Attic Bedroom Conversion

On the landing of a converted attic space in an old farmhouse.

If your empty roof space is perfect for an attic bedroom, you may decide to extend your living space to accommodate one. You can pull off this renovation, but only with careful planning. You have to consider a number of things, including whether to include an en-suite bathroom, how to provide room for furniture, and whether to install windows to let in sunlight.

Caution: before starting any renovation, but especially one in your attic, you should get a permit so as to make sure you aren't violating your local zoning laws.

Step 1 - Planning

Take measurements of your attic space and draw up plans that suit the structure of the area. If your attic ceiling is vaulted, you will need to consider the vaulted ceiling when arranging your room. This will allow you to use the space most efficiently.If your attic does not currently contain a window, you will need to make allowances for one in the right area. You may also need to consider placing water tanks somewhere within the space.

Think carefully about your staircase to the attic and how the approach will look. You will need to be able to get your furniture inside once the room has been remodeled.

Step 2 - Budgeting

Consider the materials and items you will need to construct your attic bedroom. You may encounter unforeseen problems if you do not plan your budget as accurately as possible. Make a note of all the materials and desired features. Account for structural alterations such as the addition of a casement window, a door, or a staircase to reach the attic.

Step 3 - Windows

If you are adding a window, mark out where it will go and cut the correct-sized hole. Put your casement window in place and secure it using the fittings that came with it.

Step 4 - Construction of the Frame

You can't hang drywall without a frame. Using 1x2-inch framing lumber, create a suitable frame to house your drywall. Your roof shape will dictate the form this frame will take. You may also add insulation at this point between the new frame joists. You should also insulate the new walls. Keep in mind, too, that the ceiling joists below your attic may need to be reinforced to create a strong enough floor.

Step 5 - Finishing Touches

At this point, you can drywall, paint, and furnish your attic as you would any other room. First, seal the walls with dry walling. Next, add your door frame and baseboards. After that, make sure the putty in the drywall joint seals is dry, and paint the walls using your roller or brushes. Now, all you have to do is figure out how to get your furniture up there, and you're set.