There are typically two reasons to consider an attic renovation for your home. “The first involves improving energy efficiency of the space, and the second involves utilizing the space as a new living area,” said Paulette Sodemann, designer with Callen Construction.
Usually energy improvements with the attic space involve high quality insulation and enhancing fire resistance. Alternatively, transforming the attic into an extended living space is a more extensive process, but it allows homeowners to increase their living area while incorporating their own tastes.
If your home has a smaller attic space, you may want to consider renovations that improve energy efficiency. “Not only could this update improve air circulation throughout a home, but it could save homeowners money on their energy bills as well,” said Paulette. When thoroughly insulating your attic space, you need to pay particularly close attention to any areas where the attic is separated from the living area of the home by ceiling and support joists. It’s also wise to check for air leaks between the attic and the highest level of the home. Blanket insulation or loose fill are highly recommended materials for this job to significantly improve energy efficiency. Homeowners should also consider installing roof ventilators or fans for better airflow in the attic. They work by circulating warm, muggy air out of the attic while drawing cool air in.
On the other hand, homeowners with larger attics can transform the space into a living area of their choosing. For instance, a bedroom renovation is one of the most popular types of attic conversions. When you consider the unique shape of an attic, it’s easy to see that the space is ideal for a child’s bedroom. “You can take full advantage of your distinctive attic space when decorating to really accentuate the architecture of the room,” Paulette said. Plus, children don’t have to worry about practicing extra caution when maneuvering their way around a room with a sloped ceiling. If you have older children, this space is also optimal for teens that wish to have the privacy of their own room and the independence that goes along with it. This space could also serve as a spare bedroom for guests. In this case, you may want to consider adding a bathroom, but be mindful to situate the bathroom above an existing bathroom for plumbing reasons.
Another common attic makeover is a recreation room. The attic is a fitting entertainment space and your design options are limitless, from a colorful and bright children’s playroom to an adult-sized game room. “The slanted ceilings allow you to really bring out your creative side and spark your children’s imagination,” she said. For instance, you can incorporate intriguing pieces of furniture and chalkboard walls for endless fun. If you wish to create a room specifically designed for adults, this space is more than suitable for an entertainment loft featuring comfortable seating, gaming and other entertainments systems, a pool or Ping-Pong table, or even a bar.”
Need a quite place to get more work done? Well, an attic space can be turned into a home office. In this case, you’ll want to be sure to plan for proper lighting and windows. It has been proven that natural light has a direct impact on our mood and motivation. Plus, it’s always refreshing to have the windows open from time to time to circulate extra air into the space. “When installing windows, it’s important that they are well proportioned and align with the overall look and feel of the house; an operable skylight is always a nice touch to consider,” Paulette said. As mentioned previously, it’s imperative to select high quality insulation to ensure that the space is quiet, so you can stay focused on your tasks.
In some cases, attics are peculiarly shaped, making it somewhat of a challenge to renovate them for traditional use. So, if you’re looking for a more exclusive redesign, a home theater is an excellent option. Converting your attic space into a home theater is essentially like adding an extra living room, so everyone in the household can watch their favorite show or movie without having to argue over the remote. “Remember to install high quality insulation and soundproof flooring to greatly reduce the noise in your attic,” said Paulette. If you really want to feel like you’re at the movies, you can add some dimmer lights and install a surround sound system in the crawlspace behind knee walls. For extreme comfort, think about integrating casual seating into the space, such as oversized floor cushions.
If you want the attic space to be a little more personal, you may want to contemplate a walk-in closet. This is perfect for fashion lovers or homeowners who have a reach-in closet in their master bedroom that is no longer adequate. “Shelving can be installed for your footwear and extended railings can be added to display your entire wardrobe to make everything easily accessible,” she said. You can also incorporate wallpapered panels on the ceiling for added style. For that custom walk-in closet feel, think full-length mirrors and sizeable upholstered ottomans for seating.
Attic renovations are an excellent option if you are in need of extra space, but prefer not to do a home addition. It is typically a less expensive option that gives you the freedom to customize the space to serve your individualized needs,” Paulette said. “So, before you decide to simply use your attic for storage purposes only, consider transforming it into a unique space that not only expresses you or your family, but also adds value to your home.”