Welcome my friend, thank you for joining us at The Cottage today.
I recently visited a friend who just bought a New Build Home. As she showed me around the new home, she even let me view her attic space. Which at the present time was nothing more than boxes of things they did not know what to do with. She then shared with me…… “we will get to that someday”.
On my drive home, being who I am, I was conjuring up what she could do with her attic space. This was wasted real estate. So I thought “hey I will bet there are other homeowners that are in the same predicament of wasted attic space. Well my homeowner friend, I gotcha covered.
For those of us that are using our attics as nothing more than storage spaces. Guess what? They can be so much more! Letting your attic be just a glorified storage area is such a waste of potential!
Where to Begin
The first step is to consider your options and think carefully about how you’ll best use the space. Attics can become anything you want from apartments for rental income to gyms and music studios. If you’re considering using it as an apartment, and you live in a development, you will need to clear it with the HOA (homeowners association).
Budget, Budget, Budget
This is one of the areas that we fall short on because it’s unpleasant and we really want some thing very badly. During the planning phase, set a budget for how much you want to spend on the renovation.
This will help in the long run and it will save you a lot of aggravation, just sit down and prepare your budget.
Also, consider what you’ll do with any items that’s already up there.
Declutter and Organize
Start by sorting through your belongings and getting rid of items you don’t need. Organize the remaining items into designated storage spaces, making the attic clutter-free.
Let’s Use the 3 Box Rule of Decluttering
If you are keeping items, know where they’re going, put them where they belong and clap your hands you’ve just organized. Now that wasn’t so hard was it?
Who didn’t know I was going to say that first? That is my biggest pet peeve, so now that we’ve got that out-of-the-way, moving along! Now let’s begin the procedure.
Building Codes and Building Permits
Next, you’ll want to check the building codes to ensure the attic is fit for its intended purpose. Even if it is a new build this is still an important task that must be done. The structure should be able to support the proposed plans. You may be hiring a contractor or doing the work yourself in any event do not rely on what the contractor says with regard to permits and codes. Verify this information yourself firsthand.
You should also ensure you have the relevant safety permits for any attic renovations you intend to carry out. Double-check with your insurer that everything’s kosher. This is an important step, it can cost you in the long run. So be very mindful of this step.
First before beginning any renovation….
If your home was Pre-Existing, you will need to make sure and verify that you do not or you do have termites. As unpleasant as this thought is it is a necessary step that should not be overlooked. If it is determined you do have them, you will need to call pest control for termites to remove them from the attic. These “free loaders” can cause some unforeseen structural damage that can prevent you from carrying out the task at hand. Your New Attic Space.
Now you have a clean slate to begin the procedure.
Image: The Spruce / Alyssa Vela
Plan Your Electrical And Lighting
You’ll also want to plan your electrical and lighting before you go ahead with any building work. Working out where your current lines are makes it easier to decide where you’ll place wires and how you’ll arrange them behind walls to supply your sockets. Be aware that it can be Challenging to reinstall lighting in an attic once you start building your new space.
Provide Adequate Insulation and Ventilation
Next, you’ll need to provide adequate insulation and ventilation. Attics that neglect these features can turn into a liability.
Ensure the attic is well-insulated and properly ventilated to make it comfortable year-round. This step is crucial for creating a livable and stylish space. This is a cost cruncher. It’s very important no matter what you’re using this space for.
Ventilation is essential for reducing moisture build-up in the attic that might damage the roofing materials. By contrast, insulation helps keep your house warm or cool, depending on the climate.
If you are laying down flooring, you’ll want to raise it above the insulation to ensure that it can continue doing its job. Pressing it down can cause it to lose efficiency, upping your energy bills.
There are many Creative Flooring and Lighting ideas available to you when the time comes. You can consider adding suitable flooring like carpeting or wooden or even LVP (luxury vinyl plank) flooring to make the space inviting.
Install Windows and/or Skylights
This is something I have had experience with in previous homes and it’s definitely a game changer. For so many reasons.
If you’re converting your attic into something people will use for anything other than storage, then installing Windows and/or Fixed Skylights or Vented Skylights is also essential. Natural light in the attic, helps it feel more like a room and not have it be somewhere to keep things we just don’t know what to do with.
When I’m evaluating a project, whether it is decorating or remodeling, I have a 3 Step Rule, that I go by:
Needs : Is it Necessary? Is it Attainable?
Wants : Can I afford it? Is it something I want or someone else Has?
Desires: I really don’t Need it, but it’s some thing I think I must Have!
A Look At Dormer Windows
NOTE: If your budget allows it, consider building dormer windows. These help to open up the roof and provide people with more space to move around. It will also add dollar value at resale time.
Now that we have gotten the mechanics of actually getting started, let’s think about some more pleasant ideas. Join me as we envision our new spaces
Add Safety Features
Lastly, to me the most important, you’ll want your new space to have all the necessary safety features to keep you and your family safe. Don’t forget to equip it with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, particularly if it also houses the hot water tank, boiler or any other equipment that involves the use of gas.
Diving into the daydreaming phase is the exciting part of turning your attic into a stylish haven! Now that we have covered the main and most important steps and everything is ready and new….
We have cleared the clutter and ensured your attic is comfortable, let’s talk about the fun part – turning your dreams into reality!
Picture cozy evenings spent with family and friends nestled on a comfortable sofa, or perhaps having a quiet corner where you can delve into your favorite books. Functional furniture is key to bringing this space to life. Think about cozy seating, storage ottomans, and compact desks to maximize the usability of the space. For those of us that are “work from home” people. These pieces not only save space but also add a touch of practical elegance to your attic retreat.
And oh, the joy, joy, joy personalizing your space! Picture beautiful area rugs for your new flooring. Imagine your favorite artwork hanging in all its glory. Family photos telling your unique story.
Bring the outdoors in for all seasons by adding indoor plants or if you don’t have a green thumb, faux, greenery, and florals, make a huge impact as well.
So, as you let your imagination soar, (which is not a guilty pleasure) think about the functional furniture that perfectly fits your vision and the decor that resonates with your personality. This is your chance to make it a space where daydreams come to life!
I hope this is “Motivation” enough to get you moving on you’re existing Attic Update or if your building a new home, important steps to consider for that, could be, wasted space. Plan ahead. Sit down, doodle out your ideas……
Thank you again for being a part of The City Cottage family and visiting. As you know, I always love when we can visit.