Turn Your Attic into a Studio

Present in many houses and often a determining factor in purchasing a house, the attic is rarely exploited in the best way. The attic is left in the background, and we accumulate there everything we do not use anymore! Because we do not go there often, we end up forgetting it! If you have one and want to transform it, then it seems to be the ideal moment to transform it.

It is also possible to create an independent studio or a loft for a teenager or a student in an attic. Indeed, the attic often covers the total surface of the house, and you have a vast space that can be converted, which can double the floor space of the house! This is a real added value for your home but also a real asset to living comfortably.

It is, therefore, possible to invest this vast space by creating a completely independent dwelling with a kitchen, a bathroom, and a toilet. To keep the impression of the surface, opt for glass partitions, interior glasshouse style, or removable and modular partitions, which will give your new apartment under the roof a charming loft spirit.

However, before embarking on this major work, you should first check that your attic (or loft, unlike the attic, does not already have the floor) is suitable for conversion.

•Check the roof pitch: to be comfortable, it must be higher than 30%.
•Check the height under the ceiling: it must be at least 2.10 m in the center of the room (highest point)
•Check that it is possible to install roof windows.
•Check the solidity of your floor: if you must redo it completely, it will considerably increase the price of the attic.
•Check the means of disposing of all waste generated during this process.

If everything is in order, you can go ahead and turn your attic into additional living space.

Renovating an attic: what you need to know

Have you decided to convert an attic to create an extra bedroom, a playroom, a master suite, or any other room you have been dreaming of? Attic renovation is indeed beautiful: it not only allows you to gain living space and comfort but also enhances the value of your property. However, for a 100% successful operation, do not neglect the necessary practical, comfortable, and legal renovation!

1. Feasibility

To build your attic, it must have sufficient height. The slope of your roof should not be too low. Check that access to your attic is possible and that you can stand in the middle of the room. The characteristics of the roof pitch are important. With a slope of fewer than 35 degrees, it isn’t easy to obtain a comfortable layout for the room of your dreams. If your roof is not high enough and the pitch is too low, it will probably be necessary to change the pitch or raise the roof.

2. Legislation

Before you start your attic renovation, be aware of the law. First, check your urban plan to make sure that your locality authorizes increases in surface area. For condominiums, check directly with your property manager. Then everything will depend on the floor area of your new room: if it is more than 20 square meters, you will need to apply for a building permit (the threshold has been raised to 40 square meters for houses in urban areas). If your attic conversion does not affect the exterior appearance and does not create any floor space, no formalities are required. The addition of roof windows or skylights requires a simple declaration of works. Beware of the creation of opposite sides. Your neighbors have a right of appeal. They have two months after the declaration or permit is posted to contest the work.

3. The Question of Access

As soon as you start planning your attic, think about the question of access. Spiral staircase or miller’s ladder? The access is of paramount importance because it will have to be integrated into the organization of the lower floor and the organization of your room in the attic. Be careful to choose a type of staircase adapted to the use of your room. If it is a guest room, reading room, or a room that is not used very often, a narrow staircase may be sufficient. If the room is visited daily, always choose a wider staircase for safety and comfort. Finally, remember that your access must allow you to assemble the furniture in the new room of your dreams!

4. Create a bright and comfortable room!

Another essential point: luminosity! Does your attic or your loft have no or few openings? You will have to think about creating an entrance of natural light. Consider from the beginning the necessity of creating a roof window. This operation may be subject to authorizations in relation to the distance of your roof to that of your neighbors and case of direct view towards them. Who says light says the electrical network? Your room will also have to be correctly served in plugs and an electrical network.

5. Go for an Expert

The conversion of an attic into a living space is a relatively technical project. It can involve up to six different trades: mason-roofer, carpenter, plumber, dumpster, electrician, etc. To obtain the room of your dreams, nothing should be neglected. The frame must be correctly transformed to remain solid and free up space. The attic insulation must be efficient not to create any loss and allow for a comfortable life. And in the case of the installation of a room like a bathroom or a kitchen, the floor must be reinforced to support the sanitary elements. Hence the importance of entrusting the work to a professional who will coordinate all the work. Bad coordination can lead to delays and additional costs.

Moreover, any work involving the frame can jeopardize the solidity of your home. Choose an expert specialized in this type of work. Check their references by looking at the work they have already done and use word of mouth to seek out reviews of their work. The equation is ideal to be sure to get your dream studio in an attic!

The last and most important aspect is getting a dumpster to take all waste generated from the process. No neighborhood would like to look littered, and with such a project, it is obvious a lot of debris and waste from materials used will be generated. So be sure of a dumpster available for the collection and appropriate disposal of the waste.

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For more Attic information, check out Creatively Using Your Attic.