Having extra space in your home sounds like a great idea to everyone. It gives you more control of your home, maximizing its value and giving you room to grow. But one of your home’s most unused storage spaces might be out of sight and out of mind—your attic.
Even if you already have some attic storage, you can still improve your setup to maximize the space. Before you go dusting off this neglected room, consider this guide on how to finish an attic for storage.
The Importance of Finishing an Attic for Storage
Since you probably don’t go into your attic every day, you may wonder if finishing it is worth it. When you finish your attic, you not only get extra storage space; you can also turn it into a bedroom, guest room, playroom, or other living space. A finished attic also boosts your property value and can attract more buyers when you sell your home.
Finishing an attic completes the home and can even regulate the house’s temperature throughout varying seasons. Temperature regulation equals money and energy savings!
What to Consider Before Finishing an Attic
When asking, “how can I finish my attic for storage?” you must consider many factors, including your vision of the space. Every home project has its planning stage finishing an attic is no different. Before finishing your attic, consider the basics and rules. You should establish a plan that meets construction requirements:
- The rule of 7 requires your attic to be 7 feet wide, 7 feet high, and have at least 70 square feet of space
- You will need permanent access to the room, such as a staircase, or pull-down ladder
- You may need a permit if you are looking to add ventilation or electrical or knock down a wall
Before starting any work, contact a professional to check if your attic can use extra storage. An attic inspection includes looking for mold, pests, signs of damage, and insulation. For every remodeling step, having an experienced professional help you with all attic storage solutions is best.
How to Finish an Attic for Storage
There are multiple steps to take toward finishing the attic storage project. This project will need a lot of skill and time, so it’s best to consider a professional attic contractor. First, start with the basics and work up to custom features.
To help you find more attic storage ideas, consider the potential of the space. Ask yourself if you want to continue the same design and decor you have throughout your home.
Clean out your Attic
Starting with a clean canvas is not only essential but can spark inspiration. After seeing the entire space without clutter, you can come up with more unfinished attic storage ideas. Get rid of anything you no longer need or that can get in the way as you finish the attic and implement your new attic space storage system.
Wire the Attic for Electricity
To wire your attic for electricity, you should contact an experienced electrician. DIY electrical work can be dangerous, so to ensure you don’t have any wires running across a joist or staircase and to ensure your attic is up to code, leave it to a professional electrician.
Insulate Your Attic
Insulation helps to regulate the temperature in your attic during the summer and winter months. If your attic’s interior is not sealed, you risk leaks, cold drafts, and ventilation issues. Proper insulation even saves you money on your heating bill, whether you choose blown-in insulation, foam board insulation, or batt and roll insulation.
During the summer, your attic will be cool thanks to your central AC, so place storage items away from HVAC vents.
Make Attic Access Easier
To make your attic more accessible, there should be a comfortable clearance and safe entryway. After cleaning and insulating your attic, be conscious of where you may place a portable ladder or custom staircase. Keep the entryway clean and well-lit to avoid accidents.
Use Clear Storage Bins
It’s tempting to use cardboard shipping boxes for storage as they are cheaper, but clear storage bins are more durable and practical. You can see the items through it in case you forgot to label them.
Vacuum Seal Seasonal Clothing
For extra attic storage, vacuum-sealing seasonal clothing lets you pack in more items in less space. Vacuum sealing is one of the best low attic storage ideas since you can stack vacuum-sealed garment bags instead of hanging them up on a clothes rack.
Keep Holiday Items Together
Store your Christmas tree and ornaments separately from regular items. That way, you can easily grab decorations and holiday things when the time comes.
The organization will help you in the long run, especially if you want extra attic self-storage. Make sure the marker you use is visible and won’t rub off.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Attic Storage
Is it OK to store stuff in the attic?
It is okay to store most items in the attic as long as the space is properly insulated and ventilated. If you have an unfinished attic, don’t store anything that heat or moisture could damage, such as wood furniture, mattresses, and even blankets.
How much storage can an attic hold?
Depending on your attic support, the ceiling joists can be 2’x6′ wooden boards supporting around ten pounds per square foot. A contractor can check the strength of the supports, load-bearing walls, and floor structure.
How hot is too hot for attic storage?
Your attic’s temperature should never exceed 10 to 20 degrees above the outdoor weather. Most items, such as electronics, delicate clothing items, and anything toxic or harmful, should not be in a hot and humid attic.
If your attic reaches temperatures of 90 degrees or above on a summer day, look into installing ventilation and removing delicate items from the attic.