An attic ready for conversion – Photo Courtesy: Craig Dugas
Most people use their attics for storage, boxing up old school books, those wedding gifts they never liked or used and ski gear from that one-off ski holiday a few years back, which then sit in the attic for years, gathering dust until they are needed again or until they are finally thrown out. However, where other people see storage space, you may look at your attic and see a considerable amount of extra space just waiting to be turned into another room.
Your Attic’s Potential
Attic conversions are a particularly attractive option for people who want more space but can’t afford to move or for big families in need of extra bedrooms. The possibilities are endless, so let your imagination run wild with your attic. If you’ve always wanted your own personal painting studio or a home office, your attic could be the perfect room for it. Other options include a television room, a guest bedroom or even an extra bathroom.
So what needs to be done to turn your attic into the room you want it to be? On a basic level, the floors will probably need to be strengthened in order to allow for increased human traffic and the extra weight of whatever furniture you might use in the converted attic. Many attics are accessible by a fold-down ladder, which is fine when you only need to go up to the attic every now and then, but if you’re converting it into a room, you may want to consider replacing the ladder with stairs. In order to economize on space, you could invest in a stylish spiral staircase to lead up to your snazzy new office or guest bedroom.
Heating and Insulation
Heating is an important factor for any room and although heat rises in a home, many attics are badly insulated, allowing much of their heat to escape. As well as wasting energy and money, this means that your attic room will be very cold in the winter months. In order to turn your attic into a warm, habitable room, you may need to invest in better attic insulation. Not only will this keep you warm in your attic home office or your loft studio, it will also save you money on energy bills, as good insulation is one of the key ways of reducing heating costs.
In addition to creating extra space in your home by converting your attic, you will also add value to your home, so if ever you decide to sell, that painting studio or the quiet home office you created could become unique selling points of your home. Plus, the home improvements involved in converting your attic, particularly attic insulation, could end up saving you money as well as making your home a warmer, more comfortable space to live in.
This article was written by interior designer William Evans on behalf of a leading provider of attic insulation.