensive undertaking. Depending on the current size and design of your house, the size of the yard and local zoning laws, adding to your house may or may not be a viable option.
Taking advantage of space you already have and using it in a different way may be a better solution. An attic renovation can also be much less expensive and can be completed in a fraction of the time you would need to build an addition.
Ways to Use Your Attic Space
Since an attic is separated from the rest of the house, it offers privacy. That can make it an excellent place to use as a bedroom, playroom or home office. A finished upstairs living space can significantly increase your home’s resale value, especially if you include a bathroom. Future buyers may use the attic in the same way that you do, or they may decide to use it in a different way that better suits their family’s needs.
Another option is to convert the attic to a separate apartment. You may want to turn it into a living area for an elderly parent or a place for a college student to live while home on breaks, or you may decide to create a separate apartment that you can rent out to generate extra income.
Issues to Discuss With a Contractor
Your local zoning laws may limit your options when it comes to an attic renovation. For example, a bedroom in the attic will need to have a way for occupants to get out in an emergency and for first responders to get in. If you decide to turn your attic into a rental unit, you may have to adhere to a set of additional rules.
Speak with a contractor about how to heat the upstairs and whether you will need to install additional insulation. You should also discuss electricity and lighting, as well as plumbing, if you want to include a bathroom in the project.
Look for a contractor who has completed attic conversion projects and who is familiar with local zoning laws. Get in touch with references to ask for feedback on their experiences and to inquire about whether they were satisfied with the results.