A home improvement project presents the opportunity to alter the structure and fittings in your home to meet a particular style. If you are looking for an easy and cost-effective way to increase space without constructing an extension, you may consider converting the attic into living space. The attic space is a perfect location for creating additional living space or a play area without incurring high construction costs. However, there are several things that you should have in mind before embarking on the project to ensure that it is viable and legal.
Local building regulations
While you may not have to deal with lots of rules when undertaking an attic conversion, there are a few codes that should be adhered to. In fact, most Australian states have building codes that should be followed before building an extension or altering the structure of a building. For instance, there is a specified height for ceilings and a minimum number of exits for rooms in a building. Since these rules may vary from one area to another, you should visit your municipal council before renovating the attic. Alternatively, you can consult your inspector or construction contractor.
Access to the attic space
The location of the attic space often makes it hard to access it without any equipment. In that case, you may have to have a ladder or build a stairway. Think about the people who will be accessing the room. If your kids will use it for play, you may want a permanent solution to avoid accidents. However, if you are looking to maximize space in the home, a new stairway may consume too much area. Iron out such details to ensure that the new attic adequately serves its purpose. For instance, you can have a closet conversion or build a spiral stairway, as both options consume little space.
Structural condition of the roof
The attic space is below the roof; therefore, it is paramount to have the roof in mind during the conversion. The frame trusses used for the roof will determine whether a conversion of the attic is possible. For example, if the roof's rafters extend towards the eaves, they will allow remodeling of the attic space. On the other hand, a roof with W-shaped trusses will make it hard to renovate the space underneath. You will have to alter the trusses and rafters before remodeling the attic. Have a professional structural engineer inspect the roof before proceeding with the project. This will save you from causing structural weaknesses and defects to the roofing frame.
For additional advice, contact a contractor who specialises in home renovations.