One of the biggest problems that many homeowners face is finding enough room to store all of their things. Some seek to solve this problem by adding a shed or other external storage solution, but not everyone has the room to add another building to their property. Others tackle the issue by renting a storage unit, but that means you have an ongoing cost and have to actually leave home to access your stored belongings.
There is another option, however: the attic. Whether you need additional storage space or could really use an added office space or bedroom, partially or fully finishing your attic could go a long way toward solving your space needs. If you haven’t considered converting your attic into usable space before, here are a few things that you should keep in mind while planning your project.
Making Use of the Attic
You have a few different options when it comes to making better use of your attic space. The most basic option is to simply add minimal flooring to the attic area so that you can place boxes and storage totes up there and keep them out of the way. To improve storage organization, you can also opt to add shelving to walls or free-standing shelving units to make sorting and accessing your things easier.
If you want a more functional room, you can take things a step further. Instead of simply adding some basic flooring, create a more finished room by adding a subfloor and then applying carpet or some other flooring such as laminate on top of the base floor. You can also add sheet rock or similar materials to make slanted walls. You can even build vertical wall spaces to square off the sides of your room. This can be useful to make space for more shelving areas, or if you want to convert the attic to a bedroom, office or other functional room.
One important consideration when converting your attic is how you plan on accessing it. If you’re just using it for storage, you may be content with a pull-down ladder so that you can access the attic when you need to and leave it closed when you don’t have a need for it. If you’re making the attic into a functional room or plan on accessing your storage often, however, a permanent staircase might be a better option. You can even wall in the staircase if you want to so that you can place a door at the bottom of the stairs to limit access.
Regardless of whether you’re just adding some basic flooring or converting the attic to a fully functional room, you’re probably going to want electricity. At a bare minimum, having access to lights is going to be very useful in your converted attic space. If you want to make the attic into a functional room, you’ll need to add electrical outlets so that you can plug things in as well. When wiring the attic, the room should be wired to its own breaker so as not to interfere with other rooms, and the lights may need their own breaker as well.
Heating and Cooling Concerns
Don’t forget to take heating and cooling into consideration when making your attic plans! Even if you’re just using the space for storage, some items can become warped or otherwise damaged if they get too hot. You may need to tie your attic in to your existing HVAC solution, or at the very least you’ll want to add stand-alone air conditioner and heating options within the converted attic space.