ATTIC CONVERSIONS

 

If one is unable to add on to one’s home, perhaps adding space by converting the attic is a desirable option.

Now and then it is nice to have a place to put your storage, but perhaps you could “dive in and attack the dust.” Reorganize and design your attic so that there is better usage of the space; still lots of room for the holiday storage, yet a beautiful new guest room such as the one above, or a children’s room. Many people have converted their attic to a home theatre!

Making the top floor of your home habitable avoids the new tax assessment, new foundation, and new walls which would be part and parcel with adding on.  It is much less expensive to improve what you already have.

Lets look at what we can do to enhance that space under the rafters!

To rework the top floor of the house it must have a gabled or hipped roof, and there must be enough salvagable space to make the project practical.  There must be sufficient head room.  The attic floor must accomodate the added weight of furniture, wall partitions, bathroom fixtures and people.  Consulting with an experienced Contractor is desirable. Contact us for a Free Consultation to toss around your ideas and to get any questions you may have answered.

Top Six Reasons for Adding Up:
(1.) Economics: The expense of an excavation and foundation is saved.  It costs less to expand with the existing structure.
(2.) Speed:  It usually takes less time to redo the top floor than to expand the footprint of the house.
(3.) Privacy: The top story of a house can feel like a separate world, especially if there’s a door to the stairway.  Consider moving bedrooms, a study or music room to the top floor. ( 4.) The lawn isn’t compromised.  For those with a smaller lot, having the extra yard space for the children or a garden is important. (5.) Insulation, More bang for your buck:  When the top floor is fully insulated, the house benefits in the summer and winter.
(6.) Appearance:  The house is not altered significantly.  Dormers can be added but those do not call attention to themselves and can improve the lines of the house.

How much headroom does my attic have?

Take a flashlight and tape measure on up and have a look.  The dimension is from the center of the floor to the highest point (the underside of the ridge in a house with a gable roof).  Some believe there should be at least 10 to 11 feet to the ridge but many have done attic conversions with 7 to 8 feet to the ridge and been quite happy with the results!

What about the pitch of my roof?

The rate at which headroom is lost is determined by the pitch.  The steeper the pitch the quicker the space under the roof becomes more difficult to use due to loss of headroom.  This is OK for children or shorter people.  A shed dormer is a solution used and can gain considerable space with the headroom needed.

Knee wall
In architecture, a knee wall is typically a short wall, usually under three feet in height. The term is derived from the association with the vertical location of the human knee. Knee walls are common in old houses that are typically not a full two stories in height, in which the ceiling on the second floor slopes down on one or more sides. These houses are sometimes referred to as one and a half stories. Also commonly known as a half-wall, buttress or partial-wall.  To make the best use of space in an attic room, storage bays, shelves, etc… can be built into the knee wall.  Knee walls can also add support in bearing the weight of the roof.  The new attic rooms may seem less cramped if the low eaves are concealed with the knee wall as well as giving excellent added space for storage.

Get involved in the project!

Are you pretty handy with a hammer and nails?  Dixon Remodeling and Restoration, Inc. invites you to get involved.  With your attic reconstruction comes the fun of being able to be part of the project yourself.  Colors and material choices can be made of course, but in some instances Dixon Remodeling has worked with the customer on the construction portion of the work, under agreed upon conditions with all parties. It has been very workable for some of our clients, upon their request, to be able to do some of the construction themselves.  This is beneficial in saving money, but sometimes the reward of having had a share in the building of the project can be fun and rewarding!