Up to Code: Turning Your Attic Into a Functional Living Space


Adding a room to your home doesn’t have to mean adding square footage to it. A much more cost-effective way to do so is by turning your attic into a living space. If you decide to go this route, you’ll need to make sure your new room is up to code.

Here are four things to keep in mind when redoing your attic:

  • Ceiling height. Your ceiling will need to be a minimum of seven feet tall in order to ensure that there’s adequate headroom. It also needs to be at this height over a floor that’s at least 70 square feet.
  • Insulation and ventilation. Attics attract moisture and heat, so proper ventilation and insulation are essential. For ventilation, you can install air conditioning or a ceiling fan, as well as windows. Having windows across from each other is ideal, since this allows cross-ventilation. You can use spray foam insulation inside the walls and under your roof to keep out excess moisture.
  • Floor support. When turning your attic into a living space, having adequate floor support is highly important. You’ll most likely need to reinforce the floor with a subfloor and extra joists.
  • Access and egress. In most areas, building codes require attic living spaces to have a full staircase with at least six feet eight inches of clearance over it. It also needs to have two exits in case of a fire. This second exit could be a window or another set of stairs.

Creating an extra room out of your attic can boost your home’s value. This will come in handy if you’re planning on selling in the near future.

Need more advice on ways to improve your home’s value for the market? Visit ERA Real Estate, and stop by our Facebook page.

 Photo via Houzz

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ERA Real Estate is an innovative franchising leader in the residential real estate industry with more than 40 years of experience in developing consumer-oriented products and services. The ERA network includes approximately 36,000 brokers and sales associates and approximately 2,350 offices throughout the United States and 33 countries and territories. Each office is independently owned and operated. ERA Real Estate is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE:RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services.