An attic conversion adds a significant amount of living space to your home. Because most of the structure is already in place, it’s substantially less expensive to finish an attic than to build an addition. While design possibilities are limited only by your imagination, going in with a plan helps you maximize your investment and get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Unless you’re an experienced do-it-yourselfer, consider consulting with a contractractor to make sure you’re on the right track with regard to plumbing and electric work and to ensure the unfinished space is structurally sound. Floor joists, for example, may need shoring up if they were installed with the intention that they’d support a storage, rather than living, space. Also, you’ll have to choose where to make the room’s side walls. If possible, make the lowest part of the ceiling at least 4 feet, and preferably 5 feet, high. Finally, be sure to apply for required building permits and be prepared to order inspections to verify that the construction is up to code.
The ways in which you plan to use your converted attic will be a determining factor in some of your design decisions. For the most bang from your buck, think multi-use. Guest room/reading nook, play/hobby room, game room/home theater are some possible combinations. However you’ll use your room as a living space, attic conversions lend themselves perfectly to storage. Custom bi-fold or sliding doors along the side walls make it easy to access the empty space between the side walls of the room and the outside walls of your home. Painted or wallpapered to match the walls, the doors barely will be noticeable.
Size and Shape
The unique shape of most attic conversions poses special design challenges, as the ceiling height declines rapidly toward the side walls. Scaled-down furnishings may be in order. You should be able to access furniture and other items placed against the walls without risking hitting your head on the ceiling. There also should be ample space space to maneuver around furniture in the center of the room.
Dividing Space for Multiple Uses
Avoid having your loft feel like a bowling alley. Resist the urge to place all your furniture against the walls. Instead, use furniture and throw-rug placement to divide the room into sections. This will allow you to define each space’s use without making the room feel closed in. If a private area is part of the room’s design, a folding screen may serve as well as an extra wall while preserving the size of the room and the visual expanse of space that makes it feel larger.
Color can be used in a variety of ways in attic conversions. Use large blocks of it to help your furniture and rug placement define different spaces. Or, choose a monochromatic scheme to make the space feel larger. In that vein, using the same paint or wallpaper for the walls and ceiling visually expands the entire space, while keeping the ceiling light and painting the side walls a deep, rich color to creates a receding effect.
Texture adds visual interest that keeps a monochromatic or otherwise sedately colored room from looking plain and boring. The easiest way to introduce it is with fabric: upholstered furniture, accent pillows, curtains, throw blankets and rugs, and even wallpaper. If you prefer, the visual effect of wallpaper can be created fairly easily using faux-finish paint techniques.
Attic Conversion Can Give You More Space
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DIY Loft Conversion. A detailed look into things to consider. http://www.whatprice.co.uk/building/diy-loft-conversion.html