43% of Americans want a bigger home, but many forget that they have a golden opportunity to expand their home upwards into their attics. Attics are often used for nothing other than storage, so organizing all that junk could result in a great space that’s ready for converting. Attics can make generous-sized bedrooms with an en suite bathroom, a much-needed office or even a game room so that the kids have somewhere out of the way to burn off some energy and have fun. Converting your attic can also mean you don’t have to move houses when you start to outgrow your current property. This is great if you’ve spent a lot of money on getting the rest of your home how you want it and don’t want to sacrifice any outdoor space by extending.
Get the basics right
There are several things you’ll need to make sure your attic has before you can convert it into your dream space. Some people will need to lay floorboards, install insulation, put in walls, and need lighting, heating, and plumbing fitted, while others may just need to transform a current usable attic into a room of their own. The cost of this will all vary depending on how much work is needed, how big your attic is, its current condition, and your location. You’ll also need to make sure there’s at least one window that can function as an emergency exit and that the height of your attic is at least 7 feet from floor to ceiling to meet building regulations. If it isn’t, it’s possible to raise the roof or lower the ceiling of the floor below, which, although it sounds daunting, can often work out cheaper than extending outwards. A good rule of thumb from Porch.com is to invest 15% at most of your home’s value, so for a $150,000 home, you shouldn’t invest more than $22,500. That being said, the average cost of an attic conversion varies from $25,000 to $50,000.
A master suite you always dreamed of
When you buy a home, you’ll picture your bedroom, with the majority of homeowners giving themselves the biggest room. However, many want more space when it comes to their bedroom and the addition of an en suite or walk-in wardrobe can make it more comfortable as your family grows. Attics are usually a big space, making them perfect for converting into a master suite, plus the shape of the roof can be used to frame your bed in the room, creating a beautiful space. Adding in some plasterboard walls can separate the main area from a walk-in wardrobe and an en suite, giving you the ultimate bedroom that really deserves the title of a master suite. Plumbing in a bathroom in your attic can be done cost-effectively if you use things like up-flush plumbing, plus it saves on space. If you ever decide to sell, the Cost Vs. Value Report states that an additional bathroom can return more than 56% of your initial investment, so the addition of an en suite makes a lot of sense.
Add several more bedrooms to avoid moving homes
As your family grows you may find that over the course of just a few years you outgrow your home. Depending on where you live, it’s often cost-effective to extend your home rather than move. Your attic can be converted into more than just one or two rooms, but rather another entire floor to your home. Depending on the size of your attic, you can add in two, three, or even four good-sized bedrooms. Just bear in mind that the more people you’ll have using the space, the better you’ll need the access to be, so make sure you install a good stairway too. An additional bathroom alongside the new bedrooms can make your home a lot more functional too, especially when it comes to the mad rush of a morning routine.
The ultimate man (or woman) cave
A man cave doesn’t have to just be for men and can be a space for anyone in the family to have somewhere to relax, play games, listen to music, entertain or have a few drinks. A man cave can be done in any style you want, so it can be luxuriously kitted out or a budget-friendly chillout zone packed with memorabilia. Most man caves include electronics and gadgets, whether it’s computers, instruments, or gaming consoles, so make sure the electrics are safe and up-to-scratch before trying to convert your attic. Depending on the entrance you have for your attic, you’ll need to carefully consider what furniture you’ll be able to get up there. Bean bags are a great go-to option as they’ll fit in almost any space, come in loads of different colors and designs, are comfortable, and offer the perfect relaxed feel. Man caves don’t mind that lighting can be an issue in attics either and it can actually help to create a nice atmosphere. Use lamps and decorative lights to brighten up certain areas, while keeping it the perfect brightness for watching a movie.
A much-needed office
2.9% of the American workforce now work from home at least half of the time, which may not sound like much, but it’s the equivalent of 3.9 million people, according to research from FlexJobs. Of course, many of those people need a functional workspace in their home to be able to do this, making a home office a growing priority for many homeowners. Attics can make inviting, spacious offices, but adding plenty of windows and using lighting tricks is essential to make it feel like a welcoming space, especially if you’ll be having visitors. Go for light-colored walls and furnishings to help open the space up and make it easy to forget that it was ever just an attic. Having custom-built floor-to-ceiling bookcases to fit the shape of the roof will provide plenty of storage space, make your home office look professional, and can be a great feature wall.
Whatever you choose to convert your attic into, it’s a great space that can make your home more functional for a growing family or just more enjoyable by adding a place for entertaining and chilling out in. The finishing touches are what will make your conversion really feel like an extension of your home, so be sure to give the decor plenty of attention once you’ve got everything else in place.
About The Author: Amy Fletcher is a freelance writer and researcher with a keen interest in home improvements. She has written for various online magazines, blogs, and journals in recent years. When she’s not writing, she enjoys long walks with her daughter and two dogs.
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