finishing the attic?

Questions, answers and advice for people who own or work on houses built during the 20th century.

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Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 1:52 pm

finishing the attic?

Post by countrygal »

I hate to sound like a green horn but I guess I am a bit of one---we have now built two new construction homes and rennovated a 100 year old home. Old homes are trickier but I like the challenge and learning that goes along with the process--I also feel the old is more home as opposed to the new.

Here's the question....The attic in the house is huge with large ceilings and two full windows. The steps leading to the attic are standard size with a wide passage--not your typical attic access--these are more like steps leading to a third floor which is what I would like to do. There is absolutely no insulation in the attic and high ceilings so the area would lend itself to becoming a game room, etc. I would love to hear from others who have done similar projects.

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Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 12:59 am
Location: Tanner, Alabama

Post by franklyspeaking »

We don't have attic space in our present house, but in 2 other homes I have added gamerooms above the attached garage. These were not old homes, but more modern 70's construction. Nevertheless, the process is the same and the result is as rewarding as it sounds. You get more space for a small amount of money. The most expensive item is the HVAC system, which in Alabama where I live, it is a must have item. Your biggest issue will likely be the floor structure. You need to make sure that it is stout enough to withstand the loads that it will be subjected to. It depends upon on the span length, but typically ceiling joists are only 2x6 and for a floor spanning more than 10 feet, these would not be adequate. If you need to beef it up, you can sister in larger members (like 2x10's). If the attic is currently floored, it would mean taking up the floor. The next biggest issue would be electrical. You may have a circuit that you can use already up there, and depending on how big the room is, one may be enough? You could also run a line from the breaker to a subpanel and then wire multiple circuits from there, if needed.

Good luck!

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