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What are Attic Conversions?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2016
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    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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Attic conversions are home renovation projects that take unused attic space and make it suitable for some specific purpose. The conversion may involve nothing more than installing a floor that makes it possible to utilize the space for storage. At other times, the attic renovation project has the goal of turning the wasted space into a fully functional room that can be used on a daily basis.

In many cases, attic space is left in an essentially raw condition when the home is first constructed. At best, there may be thin flooring placed over the floor joists and insulation. However, the walls are seldom finished, leaving the wall beams and roof supports exposed. This unfinished space can often be turned into an area that is cozy, comfortable, and the perfect place to go for some peace and quiet.

One of the motivations for attic conversions is a need for additional bedroom space. This is often the case with growing families. Assuming there is a sufficient amount of headroom in the space, converting the attic may be the ideal way to create another bedroom without incurring the expense of having a room added on to the existing structure.

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In like manner, attic conversions may be a great way to add a hobby room to the home. With a little attic finishing, the space could make an excellent sewing room, library, or even a small workout area. Home remodeling of this type helps to keep the other rooms of the home free for their intended purposes, since the sewing paraphernalia and the workout equipment no longer have to reside in dining rooms, or one of the bedrooms.

For people who need a home office, attic conversions can create the ideal working environment. Since the attic is generally removed from the rest of the household, the office will be relatively quiet. As a bonus, people who work from home can easily draw a line between when they are “at work” and when they are “at home”. Once the workday is complete, it is a simple task to leave the attic and forget about work until the next day. This is much easier than having a home office on the main floor of the home, where everyone is likely to walk by the office any time of the day or night.

Attic conversions of all types usually involve installing a sturdy floor, enclosing the walls, and installing some sort of ceiling into the space. Depending on the amount of headroom, it may be possible to install a drop ceiling. At other times, the ceiling project may involve enclosing overhead beams to create a smooth ceiling surface. It is often also necessary to add electrical wiring and outlets to the space, especially if the newly converted attic will contain equipment that requires electricity.

While home remodeling projects of this type can be expensive, attic conversions still tend to cost a great deal less than adding a room to the main floor of the home. In addition, many jurisdictions do not require a building permit to convert the existing space, something that is usually necessary when adding on a room to a structure. Outside of the electrical wiring, there is a good chance that the conversion can be done incrementally on weekends, making it very easy to control costs associated with the project.

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