A great way to make sure no space is wasted in your home is to create a usable space in your attic. An attic has the potential for much more than storage, with the right tools and technique, you can make it into a spare room. Here are some tips to help you.
Identifying your Roofing System
The first thing you will need to do is figure out if your roof has a conventional rafter design or if it has a trussed design. A rafter system will leave lots of space in the attic, enabling you to have a fair sized room. If you have a trussed system, it complicates matters because all the trusses between the roof and floor depend on each other for support and cannot be moved, which will limit the usable space. If your attic is trussed, you may not have enough available space to create a room.
Insulation of the attic
Insulation is essential for converting your attic into a safe, usable space. And of course, it will save you money on air conditioning and heating bills. If you already have existing insulation, make sure it is not too old. If it is showing signs of deterioration it will need replacing completely. If it is showing some gaps, then you can cover the bare areas. One of the most widely used insulation materials for attics is fiberglass. It’s also easy to install.
If you are packing insulation around a source of heat, always use un-faced fiberglass as this is not flammable. In other areas, you can use paper-faced fiberglass, as this makes a great vapor barrier. Insulate the walls and ceiling of the attic as well as the floor. When you’re installing fiberglass, make sure you cover your body as much as possible as it can cause skin irritation.
You should also wear a dust mask, goggles and gloves. Click to read more about the types of tools you’ll need for your attic conversion. One the insulation is finished, you can install the sheetrock and then you have a room.
Let There Be Light
Because the attic is up in the roof, lighting is tricky. Consider adding skylights, but if you choose this option, position them so that they will be able to catch the sun during the course of the day. You may even be able to install dormer windows or a side window to make the most effective use of natural light. If these options are not feasible then try to add plenty of daylight lamps to brighten up the space.
Check Your Access
If you are building a staircase think about a switchback rather than straight run layout. Although it takes up a little more room, it is sturdier. Don’t forget to make it wide enough so you can get the furniture into the attic. Now you have a new space in your home, you can use it as an office, a craft area, a spare bedroom, or even a playroom for the kids.