How to Make an Attic into a Bedroom? All Steps!

Do you have a big attic space that you’d like to turn into a living space? Are you ready to move your bedroom to the attic for more privacy?

Then go and find your tools and get ready to finish turning your attic into a bedroom.

Without further ado, let’s go over all the steps that you need to follow. Keep reading below!

Get Building Permits

Before you can begin on the building/finishing project, make sure you check whether you require any permits from a government office.

In most cases, permits are only required if your project involves any ventilation or electrical wiring work.

You’ll also need permission for any structural changes in your home, such as building or knocking down a wall.  

Assess Your Ventilation and Heating Requirements

If your attic doesn’t have heating or ventilation, you’ll have to figure out whether your HVAC system is capable of supporting an additional attic bedroom.

Consider hiring an electrician to assess the capacity of your current HVAC system to provide heating and cooling in your attic with an added duct.

In the case that you don’t want to burden your HVAC system, you can also try mini-split systems and baseboard heating.

You should also consider installing rafter vents to help keep the roof cool when the attic is warm.

Also read: How to Cool an Attic Bedroom?

Assess the Costs to Create a Budget

The key to creating a bedroom in your attic is to assess the cost that will go into it.

On average, the cost of an attic conversion project undertaken by a professional is somewhere around $40,00 – $50,000.

However, the cost will vary based on the level of conversion and the number of elements that your project covers.

On the other hand, if you are thinking of remodeling your attic the DIY way, then the cost will be much lower.

A medium-scale conversion project for an average-sized attic will require equipment and material cost around $5,000.

Steps to Follow for Attic Conversion

After figuring out the permits and material, it’s time to begin the legwork.

Here are the main steps that you’ll have to follow to create a bedroom in your attic:

Clean the Attic Thoroughly

Before you can start building or making any big changes, it’s important to clean out your attic properly.

Make sure to clear away any clutter and junk storage; it is best to begin working on an empty attic space. If you are going to install new insulation for the drywall, remove the old insulation first.

Consider using an industrial vacuum to eliminate loose or blown-in insulation. This step is only applicable if your existing insulation isn’t in good condition.

In the case that your current insulation works and looks fine, then there is no need to replace it. You can go ahead and apply the subflooring over it. 

Install Wiring for Electricity

Now, you need to do the wiring of the attic for electricity if it doesn’t exist already.

This step requires a permit and a licensed professional electrician, so the wiring is done in accordance with the local codes and regulations.

It’s better not to take on wiring yourself if you’re not an electrician because electrical work carries greater risk and requires expertise to finish safely.

Install Insulation in the Attic

You need to insulate your attic bedroom to make it comfortable for living.

If you’re converting the attic on your own, then we recommend batt insulation, which comes with a vapor-retardant facing.

This type of insulation is highly flexible, which makes it super easy to install. If you want additional coverage, you can even add more layers.

Make sure you caulk all the leaks and holes before installing the insulation.  

Standard batt insulation is cut for fitting between 8-foot-high walls and wall joists.

If your wall is shorter than this length, you’ll have to trim it with a utility knife. Here are the steps that you need to follow for attic insulation installation: 

  • Insert the insulation into the space between joists and the vapor barrier that faces the room. Make sure you don’t compress the insulation too much in order to prevent the reduction of the insulation value.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to staple the insulation to the joists.
  • Repeat this process on all the walls and the ceiling of the attic.
  • If there are any pipes or wiring obstructing the wall, we recommend peeling the insulation into two layers and installing the around the obstacle facing the vapor barrier towards the room.

Finish your Walls with Hanging Drywall

After installing the insulation, you need to finish your attic walls, so that they look appropriate for a bedroom. Installing hanging drywall will make your attic look finished.

You can do this by hanging drywall horizontally from the studs that are exposed and securing them using drywall screws.

Finally, finish it by covering screws and seams with drywall mud. As for the ceiling, you can install the drywall directly on it.

Treatments for Angled Ceilings for Better Design

You may have noticed that the steep slope of the attic ceiling may be an issue or an undesirable feature when converting the attic into a bedroom.

It is mainly because the angled ceiling seems to limit the headspace and limits the room. However, that is not really the case.

The angled ceiling is also an opportunity to adopt a unique architectural design for your bedroom and enhance its overall outlook.

We recommend using ceiling treatments to enhance the angled ceiling and give it an appealing design.

The easiest way to do this is by painting the ceiling a unique color that goes with the overall setup of the room.

You can also install unique moldings to create interesting paneling over the angles.

For a smaller attic, we recommend painting the molding with the same color as the walls to have a consistent theme throughout the space. 

Finish the Attic Walls

Now it’s time to get started on the walls. Unlike other rooms, your attic bedroom will have less wall space as the ceiling angle is steep here.

However, this gives you an opportunity to implement unique designs and wall treatments for efficient storage solutions and maximizing the space.

We recommend keeping your wall treatment simple. Quality over quantity, always.

Since you already have smaller wall space, you shouldn’t overwhelm it with too many treatments. If you want your room to feel spacious and airy, then use light color paint on the walls.

If you’re looking for a highly polished finish for your walls, then you can build faux panels with molding for a refined touch.

The key is to utilize the limited space in the most efficient way. We also recommend maximizing the use of knee walls for attic rooms for storage solutions that maximize the use of space.

