Finished Attics

Keystone Homes | Add a Finished Attic To Your Home!

 
 
 

A common part of today's home remodel projects include adding a finished attic, which includes a number of benefits, both aesthetic and fiscal. Your attic will take on a new level of usefulness, and you just might find that the added insulation and finish in your attic helps bring down your heating bill. If you're considering adding a finished attic to your home, contact Keystone Homes, Bloomington's 

 
 

Contact Keystone Homes

View related: Bathroom Remodels | Kitchen Remodels | Home Remodels

 
 

More About Finished Attics

 

There are a number of things you should consider before going forward with adding an attic as part of your home remodel project. To determine if an attic bedroom is right for you, consider:

  • Building codes

  • Support structures

  • Electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems

  • Access

 
 
More About Building Codes:
 
  • Ceiling codes: Generally 7 feet 6 inches high over a minimum floor area of 70 square feet. If you have an attic shorter than required by code, you won’t be able to remodel it into living space. In general, stick to the "Rule of 7s" : Codes typically say that at least half of a finished attic must be at least 7 feet high, and that this area must be a minimum of 7 feet wide and 70 square feet. 

  • Joist codes: You'll want to consult an architect or structural engineer to confirm that your attic's floor joists will be up to the task of supporting a remodeled space (and if they meet local codes). You'll also want to ask if the rafters can support drywall, lighting, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC system components. 

  • Egress codes: Regular bedroom egress codes typically require at least two exits — a doorway and usually a window. An attic bedroom requires both a window and a staircase to the level beneath. Having an escape ladder in clear view is always a good idea.

 
 
 

What Is Needed To Finish An Attic?

 

  • Electrical: A licensed electrician can tell you if your electric panel has room for additional breakers and can handle the increased load of an attic bedroom. If your system can handle the additional demands, running wires to the attic is relatively simple.

  • Plumbing: Cut costs by locating the new bathroom close to the main stack—large pipes that carry wastewater to your sewer or septic tank. This reduces the length of pipe you’ll run between sink-shower-toilet drains and the stack.

  • HVAC: A finished attic will need an air blower strong enough to move heat and cool air to the attic room. If it doesn't, you still have options: electric baseboard heating and a window air conditioner may suffice. You'll likely need to be able to keep the room above 65 degrees at all times.

 
 
 

Why Add A FInished Attic? Benefits of Doing So:

 
 

An attic bedroom remodel is a good way to add space without adding on, which would be a much bigger investment of time and money. Attics make sense as candidates because they already have the two most important components: a roof and floor.

 
 

Homeowners commonly convert their attics for use as:

  • Recreational rooms with billiard tables and video games

  • Television or movie rooms containing big-screen TVs and plenty of plush, comfortable seating

  • Guest or master bedrooms with sunny windows, luxury bedding and attached bathrooms

  • Multipurpose workout, office and library spaces

 

 

You can also convert your finished attic into a home office! Learn more about that process here.

 

Lighting

From desktop task lamps to integrated overhead lighting, installing the right types of lighting in the attic is essential for enhancing the usability of the space. Installing a ceiling fan, which costs an average of $242, offers a combination of overhead lighting and air circulation for a one-two punch. Other popular options include:

  • Recessed lighting: 

  • Traditional ceiling-mounted lights: 

  • Wall lights:

 

Flooring

If there is a bedroom located below your attic, be sure to consider soundproofing when finishing your floors. Insulation will offer some sound relief in addition to climate control, but choosing a plush carpet over a plywood subfloor is your best bet when it comes to muffling footsteps and activity.

Popular flooring options include:

  • Ceramic or porcelain tile 

  • Hardwood

  • Carpeting

  • Laminate

 

Walls and Ceilings

New walls and ceilings go a long way in transforming an unfinished attic into a livable space. To finish an attic with the help of a pro, options include:

  • Drywall

  • Wallpaper

  • Paint

  • Installing trim and crown molding

 
 
 

Tips For Adding a Finished Attic

 

On paper, adding a finished attic is relatively straightforward. An attic bedroom has special requirements:

  • Stairway from the floor below

  • Adequate insulation

  • Interior walls

  • Dormer windows for air, daylight, and emergency egress

 

Otherwise, however, there are a few nuances and intricacies that may stall the first-time or DIY remodeler. We've included some below, and if you have further questions, we encourage you to contact us!

 
  1. Consider Spray Foam Roof Insulation: It may cost more, but closed-cell spray foam offers the highest R-value of any insulation material.

  2. Think About A Skylight: It may provide a few needed inches of ceiling space, both for headroom and to clear code.

  3. Recessed storage will do wonders: Perimeter drawers, cabinets, and cubbies save space.

  4. Use awkward niches for extra space: Yes, even alongside chimneys and pipe chases.

  5. Broom closet: keep spare supplies here so you don't have to lug them up and down attic stairs

  6. Wireless doorbell extender: Unless the purpose of your finished attic is to hide from the outside world, a doorbell extender might be handy so you don't miss any guests

  7. Consider adding a thermostat for the attic alone

 
 

Keystone Homes | Home Remodels: Finished Attics

2203 Eastland Drive, Suite 6
Bloomington, IL 61704

(309) 275-0836