Whether you finally have the opportunity to turn your unused attic into a finished living space or you’ve simply decided not to put the project off any longer, there are a few considerations you will need to make before starting this rather large task.
Given the general layout of most of these spaces, particularly those featured in older homes, one of the best ideas is to transform the area into a fully functional loft. However, keep in mind that particular requirements must be met if the space is to be used as a future bedroom. Those, and other to-do items, are addressed below!
What To Keep In Mind When Finishing An Attic
1. Get Your Attic Up to Code
While building code regulations vary by municipality, the eight common conversion requirements include:
- Drywall hanging;
- Framing for the walls and ceiling;
- HVAC installation;
- Electrical outlets;
- Plumbing (if necessary);
- Proper and safe accessibility;
- Sufficient ceiling height; and
- Natural lighting.
Be sure to make a checklist of these items as you carry out an attic conversion, otherwise you could be in violation of local code.
2. Modern Homes Have More Limitations
In particular, those which feature roof trusses are unable to be converted into a livable space, since the roof lines often lie too low. In order to pass the code, the minimum height between the floor and ceiling must be 2.4 metres. Also, a standard-sized staircase demands at least three metres of floor space.
Even if your attic meets all of the legal requirements, you will need to make sure it has adequate load-bearing capacity. This is extremely important for safety purposes, which is why you should hire a local contractor to perform an inspection.
3. Install Energy-Efficient Windows
Due to the fact that attics account for nearly half of all the heat loss in a home, we simply cannot stress this enough. Attic conversion relies heavily on the type and quality of the windows that are installed.
Not only will a new set of energy-efficient windows ensure that the upper level is adequately insulated, which alone is going to keep your annual heating and cooling costs low, but you can also expect to see a marked increase in your home’s resale value. Only a few modern properties sport finished attic spaces, so those equipped with eco-friendly windows are all the more attractive to prospective buyers.
4. Install Adequate Insulation
If the goal of your attic conversion is to turn it into a comfortable living space, then the importance of proper insulation shouldn’t be overlooked. After all, you won’t be able to relax in a place with less than ideal temperatures.
Adding insulation to the space will ensure that the attic stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
5. Consider Sound-Proofing The Space
When finishing an attic, it isn’t only the comfortability inside the space that should be considered. It’s important to look at how this converted space will affect the other living spaces of your home. And when it comes to attics, one of the most common issues is the sound from walking on creaky floors, especially in older homes.
Prevent these noises from disrupting the peace and quiet in your home by opting for thicker floor joists and carpeting. Not only will carpeting be incredibly functional, but it will also add a nice aesthetic touch to your attic conversion project.
6. Transform Your Roof Shingles
What’s the current colour of your home’s roof? Take note that darker-coloured roofs absorb more heat from the sun. In contrast, lighter-toned roofs will reflect sunlight. If you haven’t done so already, opting for light-coloured roof shingles will go a long way in properly insulating your attic and lowering your electricity bills!
Attic Conversion in Toronto
Installing ergonomic, energy-efficient windows is the first step towards a successful attic conversion or renovation project.
When you live in a major city with a sizeable population, it’s time to think vertically in terms of storage and living space! Transforming your attic into a bedroom, second living room, library, office, or playroom all begins with letting the natural lighting in. So, whether you’re looking for new windows to beautify the space or simply want to reduce your energy bills, contact Clera Windows + Doors today to see how we can assist with your attic conversion journey!