10 Aug Attic Conversions
The conversion of an attic can often be a more economical alternative for a homeowner than building a new addition or a new home.
But if you are intent upon embarking on this ambitious project, please make sure that all your bases are covered in advance.
Depending on the structure of the building, attic conversions may have to involve upgrading of the roof structure, as well as installing insulation, knee walls and partitions, and adding dormers, stairs, dormers, windows, skylights, electrical wiring and possibly plumbing and drain connections.
Any assessment of your home’s suitability for an attic conversion should investigate whether there is proper ventilation, and assess if there has been previous water damage or an inadequate structure exists.
The design process should begin with a review of existing zoning bylaws to see whether or not increasing the building’s floor area is allowed. Obviously, there needs to be sufficient head room to permit living space.
Consult a structural engineer if you notice any signs of cracks or crumbling. Bowed walls, and sagging floor and ceiling joists are also signs of trouble.
Among the questions that need to be answered before embarking on such a project are:
+ Will your existing footings hold up to the weight of another living space in the building?
+ Can the building accommodate adequate levels of insulation, as well as provide space for roof ventilation?
+ Is a new emergency exit required for the attic?
Healthy housing attic conversions/renovations focus on good building practices that include improved air quality, the efficient use of energy and resources, and environmental responsibility.