How to Transform Your Attic Into a Living Space

Adding quality insulation is the first step to making your attic a comfortable and appealing space.

How to Transform Your Attic Into a Living SpaceConsidering how expensive real estate is in California compared to the rest of the country, many families here are seeking to maximize all the available living space in their home to get the most use and value possible from their property. An unfinished attic is a prime target for expanding your living space, assuming it meets local code requirements. Here are some basic tips for transforming your attic into a comfortable and appealing space.

Insulate & Finish the Attic

Obviously, as a first step to creating a living space in the attic, the walls and ceiling need to be finished. This not only makes the space look nice; it also helps control temperatures so that your new attic room can be heated and cooled efficiently. General Heating & Air Conditioning can offer two services for this phase of your project. First, we offer AttiCat expanding blow-in insulation to reduce heat penetration and energy loss from the attic. Secondly, we offer radiant barrier foil, which can help keep summer temperatures down in the attic by repelling up to 95 percent of the sun’s heat from the space.

Choose Heating & Cooling Options

Another important step in making your attic livable is providing it with heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. It is often most practical to use a window AC or ductless AC for cooling, as the attic’s position at the top of the house will make it warmer than other areas, and with a separate unit you can cool your attic room without freezing the rest of the home. Depending on how often the room will be used, you may want to connect it to your ductwork for heating or else use a space heater. Consulting an HVAC pro will be very helpful in making your decision.

Soundproof the Floor

You can add to the privacy of the attic space by soundproofing the floor so movement in the attic doesn’t disturb the rest of the home. Start with a subfloor over good insulation and then add thick carpet with a foam pad, or wood or vinyl over recycled rubber.

Add Quality Lighting

One final must-do for transforming your attic into a comfortable living space is to add the right lighting. Many attics have very limited natural light or no natural light at all, so artificial lighting is important for both day and night use of the space. If your room already has low ceilings, you will most likely want recessed lighting, but if the peak of the attic ceiling is quite tall a pendant fixture can add light and style to the room.