Attic Renovation

Guide to an attic renovation: how to figure out if your attic is ready for upward mobility, including conducting an inspection, structure, access and space.

| January/February 1987

Figure out if your attic is ready for upward mobility with an attic renovation. 

A Guide to Attic Renovation

Attics are special. Most of us who grew up in houses with attics tend to retain a fondness for the space. For children, the attic is a place of mystery and intrigue—a little scary but just close enough for comfort to the familiar bedrooms below. Even 20 or 30 years later, the attic probably keeps some of its allure, at least for the romantics among us.

That fondness can take on new dimensions when a family starts having serious growing pains. Under the pitch of the roof, you could close in a bedroom—small, but fine for a youngster—and add desperately needed living space.

As Simple as It Sounds?

Attic conversion is an appealing fantasy. The roof and basic framework for a new room are already in place, so it should be less costly and easier to finish an attic than to add a wing to the house. Yet these advantages can prove to be restrictions unless the original builder planned for later conversion of the attic.

Just to name a few obvious concerns, the attic's floor may not be structurally up to its new job, there may not be enough headroom, and there's probably no electrical service. In most cases, you can overcome these and other deficiencies. The question you need to answer is whether it might be easier (and less expensive) to add to the ground floor instead.

To make that decision, you have to do a fairly detailed attic survey and carefully analyze the problems you might run into.

4/20/2007 11:16:49 AM

This is a great article. Thanks. LIAM

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