When space is at a premium, it can seem like a logical idea to extend up into the roof space of your home. After all, depending on the type of property it is, there is – in theory – plenty of dead space up there. However, converting an attic into a usable living space is not as straightforward as you might think. There are a number of important considerations you should be aware of, so let’s take a look at them.
Is Your Roof in Good Condition?
There is little point in considering an attic conversion if your roof is in a poor state. Any work you have done directly below the roof will be hindered by structural defects and any other issues. If you have any doubts about the integrity of your roof, call in a roof repair specialist to take a look. Irrespective of whether you proceed with an attic conversion, you can’t afford to ignore problems with the roof, as it is a fundamental part of your home.
Roof Design Issues
Some roofs are not suitable for an attic conversion. Unless there is sufficient space beneath the roof, it is pointless planning out a new set of rooms. You can create extra space by adding dormer windows, but there still needs to be enough room at the apex of the room.
Roof design is another issue. Some roofs are supported by cross-struts, so these would need to be removed and extra supports inserted. This is possible from an engineering perspective, but it will make the project more expensive.
Ask a structural engineer to take a look at your home if you have any concerns about whether an attic conversion is feasible. It is better to be aware of problems in the design and planning stage, or you could end up paying a contractor for a project you can’t complete.
Internal Access to Attic Rooms
Think about access to your proposed new attic rooms. There needs to be space inside the property for an extra staircase. You may need to sacrifice a bedroom in the process of adding a staircase, so weigh up the pros of cons. Losing a bedroom downstairs is OK as long as you gain one upstairs, but if you lose a room overall, it will affect the value of your home.
Are you hoping to add an extra bathroom in the attic? If so, check whether your heating system can cope.
The government has several aid programs that provide financial assistance to help fund home renovations. Some programs are nationwide whereas others are State specific. Contact your local Department of Housing and Urban Development Office to check whether are eligible for financial aid, but if you are a senior citizen, veteran, or Native American, or you live in a rural area, you may be eligible for help.
Home renovations can add value to your home, but only if you do a good job. For this reason, always hire a reputable contractor.