Knee walls can be used for short closets and drawers. Using knee walls allows you to capitalize on the very last square footage that it covers.

If your attic walls are taller and meet the ceiling, then finding the right furniture fit may be a challenge. We recommend looking for a built-in storage solution that can fit your unique space.

Install shelving unite on the walls to not overwhelm the limited floor space. The emptier and organized the floor space is, the neater your attic bedroom would look.

Finish the Room Windows

The next step is to work on the finishing of your attic windows. You need to select window designs that complement your space and the overall theme of your room.

In order to convert the attic into a livable and comfortable bedroom, you’ll need to replace the small attic windows with larger and accessible ones. 

According to the building code, your attic must have at least one window that can act as an emergency exit in case of an accident.

Moreover, your bedroom should have access to natural light. The larger windows installed a little lower than regular attic windows will ensure that sunlight enters your room.

You can also consider installing skylights to add to the brightness of your room.

Install Attic Flooring

The final step before moving in your stuff is to choose and install the flooring for your attic bedroom. The easiest fix is to lay a carpet that covers your floor.

This will not only give a cozy feeling to your bedroom but will also add a layer of insulation and soundproofing.

However, if you’re looking for a more permanent fix, then you’ll need proper flooring to complete the conversion of your attic.

Make sure you choose flooring that is solid with a structurally sound surface. It is important to reinforce the floor joists to strengthen the floor to be able to hold more weight. 

Adding Extra Features

When turning your attic into a bedroom, consider adding extra features to enhance the space and make it more functional. Some ideas include:

  • Bathroom or en suite bathroom: Having a bathroom in the attic can make it more convenient for whoever will use the bedroom. If possible, allocate space for a small bathroom with a shower, toilet, and sink.
  • Storage: Take advantage of the unique angles and awkward spaces in the attic by adding built-in storage solutions. Custom-built drawers and cabinets can add an attractive, space-saving element to the room.
  • Bookcase: If you’re an avid reader, consider incorporating a bookcase into the design. This can be a built-in feature or a standalone shelf, making the attic bedroom a cozy reading nook as well.
  • Lounge area: Include a small lounge area in the bedroom by adding comfortable seating, such as a sofa or armchairs. This spot can serve as a place to relax, watch TV, or entertain guests.
  • Home office: If you need a quiet workspace, consider incorporating a home office into the attic bedroom. You can set up a desk and chair in a corner or along a wall, providing a productive area away from the rest of the house.

Remember to keep your space simple and clutter-free for better functionality, and incorporate the right combination of features that best suit your needs and preferences.

The Value of Attic Conversions

Converting your attic into an extra bedroom can greatly increase the value of your home. When done correctly, this type of home improvement project can have a significant return on investment (ROI).

In fact, homeowners who have converted their attic into a bedroom have seen an average ROI of 61%.

There are several reasons why converting an attic into a bedroom adds value to your home:

  • Increased living space: Adding an extra bedroom means more square footage, making your home more desirable to potential buyers.
  • Improved functionality: An extra bedroom can be used for guests, as a children’s room, or even as a home office, increasing the functionality of your home.
  • Cost-effective solution: Compared to other home improvement projects like adding an extension to your home, converting an existing attic space can be a more cost-effective option. The typical cost to finish an attic bedroom is around $40,000.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the legal requirements for an attic bedroom conversion?

Before starting an attic conversion, it’s crucial to check your local building codes and obtain any necessary permits. These regulations may include requirements for ceiling height, window size (for egress), or minimum square footage.

How can I ensure proper insulation and ventilation in the attic space?

Proper insulation and ventilation are essential for maintaining a comfortable temperature and preventing moisture problems in your attic bedroom. Installing insulation in the attic floors, walls, and ceiling will help keep the heat in during winter and out during summer.

Additionally, you should add insulation to prevent air leaks and ensure adequate ventilation through installing vents or an attic fan.

What options are available for incorporating a staircase?

When incorporating a staircase into your attic conversion, consider factors such as available space, the desired style, and any building code requirements.

Some options include straight, spiral, or L-shaped staircases. Assess the available area and choose a staircase design that maximizes space and functionality.

How should I plan the layout for an attic bedroom?

Planning the layout for an attic bedroom involves considering factors like the room’s shape, window placement, and any existing architectural features.

It’s also essential to account for the space needed for furniture and storage.

Sketch a floor plan with the position of the bed, windows, and any additional features like a desk or closet. Don’t forget to consider the angles of the ceiling when planning the layout.

What are the essential steps for a DIY attic conversion?

A successful DIY attic conversion involves several steps:

  1. Thoroughly clean the attic
  2. Install wiring for electricity
  3. Insulate the attic
  4. Hang drywall on the walls and ceiling
  5. Finish the walls and angled ceilings
  6. Install flooring
  7. Obtain necessary building permits

Keep in mind that DIY attic conversions can be challenging, and hiring professionals may be necessary for certain tasks such as electrical work or structural changes.

How does converting an attic affect the overall property value?

Converting an attic into a bedroom can significantly increase a home’s property value.

In many cases, homeowners can recoup over 93% of the money invested in the project when they sell their house.

Attic bedrooms can greatly appeal to potential buyers, as they provide additional living space and a unique, cozy atmosphere.

Final Thoughts

After completing all the steps mentioned above, you can start furnishing and decorating your attic bedroom.

Moving your personal stuff to the room will make it feel like your space immediately.

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