Finding Some Extra Space – Is Looking Up!

Last weekend I walked into the home improvement store to pick up a few things and I could not believe how long the lines were!  It’s spring and by all accounts it seems people are starting to work on their homes again.  More importantly homeowners are willing to invest a little more time and money into improving their quality of life. Remodeling Magazine’s 2010 “Cost vs. Value Report” shows that adding an attic bedroom has a return on investment of 83% here on the west coast.  It’s proof that increasing the amount of livable space is still important to homeowners and potential buyers – and repurposing existing space is the most cost effective way to achieve that. Whether you plan on developing this space for an additional bedroom, library, playroom or home office here are a few things to consider before you begin:
  • Always check with your local building codes before you begin the planning.
  • Make sure you have the space for an adequate and legal staircase from below to access this new space.
  • Typically most building codes require a finished clearance of 7’ – 6 “ above 50% of the floor area.  If you’re shy this height, adding some dormers and skylights will not only alleviate that situation, it will add more natural light and architectural detail to your space.
  • If this is a bedroom conversion, most codes will require an egress window of a minimum of 5.7 sq. ft.  Typically the window is your escape route in case of an emergency and must be at least 20”w x 24” high.
  • If you include a bath to the attic stack the plumbing wall with existing plumbing below.
  • Floor joists may need to be reinforced to support the weight of the furniture, fixtures (if a bath is added) and people.
By developing this space and building it to code, it will be included in your overall square footage when you go to sell and increase the value of your home. I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.

Leave a Reply