Before remodeling an attic, homeowners should first consider the accessibility of the attic; then determine if the ceiling is high enough without making major changes to the roof, if there is enough natural light coming through the windows and if the floor is strong enough to support added weight. If the answers are favorable, the attic can be upgraded into an extra bathroom, home office or a master suite bedroom.
Most attics are accessible by a set of pull-down stairs; homeowners should determine if they have at least 60 square feet of main-level floor space to build a permanent staircase for attic entry. Attic ceiling height is often limited by the sloping rafters; most opt to vault the ceiling to achieve more headroom. Besides height needs, room should also be left for insulation and venting when making ceiling adjustments. If the attic is too dim, additional windows to the outside wall on a gable roof are a cost-efficient alternative to dormers to add more lighting and ventilation. Floor joists need to be able to handle the weight of a finished room; homeowners should be mindful that more support added to the floor frame means less ceiling height.
Skylights and faux wood-panel wainscoting transforms an attic into a bright and peaceful bathroom, and placing well-placed office furniture and sisal flooring to muffle sounds turns an attic into an efficient home office. Turning the entire attic into a master bedroom suite with dormer windows and warm colors provides homeowners with a sun-lit hideaway above the everyday bustle of the home.