By Dan Fritschen

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Photo by E & H Bazendale Ltd

 

The inspections required when converting an attic to living space such as a bedroom vary from one city or county to the next. The only way to be certain is to check with your local building codes and inspections office.

 

It would not be surprising to be required to have HVAC, plumbing, structural support, electricity and, possibly framing, inspected.

 

Finishing an attic might require new electrical circuits since most as originally built have little or no electrical wiring that is typically required or desired for finished living space.

 

Depending on how you use your attic it is likely to change the way weight is carried through the structure of your home.  Again most attics when originally built were not designed to support much more weight than the roof, insulation and snow, etc.  Adding all the finished lumber and furniture needed for most rooms requires the attic flooring and possibly the support walls in the floor below to be modified.  This is especially true in “high stress zones” like Florida with its high winds and California with its earthquakes.  When designing your finished attic take your time and get the full potential from the space by having a good design.

 

An attic can be a very dangerous place and is the location where many fires start in a home.   When you design and build ensure you and your contractor are taking all the proper precautions to avoid fire hazards and have the right type of insulation and ventilation..