Convert The Attic Into a 2nd Story

Attic Conversion

Attic Conversion

Most homeowners bemoan the fact that there never seems to be enough storage space in their living quarters.  While the kids are still at home, you often scratch your head and say “where do I put all their stuff?”  First, there is baby or kids’ furniture to store, then it is their toys, hobbies or sports equipment, plus there is always YOUR stuff.  No matter whether it is a large or small family, in order to keep your home neat and tidy, sometimes you need a place to tuck it all away.  Unfortunately, the perfect space for storage is usually the basement or attic.  If you are that rare bird that abides by the rule that for every new item brought into the house, a similar old item must go out the door, then you don’t have worries about controlling your clutter.

If you have a large home, you probably have a large attic as well.  Are you using that attic for off-season storage of clothes or seasonal decorations, or does it go largely unused?  Are you planning to expand your family in the near future, because then that attic space, converted to living quarters, could come in handy.  Have you ever given any thought to creating a loft or some type of second-floor living quarters for your extended family, or, perhaps even for rental purposes?

Brookhaven is steeped in history, and, because it is only twelve miles square, and has a very small population, many people would welcome the chance to live in this city if there was real estate available in this rather exclusive little town.  The historic Brookhaven district in Atlanta, Georgia is well known for its stately homes, many of which were designed by well-known architects in the pre-war era.  The Brookhaven residential district is featured in the National Register of Historic Places.  Most of the houses were developed from 1910 to 1941 and designed in Colonial or Georgian Revival styles.  The one and two-story buildings, finished in wood, brick, stucco, and stone are richly landscaped  with pines and other shade trees, shrubs, ground covers and grass lawns.  Do you really need to ask yourself if you would have a difficult time finding someone – family or otherwise – to live in your converted attic space?

Converting an unused attic space to living quarters is not a do-it-yourself project, however.  To preserve the historical features of your home, it is better to seek a professional contractor who specializes in attic conversion in Brookhaven, Atlanta area.

Added living space

There are many plusses to converting an attic with the purpose of adding living space to your home.  It is by far, the most-economical way to add an extra room, or rooms, compared to the cost of constructing a whole-new addition, finishing the basement, or, of course – moving.  This type of remodeling job always increases the value of your home.

If, however, the attic conversion project involves an older home, there is much more work involved.  This is because in older homes, the attic was never intended to be anything more than an unfinished, extra storage area.  This is why, consulting with a professional contractor about the remodeling is absolutely necessary.  The contractor may need to involve an engineer or architect to assess the attic’s unfinished space prior to the renovation.  Those professionals will determine the extent of any retrofitting well before the conversion begins.

How to access the attic space

The first item on the agenda is determining how the converted attic space will be accessed upon completion.  A hallway that leads to the new living quarters is ideal, but not always available and doable.  So, oftentimes, concessions to the current home’s living arrangements must be made.  Will it be a totally separate area away from the rest of the house, i.e. somewhat secluded, or will you be able to gain access from another room, like a bedroom?  Sometimes a closet might be sacrificed to create the access point or entrance to the room(s).

Size up the actual livable space

A contractor who specializes in attic conversion will size up the available empty space to give you an idea of how large the finished area will be.  It is important to note that if you have a sloped ceiling, which is common in attic spaces, that the height of the room will be compromised right away.  Ceilings must be at least seven feet tall.  Even more living space will be pared down if insulation will be needed, or if drywall partitions will be utilized to separate the living space into different rooms.  Don’t forget some storage, like closets, that must be included in the mix as well.

Insulation

Even though Atlanta is a warm-weather state, it does have its own cold season from the beginning of December through mid-February.  It is hardly what you would term “freezing cold”, since the daily high temperatures during this time period are approximately 59 degrees.  But, the addition of insulation before the remodeling process begins is suggested.  Blown-in foam insulation is best as it requires the least effort is not as bulky and has a tighter air barrier, thus, every single nook and cranny will be sealed in the attic.  If you are doing the insulation job yourself, consider having an energy audit performed to determine if there are additional spaces that are not airtight.  This would be advisable if your attic is over a poorly insulated garage.  You might want to consider installing flooring, as well as carpeting, both which will help to keep the area warmer.  If the converted attic is located in the center of the home, carpeting will also help to muffle footsteps, thus keeping it quieter in the lower level of the home.

Power, heat, A/C and plumbing

Depending on how this newly converted space will be used, finishing off an attic will also involve the amenities that are available in the rest of the living areas in your home.  When builders construct new homes, they take into consideration the possible conversion of the attic space for an additional living area, but, in older homes, there is much rerouting of power, heat/air conditioning and plumbing involved.  This is just one more example of why it is best to have a professional contractor do this job from start to finish.

Still interested?

If you’re still interested, and have not been dissuaded by the complexities and costs of converting an attic to a loft or livable space, then be sure to contact an expert who specializes in attic conversion today.