If you are looking to add a bonus room to your home, your attic can be a great place to start. Instead of having to worry about building additional rooms in your home, you might as well take advantage of existing space that would otherwise go unused. So, what do you need to know about turning your attic into a bonus room?
Continue reading to learn all there is to know about turning your attic into a bonus room. Before putting a design into effect for your attic as a new bonus room, there are other things to consider. Bringing professionals in is the best way to keep the process running smoothly. Depending on the purpose of your bonus room, it may require different standards.
Should You Turn Your Attic Into A Bonus Room?
There is a level of practicality to consider before jumping into converting your attic. It is not as simple of a process as you might think:
- Do you need a bonus room?
- Is your attic able to be converted?
- What housing standards will you require?
- Will you need a professional?
In order to refurbish a bonus room, it does not have to be a necessity, but it is nice to be confident in your goal. Most importantly, you must decide if you are going to use the new space as often as you would like. There is no point in spending time and money on something that will not be worthwhile.
As long as you have a good idea of how your bonus room will be used, you are at a solid starting point. Of course, if you have already been considering turning your attic into a bonus room, the chances are that you would put it to good use. The great thing about constructing a bonus room is that your options are theoretically endless.
Make Sure You Know Your Local Building Code Requirements
Another thing to consider is whether your attic is able to be converted. In most regions, your attic needs to be seven feet wide with at least seven feet of vertical clearance in the majority of the room. Especially if you end up needing electric and plumbing accessories, there must be enough room for extra construction.
Speaking of, depending on your purpose for turning your attic into a bonus room, you may need to meet several building codes to be up to standards. You should call professionals for any work that would require added or altered electricity and/or plumbing, additional flooring, and more. This is one of the key factors to converting a bonus room. You may also need some installation, but if that is the only major change, it can typically be done on your own.
Ideas For Changing Your Attic Into A Bonus Room
If you want to turn your attic into a bonus room, you have many design options. Perhaps you already have an idea mapped out. If not, the possibilities are endless. Usually, people turn bonus rooms into:
- Gaming rooms
- Home theaters
- Something similar
However, you have a lot of freedom to work with.
Turning your attic into a playroom can be a great choice if you have children. Maybe there is no extra space in your home to keep all your kids’ toys and video games, etc. Turning your attic into a playroom can help keep other areas of your house clean while also providing an area for your children to spend their free time.
Another popular idea for a bonus room is a home office. Working from your kitchen table only offers so much privacy and silence to focus. Particularly if you live with roommates or a family, you might find it difficult to find a time when people are not moving around, making noise, and distracting you from your work. Turning your attic into a home office is a great way to escape the noise of your home.
You might also opt for a calm area for leisure. You could turn your attic into a reading nook. Just like giving it the attributes of a home office, this can give you peace and quiet when you need it. It does not have to be a place to get work done for your job. A renovated attic can be just as useful for spending some time alone and finishing the book you are reading.
A bonus room can be great for a workout space. Turning your attic into a little exercise studio is much more convenient than paying for a gym membership and having to find time to make it to said gym. With the right equipment, you can get into shape from the comfort of your own home. You can change your attic from a storage space to a workout room by adding:
- A stationary bike
- Weight bench
- Yoga mat
- Anything else
It is not all that common, but you might even choose to turn your attic into a bedroom. With the right insulation and air control, an attic can function just as well as a bedroom as it would for any other purpose. Whether you are welcoming a new member to the family and need to shift things around or simply want it for guests, a bedroom is an excellent option for converting your attic.
How To Turn Your Attic Into A Bonus Room
No matter what type of room you choose to convert your attic into, there are several things to keep in mind. With different types of rooms come different requirements for renovation. Making your attic a bonus room can be fun, but you must first ensure you get the job done. So, how do you turn your attic into a bonus room?
