Attics have a lot of potential. A few updates here and there, and you could transform a dark, little-used storage space into a home office, an extra bedroom, or even a game or recreation room. But what exactly does the attic renovation process look like?
An Attic Renovation from Start to Finish
Renovating an attic might seem like a complex undertaking. How do you take that rough, unfinished space and turn it into a functional, usable, and properly heated and cooled room? It’s a multistep process, but it’s not as complicated as you might think. Here… we’ll walk you through a complete attic renovation, from start to finish.
Step 1: We complete a consultation
As with any renovation or construction project, an attic renovation starts with a consultation and estimate. We walk through your space and take note of what’s there. Then, we talk about your goals and expectations. How do you plan to use the room? What features or styles do you want to see? What do you want your finished space to look like?
We’ll also take a look at some of the more structural aspects of the project, like how tall your attic is (we typically recommend about seven feet of height over half the space), how wide it is, and whether you have full staircase access. We might also bring in an inspector or engineer to check floor joists and the framework to ensure that your attic is able to support a fully finished structure.
Step 2: We create a design
Once we get a clearer picture of what you’re looking for, and we ensure that your attic space is adequate to support your renovation, we start drafting a design. We now offer 3D designs to really give you a clear picture of what your new finished space will look like! That way you can make sure we craft the room of your dreams to your exact specifications.
Step 3: We obtain permits for your project
The next step is to obtain the necessary building permits from your local municipality. Generally, permits like these are available through the Housing Commission or the City Planning department. During the building process, we’ll have to schedule a few inspections to make sure the size and structure of your attic are up to code. We’ll also need to have other features, like the insulation, wiring, and framing, inspected.
Step 4: We start framing and “rough-ins”
All right, we’ve got our design and our permits. Now, it’s time to start building. During this initial construction phase, we work on improving or modifying the existing framework of your attic. We may add a full-size staircase, if you don’t already have one. We’ll also add any wiring, plumbing, or HVAC piping that’s needed for this space.
After this phase is complete, we’ll have our first inspection to ensure everything so far is up to code.
Step 5: We add in some insulation
Next step—insulating. Insulation provides huge benefits to maintaining your home’s interior temperature, and your attic is one of the main exit points for both hot and cool air. In an unfinished attic, the primary goal is to hold air down in the home below, so only the flooring is insulated. That’s why your attic always feels cold in the winter and hot in the summer.
To ensure maximum energy efficiency both in your newly finished room and in your house as a whole, we wrap insulation around the room’s walls and under the flooring. This helps to maintain temperature in the rooms beneath the attic, as well as in the attic itself.
Step 6: We start the trim-out and finishing process
a finished attic with beautiful trim
Now that we’ve got all the bigger projects done, it’s time to hone in on the details a bit more. The trim-out phase is when your attic will really start to look “finished”. We install drywall and flooring. Any built-ins, like cupboards or shelving, are added. Walls are painted. Baseboard and trim are added. And any other finishing touches are brought in to tie up the final details.
After our trim-out is finished, we bring in another inspector for a final walkthrough. At this point, we make sure everything is up to code and all required permitting has been obtained. If everything looks good… then congratulations! Your attic is finished!
Thinking of Undertaking an Attic Renovation?
Are you thinking about renovating your attic? Let us help! At Raleigh Woodworks, we undertake a variety of home and commercial renovation projects—and we’re certainly no strangers to attic remodels! Contact us today and let’s chat about your dream renovation. We’d love to help you make it happen.