Adding useable living space to your home not only helps increase your home’s value but it also allows you to better enjoy your home while you are there. Whether you need a home office, another bedroom, playroom or a media room, finishing your will give you that added space without the hassle and expense of an addition.
Looking first to the square footage already in your house, renovating an attic is a common and smart way to add living space to your home without the expense, time and energy of an addition.
Start this project by following your town’s codes and laws. Enforcement varies, but codes typically say that at least half of a finished attic must be at least 7 feet high, and that this area must be a minimum of 7 feet wide and 70 square feet. You should hire a structural Engineer to layout the proper and safeties options according to your needs and design preferences.
Take into consideration the cost of insulation, plumbing and electric. Speak to your local flooring specialist to suggest ways to keep the attic activity a hush. Attic activity such as walking can be heard in the rooms below.
When laying out your design plans, minimize the distance between new and existing plumbing to reduce costs and limit wall damage as pipes are installed. You can sometimes tie new pipes to old ones, but it’s often preferable to run the attic’s supply and drain lines all the way to the basement, for optimal water pressure and proper venting of sewer gases.
Look at every possible usage of space. Perimeter drawers, cabinets, and cubbies save space when recessed into knee walls. Add niches—alongside chim- neys and pipe chases, or near low walls—offer an opportunity for installing open shelving.
For maximum comfort, create a separate zone within your HVAC system for the finished space. Installing its own thermostat will make the living tem- perature the best it can be, so call in a pro to make sure it’s up to snuff.