If you’re like most people with an attic, you’re using it more as a “throw everything up there” room than as an actual storage room. In fact, you might not even use it as storage at all – more and more homeowners are enlisting the aid of a full-size climate controlled storage unit to house their extra belongings, leaving them with a dark, empty hole above their ceiling.
So what can you do? Luckily, just because your home has an attic doesn’t mean you’re locked in to using it as such. Full-blown attic renovations are becoming very popular, and for good reason: It’s a perfectly good extra room. But you have to know how to use it – and here’s how:
- First, double-check your safety codes
The last thing you want is for your big project to be derailed halfway through because an inspector revealed that your ceiling can’t handle the extra load, or that your attic simply isn’t big enough. Cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s early on, and you’ll be able to breeze through the rest of your project without worry.
- Keep it quiet
If your attic is going to be used as a place that will see foot traffic, lay down some carpeting or rugs to muffle the sound. Remember: all this action will be going on right above your head, so make sure you make the room extra insulated.
- Utilize all the space
You can’t treat this room like you would any other, because your attic is like no other room in your house. It might have a severely sloping ceiling or floors, narrow walls, or anything else, and you’ll have to take that into account when you’re decorating. Traditional furniture might not fit, so visit some antique shops and look for something unique.
- Keep it cool
Attics can get broiling hot, especially in a Florida summer, so make sure you keep yours cool if it’s going to be used as a living space. If the roof permits it, you can install a ceiling fan to give the room a light breeze. Also, you can create a separate zone in the attic for your air conditioning and heating system, although this will depend on the size of the area. Call a professional first if you want to take this approach – he or she will be able to give you all the information you need.
So, you’re on your way to a great new summer room. Keep these tips in mind when you start, and hopefully your project will go smoothly.