Turn Your Attic Into Usable Living Space

Attics are common in California homes, and while they may not have the same appeal as homes with basements (they’re a rare find!), they can provide an extra opportunity to increase space in the home. If you’re looking to add value to your home, or simply wish to create additional living space, remodeling your attic may be the best option. 

Not all attics are able to be finished, however, so it’s important to dust off the cobwebs, take a look around and consult with a residential contractor in Los Angeles. If your attic can be finished, you’ll be able to convert this space into a new bedroom, private hideaway or home office. 

First Thing’s First: Is an Attic Renovation Possible? 

Before you set your sights on renovating your attic, make sure that it’s possible to do so. Otherwise, you’ll have to consider another option such as a home addition or accessory dwelling unit (ADU). Here are some things you can do on your own: 

  • Check out your attic’s rafters. Ideally, you want the rafters to be A-shaped with continuous framing from top to bottom. This will allow you to work with the space easily and affordably. If the rafters are W-shaped, you may not be able to finish your attic economically. 
  • Assess the flooring. The flooring should be strong enough to accommodate a living space that includes people and furniture. If the floors need to be made stronger, you can usually add additional joists.
  • Think about how you’ll access the space. Since you can’t float up to the attic, consider how you will get up there. If you’ll need a staircase, consider how it will impact your downstairs living arrangement. You may also be able to add onto your existing staircase. 
  • Know the local building codes. A residential contractor in Los Angeles will be able to help with the building codes. While attic conversion codes and regulations do vary, they typically require at least 70 square feet of floor space and a ceiling height of at least 7.5 feet for more than 50 percent of the usable floor space. 
  • Heating and air conditioning. It’s possible that you’ll have to add or move air ducts to accommodate proper heating, cooling and ventilation. Also make sure your electrical panel can handle the increased load. 

If Everything Checks Out, Plan the Space 

Once you know that renovating your attic is a reality, you can start designing the space. Map out the attic on paper, consider the square footage and don’t forget to account for doors, windows, etc. You can then design the new room, including the wall and lighting. For natural sunlight, consider installing skylights or additional windows. 

Most importantly, take time choosing a qualified contractor. Make sure they have a solid track record in attic renovations and can show you some of their work. Don’t hesitate to ask for references, and read online reviews and testimonials. The contractor you choose should also be well-versed in the local building codes. 

Kavin Construction has over 45 years of experience in custom home building, design and renovation. Schedule a consultation with us, and we’ll be able to determine if your attic is a good option for adding space and value to your Los Angeles home.