Clear Out Your Attic
Obviously, you need to clean out anything sitting in your attic before you can get any other work done. You might choose to put some things in storage. On the other hand, turning your attic into a bonus room can be great motivation for clearing out old junk that you never use.
Make sure you clean out everything in your attic. You do not want anything getting in the way during construction. Plus, you would not want meaningful items that you wish to keep to be damaged while people turn your attic into a bonus room.
Choose The Room You Want
Of course, you will likely need to do additional work to your attic, but before doing so, it is worth deciding what you want your new bonus room to be. This is necessary for knowing which professionals you might need to call, be it flooring, electricity, plumbing, etc. To turn your attic into a bonus room, you must first choose what features it will need.
Figuring out what type of bonus room you want can be fun. You will be able to pick out furniture, paint, and more to make your bonus room your own. Especially for furniture, it is practical to choose beforehand. You want to make sure the things you put in the room not only will fit nicely but also can actually be placed in the space. For example, if the turn at the top of the stairs is too drastic, there may be furniture options you will want to reconsider.
It might even be nice to draw up a blueprint of what you want for your bonus room. Having a picture of exactly what you want can make the design process much easier for yourself and the professionals you might be working with.
Meet Building Standards
As has been mentioned several times already, you cannot jump into turning your attic into a bonus room without first assessing changes that need to be made. If you have a two-story home, your attic or attics may be on the second level. Other times, attics are a floor up and only accessible by ladder.
One of the most common changes that need to be made to fit building codes is installing a staircase leading to your attic. As a bonus room, the chances are that you cannot solely use pull-down stairs or a ladder to access your newly converted room. Contractors may look to build a ladder in an existing closet or some other part of your home with space that can be repurposed for use.
Your attic also has to be a certain size to be able to change into a bonus room. As mentioned earlier, it needs to be at least seven feet wide with seven feet of vertical space in most areas. Sometimes, contractors will be able to add more space by adding a dormer to your attic.
Consider Professional Assistance
In most cases, you might also need electric wires or plumbing work. With the high likelihood of any electricity needed, you should call a professional to add wires and connect them from lower levels. The same goes for plumbing. To decrease noise moving through the house downstairs, you might also think about having your floor worked on.
Additionally, if your heating and air are not connected to your attic, that is another thing you might want to have adjusted. Especially if you or others are going to be spending a lot of time in your new bonus room, it is worth having air conditioning that reaches that level. Since your attic is at the highest point of your house, it is more susceptible to extreme temperatures.
You should also make sure your attic has insulation. Even if it does already have insulation lining the walls, it could be old or damaged, particularly if it is exposed. If you have experience with setting insulation, you may not need a professional, so this may not be a difficult task.
Once you have gotten all of the interior work sorted out, you will need to have drywall and a ceiling put in. Again, it is probably best to have this done by professionals. Drywall acts as another layer of insulation while also giving you a foundation on which you can paint, lay wallpaper, etc.
It should go without saying that whoever works on your attic should clean up any messes made, but before doing anything else and before the contractors leave, you have to make sure the new bonus room is clean. You would not want spilled paint, extra wood, and related materials sitting around your new bonus room.
Make Your Bonus Room Your Own
After all of the construction is accounted for, you will finally be able to decorate your bonus room and turn it into the practical space that you want it to be. Picking out furniture, carpets, and more is exciting. You can watch your bonus room turn into your own interior design dream right before your eyes.
You may choose to go for colorful walls and chairs for a playroom, a rustic look for a reading look, or minimalistic black and white for office space. No matter what you choose, filling your bonus room with your own style is one of the best things about renovating your attic.
When you decide to turn your attic into a bonus room, there are several things you must do before being able to finish the task. From planning your own ideas to getting professional work in and around your attic, turning your attic into a bonus room is fun but requires a great deal of preparation. Regardless of the reason for converting your attic, it can be an exciting time.
Element Home Remodeling of Walnut Creek is a Bay Area home addition contractor specializing in converting old attic spaces into beautiful and livable spaces. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.