Congratulations on deciding to make better use of what probably used to be just idle storage space at home! Turning an attic into a bedroom is a good way to increase the living capacity of your house, host family and friends, or maybe even make some extra cash via Airbnb. And when nobody’s using that extra bedroom, it can function as your own private little getaway from the world.
Bonus points if you have a glass roof.
Additionally, just like any home renovation project, having a bedroom in the attic can significantly increase the overall value of your home (something to consider if you have plans to sell in the future). But as the old saying goes, you have to spend money to make money. Renovating the top part of your home into a bedroom, especially if it was never originally meant to be one, can come at a significant cost. So before you start picking out your new room’s furniture, there are some things that you need to consider.
Safety First: Adhere to Construction Building Codes
Building restrictions and codes aren’t your enemy. These rules are in place to ensure the safety of both residents and guests in your home. Before you start planning or building anything, you need to know about the codes and restrictions in your local area. If you have no idea where to start, hire a contractor or an engineer to help you oversee the project. You can also contact or visit your city’s building/engineering department to inquire about what you’re allowed/not allowed to do.
Don’t Skimp on Essential Construction Costs
Most attics are built for storage and infrequent use, which means that a lot of attics might not be structurally sound enough to be regularly used as bedrooms. The first thing your attic needs in order to transform into a bedroom is a solid structural foundation.
Also, depending on how the attic is already built, you might need to install new walls, flooring, a ceiling, windows, plumbing, electrical outlets, heating/air-conditioning, stair access, and lighting – all of which will contribute not just to the cost, but also to the extra weight you’re planning to put on top of your house.
Before you can begin to realistically plan the look and feel of your bedroom, you and your contractor need to make absolutely sure that any changes you make won’t compromise the structural integrity of your home. Initial construction is the foundation of your planned attic renovation, so don’t be afraid to spend some hard-earned cash.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Creative With Furnishing and Decoration
After factoring in essential construction costs, you can now modify or add to those costs by deciding on a look and feel. What kind of theme do you want the space to exude? Is it zen, modern, traditional, rustic, elegant, clean and classic, or quirky?
Whatever theme you’re planning to use, consider the elements that are already in the future bedroom, like built-in shelves, a comfortable mattress, angled ceilings, and ladder access. How can these existing furnishings factor into the new design?
Be realistic about what you can achieve, but don’t be afraid to get creative. If you’re building an attic bedroom for your kids, this might be the perfect opportunity for you to build the kind of bedroom that your kids will proudly tell their friends about. It’s a good way to stretch your creative muscles as well as form a tighter bond with your kids. And if your attic is just a tiny space, that’s just another creative challenge to work with.
Get Thrifty When it Comes to Furniture
Unless you don’t mind the cost or have your sights dead-set on new furniture, try to stay thrifty. When it comes to remodeling a significant part of your home, you never know when new construction costs will come up. Your electrician or plumber might suddenly come to you with new issues and costs that need to be covered. So if you’re working on a budget, it’s best to reserve your cash for the essentials. Besides, some of the nicest pieces of furniture are either secondhand or antique, the kind of furniture that has some history.
Don’t Make the Job Harder Than it Already Is
Apart from how each furnishing contributes to the look and feel of your room, another thing to consider is if you can get it up to the attic. Make the job of furnishing the bedroom easier by finding pieces that are lightweight or if possible, designed for easy transport and deployment/assembly in the bedroom.
Avoid unnecessary and heavy objects. If you want solid furniture pieces, talk to your contractor/carpenter about assembling a bed base or a cabinet in the room itself after initial construction is done. This eliminates having to drag bedroom furniture to the very top of your home.