Renovating your attic is a great way to turn this rarely used area of your home into a fully functional bonus room or guest bedroom. This can open up a whole new world of opportunities for homeowners, allowing them to expand their home without having to physically build new rooms. But fully renovating an attic isn’t an easy task by any means, and if you don’t take the right approach, you could end doing more harm than good.
Mistake #1) Not Enough Insulation
Don’t underestimate the importance of maintaining adequate insulation throughout your attic during a major renovation project. Removing the current insulation or creating gaps where there’s no insulation will raise your home’s energy usage, forcing you to pay more for electricity and gas. You can check the EnergyStar.gov website for recommended attic insulation levels.
Mistake #2) Not Acquiring Multiple Quotes
If you’re going to hire a professional contractor to renovate your attic, you should call around to get multiple quotes. Don’t just hire the first contractor that you find in the phone book or online, but instead take a few minutes to call at least half a dozen contractors to find out how much they charge. Comparing the prices between different contractors can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the total cost of the renovation.
Mistake #3) Low Budget
Fully renovating an attic into a bedroom can quickly burn through your available finances. According to the website Remodeling.net, the average cost of renovating an attic in the U.S. is approximately $50,148, $36,346 of which is recouped when the home is sold. Before you jump into a major attic renovation project, make sure you have a budget large enough to finish the job; otherwise, you could end up with an attic that’s half done.
Mistake #4) Failure To Follow Building Codes
Another all-too-common mistake homeowners make during attic renovations is failure to follow local city building codes. Always check beforehand to ensure that all of your bases are covered. This includes acquiring the right building permits (if necessary), using the appropriate materials, building techniques, etc.
Mistake #5) Lack of Ventilation
You can’t expect to fully renovate an attic unless there’s air flowing through it. Lack of ventilation will not only create an uncomfortably hot and humid environment, but it can also encourage the growth of mold and mildew. If you aren’t comfortable performing this task, hire a professional HVAC technician to do the job.