Are you considering renovating your attic? The extra square footage holds so many possibilities. You could build a cozy loft to hide in or rent it out for some extra income. While the possibilities entice you, remember there are several attic renovation mistakes to avoid.
If you make certain attic renovation mistakes, you don’t just affect one area of your home. You can risk the structural integrity of your whole house. You can even get fined for not following certain municipal building codes.
Attic Renovation Mistakes To Avoid
What are some attic renovation mistakes to avoid while planning your cozy, quirky new space? Our attic experts created a checklist to guide you during your plans. Attic renovation often proves more challenging than it looks. When you avoid the following mistakes, you’ll enjoy a unique addition to the space in your home.
Going in Without a Plan
Before launching into an attic renovation project, ensure you have a solid plan leading to the desired results. Your plans should cover ventilation, insulation, and plumbing. Make sure they follow your local building codes as well. If you have chosen a worthy contractor, you can ask for advice on your plans.
When you get busy making plans and daydreaming about attic renovation, you can easily forget the very first to-do on the list. Don’t forget to obtain the proper permits. You need permission from your municipality. You also need to know what regulations to follow once you embark on the process.
Get some proof of inspection to obtain your permits before you begin. If you don’t get the necessary permits, you may have to tear down certain parts of your renovation. Additionally, you will find it difficult to sell your home.
Not Following Building Codes
After getting your permits, make sure you follow your local building codes closely. Do your architectural plans and ideas line up with code requirements? If so, proceed with renovating your attic into a wonderful new area. If not, adjust your ideas to match the municipal codes.
Only Getting One or Two Quotes
Once you get your permits and understand building codes, you can start getting quotes. While your excitement might tempt you to choose the first contractor available, you should shop around. Some contractors specialize in the things you want. Others just want the next available job.
Get quotes from as many contractors in your area as possible. Compare them for quality, price, and specialty. You want the best deal coupled with an affordable price estimate.
Lacking the Proper Budget
Speaking of price, don’t settle on the cheapest contractor to save money. Attic renovation is not an inexpensive endeavor. It requires time, manpower, materials, tools, and talent. Each of these things costs money. Make sure you can afford to see the project through to its finish.
While the attic renovation is more cost-effective than adding to your house, it costs well over $50,000. You should set up to $15,000 more aside in case additional costs arise. Otherwise, you could have an unfinished attic that affects the rest of your home.
Once you square away the resources and paperwork for your attic renovation, you’ll need to remember some of the minutia involved. You’ll easily get carried away with Pinterest boards of ideas for finished attics. But one of the top attic renovation mistakes to avoid is forgetting to install good insulation.
You want your attic to remain comfortable through all the seasons. You also don’t want an uninsulated attic to affect your energy bills. Invest in adequate insulation to get the most out of your new attic room.
Along with good insulation, your attic needs sufficient ventilation. Attics become stuffy and dusty with no ventilation. Attic renovation often takes away part of your home’s ventilation system. You’ll need to find a way to make up for it.
Plus, attic ventilation prevents mold from growing in your home. When fresh air circulates throughout a space, it dries the moisture up. While good architecture can help with ventilation placement, adding windows can also improve the atmosphere.
Overlooking HVAC Necessities
Since you already have an HVAC system installed in your home, you probably think heating and cooling won’t cause a problem for your attic plans. However, your current HVAC system is only calibrated to handle your current home size sans the attic.
You’ll need to configure an HVAC system that includes the attic. That could mean installing an entirely new HVAC system. It could also mean adding a smaller system that fits your attic space.
Dodging the Stairs
Every renovated attic should have a safe and effective way of entry and exit. The trapdoor with the pull cord and ladder won’t cut it. Even If stairs already provide entry to your attic, you will likely need to reconstruct them.
Most building codes have specific requirements for a set of stairs. Stairs need to have a certain square footage to facilitate safe movement. They also should have handrails that you can grab in case you misstep.
Ignoring an Escape Route
Stairs should provide a sufficient escape route in the event of a fire emergency—or so we might assume. Most building codes require that upper-level rooms have large windows.
These windows should allow a firefighter to gain entry. In an emergency situation, debris or large obstacles can block the set of stairs. You could remain trapped in the uppermost part of your house with no way in or out.
You need a large window installed to mitigate the problem. Often, large windows can cause architectural issues for other parts of the house. You’ll need an inspector to ensure your attic is window-ready before renovation begins.
Avoid Attic Renovation Mistakes With Our Experts on Your Attic Project
Want to know more about attic renovation mistakes to avoid? At Attic Projects, our attic and crawl space experts are prepared to keep you informed. If you want to do some attic renovation, we can help. Schedule a free inspection or free custom estimate with us today, or call us for details.