Are you thinking about increasing your living quarters? The option of expanding isn’t the only one available. Upgrading your attic is a fantastic choice if you don’t have enough space to grow.
In this case, you can either:
- finish the attic,
- or raise the roof and finish the interior.
First, Know What’s Legal
Finished attics must meet various code criteria in order to be considered a legal and safe dwelling space.
Here’s a quick review of what most municipal building rules require:
- A full attic area of at least 70 square feet is necessary.
- The width and length of the living room should be at least 7 feet.
- Height of the ceiling: For at least half of the room’s usable space, a 7-foot clearance is necessary.
- Windows: At least 8% of the total square footage should be made up of windows, with at least 4% of them being able to open.
- Staircase: Suitable code-compliant staircases are required as exits from attic dwelling spaces; ladders will not suffice.
- Attics in cold climates must be heated to at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit, while ventilation in hot climates must be sufficient to maintain attics just 20 degrees warmer than outdoor temperatures.
- At least two exits should be available in attics: the stairs and another emergency exit, such as a window that can be opened.
- Weight Bearing Capacity: For finished attics, a load capacity of 30 pounds per square foot is necessary.
It will be necessary to do an inspection to ensure that the attic can support the weight of your renovation and that everything is structurally sound.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the details of finishing an attic or raising the roof.
Finishing an Attic
Attics are perfect for master suites, home offices, reading lofts, studios, home movie theaters, and exercise spaces. This is true only if you enjoy spending time there. After you’ve taken care of your legal building requirements, make sure the space is livable and nice to be in.
- To bring in as much natural light as possible, consider adding skylights.
- Colors should be bright and breezy.
- Use dimmable recessed LED lighting to keep things cool and save electricity.
- Sound may be muffled using insulation or rugs on the floor.
- Install ceiling fans for maximum ventilation.
- For pest-free natural ventilation, attach removable screens to openable windows.
- Install window curtains to keep the sun out.
- Convert the area between knee walls and dormers into a workstation or built-in storage.
How Much Does It Cost to Finish an Attic?
The national average, according to Home Advisor, is between $8,000 and $80,000. It is entirely dependent on your plans. If you want to include a bathroom, expect to spend extra. If you merely want to make it livable for some office space, you may expect to cost $8,000 to $10,000.
How Long Does It Take to Finish an Attic?
It might take anything from 8 to 10 weeks to finish an attic. Things may go quickly when you have specialists on board that know how to secure approvals, deal with your local municipality, and have great suppliers on hand.
How to Raise an Attic Roof
Raising your home’s roof is a large project that will necessitate the hiring of a structural engineer as well as licensed, insured, and bonded contractors. Enlist the expertise of a seasoned roofing reconstruction contractor or structural engineer from the outset.
These projects always begin with a structural evaluation to determine what you’re up against and whether the project is feasible.
Roofing Structures may be divided into two categories:
- Stick roofs
- truss roofs
A triangular overhead structure supports the roof of a truss roof. These structures are frequently seen as being simpler and easier to create.
A stick roof’s structure is connected to central beaming along the walls. It requires more work to raise them since the structures must be completely dismantled and rebuilt. On the other side, this makes it simple to change the construction and add vaulted ceilings.
The removal of the roof using a crane and the installation of new walls from the ground up are required to raise both roofing systems.
Is it intimidating in any way? It doesn’t have to be. A skilled professional will lead you through this process.
What About the HVAC and Wiring?
A livable attic requires appropriate ventilation, heating, and cooling. If you’re simply finishing a room that’s been left incomplete, this process should be rather straightforward.
Install outlets only by professionals since they will know how to work around the insulation without producing a fire danger.
The attic may also contain plumbing pipes and ventilation ducts that run through the roof. If you’re elevating the attic, they will need to be handled by plumbers and HVAC professionals.
How Much Does It Cost to Raise an Attic Roof?
Raising the roof is a substantial home repair project. The cost of this project is estimated to be between $15,000 to $75,000 on average, with some modifications costing more than $125,000.
The following items are included in the price:
- $1,500 for consulting, planning, and securing clearances with a structural engineer.
- $4,500 to demolish and rebuild the current wiring and plumbing for the new building.
- Removal, strengthening, and replacement of the roof: $8,000 to remove the old roof, dispose of the waste, and install new frame reinforcements.
- $7,500 for any outside-of-the-house repairs or retouches to paint, siding, insulation, or fixtures.
If a few requirements are needed, the costs will rise.
One of them is locating any flaws, particularly structural flaws.
- Putting in skylights
- increasing a roof’s pitch with chimney
- building dormers to obtain more headroom and let more light in
However, if all goes as planned, these improvements will cost less than $15,000.
How Long Does It Take to Raise an Attic Roof
In four to six weeks, the roof should be raised. There’s always the possibility of things going wrong or unscrupulous contractors trying to take advantage of you while working on a job this size.
Only use contractors that are licensed, bonded, and insured, as well as those with an excellent track record.
Trusted Roofing Renovation Services
It may look difficult to make structural changes to your roof, but all you need is an expert staff with the appropriate understanding.
Midwest Roofing has been installing, repairing, and replacing roofs for almost two decades.
If you have any questions concerning roof modifications, please contact us or phone us at 612-332-2744, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.