By Dan Fritschen

roof trusses Attic Bedroom Ideas

Photo by E & H Baxendale LTD


Finding attic remodeling ideas is actually fairly easy.  There are many places to start and many sources of great ideas.  Many homeowners, however, have a natural tendency to focus on décor alone when searching for ideas. While décor will be important in the end, there are also some structural and design issues you should also investigate early in your search for attic remodeling ideas.


Your starting point when designing an attic remodel needs to be how you will address the basic structural and design issues in making your attic into living space. You will need to be sure the structure of your home will support the added weight you plan to add when you finish your attic. It might be necessary to provide additional support. Some home builders do not design homes to support the weight of furniture, books, or a bathroom. If you plan to add a bath or use the space in a way that requires the foundation to support extra weight, you will need to figure out how to provide the structural support. For this you will probably need the assistance of an architect, a certified home designer or your contractor.


The second major issue is how you will provide access to the new living space when you remodel your attic.  Because most attics are not designed to provide easy and permanent access, you will need to decide where and how your family will access the finished space. You will also need to consider emergency egress. This decision will affect both structure and design.  Providing access to your finished attic space will almost certainly require some changes to the floor below. Your design will need to account for these changes, as well.  If you are on a tight budget for the remodel, you might want to talk with your architect or designer about how to provide access at the lowest cost.  Your decisions will also affect the décor of both the new space and the existing space below.  Will you install standard stairs? Will there be a turn with a landing? Will you choose a spiral staircase?


The next important decision is how you will provide light to the new area. Does the slope of your roof permit windows? Will you need to build dormers with windows (which also provide extra space and headroom)? Will you provide light with skylights or roof windows?  Is it possible to use the windows for emergency egress?


With these design decisions made, you are then ready to design your use of the space.  The best place to begin is with your needs.  How do you need to use the space? Do you need an extra bedroom? Do you need a bathroom? Will the new area be a playroom, a den, an office?  Do you need storage as well as living space?  If your attic will be divided into more than one room, how will you provide access to each area?


Once these decisions are made, you will be ready to think about the design of the space, the placement of closets and storage areas and decorating.  Don’t forget that if your roof is pitched, you will have areas beneath the lower part of the roof that cannot be used for living space. A great way to get creative with your attic remodel design is to figure out the best ways to use those areas for storage or as part of the room.


Attic remodeling ideas can be found in magazines and books, as well as in new or model homes.  It will always be worth your time to visit new construction to see how builders are using attic space to provide bonus rooms, hobby rooms or extra bedrooms.  You will get great ideas about room design and use of the space.

For an instant attic finishing cost estimate try the attic remodeling cost estimator – click here.