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How to convert an attic

1002 728 Nisha Muire
Converting an attic into a room or loft in your Toronto home is a terrific way to gain space without the threat of zoning restrictions to hamper your construction. The useable space in an attic is the ideal way to increase your home’s living space without extensively adding to its foundation or footprint. There are certain things that you will have to take into consideration before launching into your attic conversion including building codes, support structures, electrical and plumbing systems and access.
 
Building codes
You will have to check to see whether an attic bedroom is permitted in your dwelling. Although they might seem unnecessary, building codes are actually there for your protection. As a rule, ceiling height should be at least 7’6” for at least 70 square feet. You should check with an architect or structural engineer to find out whether your attic’s floor joists are strong enough to support the additional weight of a remodel. Lastly, you need at least two exits – a door and usually a window.
 
You will likely have to shore up the framing and structures of your attic so that you have a good-sized space in your finished attic.
 
Electricity/Plumbing
You will have to extend your electricity to your attic – for which you will need the services of a certified electrician to ensure that it is feasible and that it is done properly. If you choose to build any sort of ensuite in the attic that will also require you to hire a plumber to help you get the proper plumbing in place.
 
Access to the attic
Access to the attic requires a proper staircase, but since that would take up a lot of place on the floor underneath you could consider converting a closet into a staircase in order to minimize it’s impact.
 
Although converting an attic into usable space isn’t highest on the list of renovations that add value to a home, it does rate very high on the Joy Score – coming in at 9.4 on a scale of 10 in the amount of enjoyment it brings a homeowner. The Joy Score is a poll taken by the National Association of Realtors to measure the impact of renovations on a homeowner’s satisfaction level.

Author

Nisha Muire

All stories by: Nisha Muire