Monday, July 2, 2012

Gaining Space without an Addition.

Many homeowners wish to expand their home living space without adding an addition.  At ADR Builders, we recomend two possible options; converting an exterior porch to an interior space and remodeling an unfinished attic.  The next couple of blogs will provide a brief review of these projects.  The following is a discussion of attic remodeling.

Attic space often already has a floor, walls, and of course has a roof so it is an opportunity waiting to be used.  To be a good candidate for remodeling attic space needs three important ingredients;

1. appropriate headroom
2. easy access
3. adequate floor joist support

1. Headroom is of primary importance.  Building codes require at least 7-1/2 feet of headroom between the peak of the roof and the floor.  If you do not have this space you could raise the roof, or add dormers, but that is a larger project requiring a larger budget. 

2. Another important factor is how the attic space can be accessed.  Pull-down stairs are not appropriate as a main access nor do they meet building codes.  If no attic stairs are currently in place you may have to carve the space for a stairway from an existing room.  Traffic patterns that develop to and from the converted attic space are an important consideration.

3. One final aspect of remodeling your attic into living space is the strength of the floor joists.  Most ceilings are not designed with joists that can withstand the weight that a floor must handle.  This means that the ceiling joists must be reinforced, which could be a complex process.

An attic conversion can provide your home with a uniquely designed space to serve a range of functions – an extra bedroom/bath suite, guest room, office, family room, exercise room, or hobby room. 

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