Attic Remodeling

By Robert Robillard on Design

Unfinished Attics A Remodeling Opportunity

Need more living space or storage room? If the answer is yes, your solution may be above your head.

An attic conversion can provide your home with a uniquely designed space to serve a range of functions— an extra bedroom/bath suite, guest room, office, family room, exercise room, or hobby room.

Less Cost Than An Addition

Attic space already has a floor, walls, and roof, so it is an opportunity waiting to be used.


3 Major Considerations

To be a good candidate for remodeling, attic space needs three important ingredients:

1. Headroom
2. Access
3. Adequate floor joist support


Headroom is of primary importance.  Building codes require at least 7 1/2 feet of headroom between the peak of the roof and the floor.  If you don’t have this space, you can raise the roof which is a project.

I use a quick reference code book to keep me in line with code requirements.


Access is another important factor. Do you need to install a stairway? Do you have room for a stairway? Or might your best choice be a pull-down staircase? (Building codes don’t allow the use of a pull-down stair for main access

Image: showcaseremodelinginccom

Structural Strength:

One of the most important aspects of using your attic is the strength of the floor joists. Most ceilings are not designed with joists that can withstand the weight that a floor must handle.

This means that the ceiling joists must be reinforced. This can be accomplished by “sistering” new joists or providing support from below.

Sometimes the floor joists also need additional support.  Reinforcing floor joists is best done by doubling of floor joists. Doubling of joists is recommended under walls, heavy objects like tubs and at large openings. Doubling of joists can solve alot of problems like sagging, uneven or undersized floor joists.


photo: concordcarpenter


photo: concordcarpenter

~ concord carpenter

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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