It is Time to See Your Attic’s Potential


Where do you put items like old family photos, mementos and toys your children don’t use anymore? Chances are you are one of the many people who think the attic is the perfect place for these and other items. The nature of attics in older homes makes it difficult to see them as anything more than extra storage. They are often small and hot, and lacking in ventilation. However, with the right contractor you can use the attic to increase the living space in your home. Today we’re going to talk about the attic’s limitations and show you how you can overcome them to create an amazing living space out of previously-unused space.

The Limitations of Attics

Attics, like basements, offer the possibility of additional living space. The biggest difference is that basements are generally bigger and therefore give you more flexibility. The size of the attic is usually the biggest limitation in regards to the type of living space it can become. Some attics may only have four to five feet of headroom, making it a tight fit for most adults, and the perfect solution for a child’s playroom. Installing dormers is a great way to create additional headroom in the attic and add visual appeal to the appearance of your home as well.

Another big limitation to remodeling the attic is that many of them house ductwork for the HVAC system. This is most common with older homes. One way around it is to replace the HVAC system with a newer one or reroute the ductwork. Many HVAC systems today are smaller and more efficient. This will free up some space in your attic.

Creating the access point often presents an issue because you have to be willing to cut a hole in your existing ceiling and build a staircase or pull-down ladder for access. The primary access point in many homes is hidden away in a closet. If the space is going to be visited frequently, it will need its own access point somewhere in the primary living space. Remember that you can create amazing storage spaces under a staircase, and a spiral staircase doesn’t really take up much space. Those are very viable options.

Remodeling Your Attic

Since they are usually tucked under slanted roofs, people mistakenly believe that attics are not suitable for remodeling. The truth is this space can be used as a home office, a bedroom, or a playroom. Here are some important considerations for using the attic for other functions.

  • Building codes may specify the portion of the attic that must be a certain height. The codes also address the dimensions of the space, and some even detail ways you can make adjustments to increase the height.
  • The entire building needs an assessment before any remodeling work can start. This will determine if the structure can accommodate the adjustments and extra weight. Part of the work may require that extra support for the attic is installed.
  • Finding your access point is vital, as this can be limitation of using an attic as a living space. Since they are mostly used for storage they are not built so that they can be accessed like other parts of the home. Adding a staircase may have to be included in the remodeling work, regardless of the final purpose of the attic. It will have to be big enough to make it easy to move furniture in.

The bottom line is that an attic has the potential to be almost any type of room you need. To get the best work and the highest return on your investment, hire a contractor who knows how to work in this type of space. Keep in mind that the renovation will depend on the amount of space and the condition of the entire structure. Give us a call at Laurie’s Certified Construction at 802-862-4754 for a consultation if you’re in Colchester, VT or the surrounding areas. We’ll help create the perfect attic getaway to fit your family and your lifestyle.