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Portland Design Build Remodeling Blog

Is It Worth It to Remodel My Attic?

Posted by Lane Cooper on Oct 12, 2020 9:04:00 AM

Most home renovation projects seem like they would be easy choices to make. The attic is often one of them, but sometimes you need a little persuading. Unlike your bedroom or kitchen, the attic may not be a room that you think of as useful, except for keeping out the rain. Of course, every home is different, which means the best way to renovate your house is going to be unique from any others. If you’re thinking about an attic remodel and wondering, “Is it worth it?” ask yourself these questions.

How Is the Plumbing?

When you have an older home, it’s important to start by considering the systems that you don’t see, as well as the ones you do. Attic conversions usually begin with an analysis of the existing space. Some homes have a vent stack for the plumbing running through the attic. Others might have plumbing running near the attic floor. People don’t tend to replace plumbing pipes until they really need it, so your house’s plumbing might be as old as the structure itself.

Finishing an attic may or may not include renovating your plumbing. If you want to create a luxurious master bedroom suite, you probably need to run water and drain lines up to the new bathroom. Updating or extending your plumbing isn’t the easiest task, so it’s important to find a company that is the right fit for the project. The good news is that you probably have a lot of flexibility.

What Is the Lighting Like?

The lighting of your existing attic can help you determine what you can do with it, and how you need to change it. Some attics have only one small window. Others have no windows at all. If you have a finished attic, it may be wired for artificial lighting already. The trick is to find the right balance that gives you the lighting you need and makes the space feel comfortable and practical.

For the most part, lighting is something you can add with relative ease. You might want to build in a skylight that gives you the best of the daylight. You may prefer to expand an existing window into one that is large enough to turn the attic into a bedroom. The solution could be as simple as adding extra wiring for one or two more outlets.

How Is It Built?

Before you get lost in the beautiful world of attic renovation ideas, you need to consider your attic’s condition and how it was built. Fortunately, taking a look at the existing structure is one of the first components of the design build process. Some attics are not tall enough at the highest point to become a functional room. These attics may need additional renovation to raise the roof. Others offer plenty of space but need some updating. For example, renovating the room right below the roof may require a few new roofing, as well. The good news is that you can solve many structural flaws at the same time as you complete the project. And once you are done, you will have a practical space that will help to keep your home in better condition.

How Old Is It?

The age of the home often determines your options for an attic conversion, as well as what you are likely to find when you get there. Older homes tend to have more problems, although this isn’t always the case. Attending to years’ worth of termite damage may take extra time, but it also addresses a possible source of major structural damage. Even if the general layout of the room is good, you might need to replace a few joists or seal leaks in the roof.

Older homes usually have smaller, narrower or shorter attic rooms. If you have an attic that is much smaller than the average, you may still have options to extend it or make a useful living area. With our experience in attic remodeling, we have plenty of small attic ideas to help you maximize space.

What Is the Temperature?

If your attic feels stuffy when you go up there, it’s not a surprise. Attics usually aren’t conditioned, although some homes have an attic fan. Once you start browsing attic conversion ideas, it’s time to think about giving this room the same heating and cooling options you have for the rest of the house.

Remodeling your attic often begins with additional insulation under the roof and below the attic flooring. Extra insulation makes your heating and cooling systems more effective, particularly in the summer or winter. Insulation helps your energy-efficiency, but you may need something that adds heat or cooling. For example, some attic flooring ideas include radiant heating. This type of heating allows you to have a warm space whenever you need it, without having to connect your attic to your forced-air furnace.

Yes, It Is Worth It!

If you’re still wondering whether or not an attic renovation is right for you, you might try thinking about it this way. Imagine that a close friend or relative of yours who needed extra space had a whole room in the home that was almost completely unused. Would you recommend that they see what they could do with it? Almost anyone would.

Adding rooms to your house without having to extend the footprint is efficient and generally cost-effective. It also adds value to your property. Even if this project isn’t the most common, it is often an excellent choice. When you avoid these common mistakes, you can get an attic that complements your home beautifully and provides you with useful space.

Renovating your home from top to bottom may include the attic. Once you decide to remodel it, you may discover a world of possibilities right above your head. To find out if your attic is ripe for renewal, contact us at Cooper Design Build to schedule a consultation.


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Topics: Home Remodeling, Remodeling Ideas