If your home’s attic has extra space, you can use it for much more than just storage. You can turn that space into an extra bedroom, a home office, a ‘mancave’, or a general living space. However, to use the attic space this way, you’ll first have to prepare it and convert it into a living space. This usually requires an expert, and it must first pass permit, health and safety concerns.

Converting attic space into a living space isn’t something anyone can dive into because of the procedures involved. Here are the steps and factors to use to convert your attic into a living space.

Find Out If You Need a Building Permit

Before you begin construction, visit your local building and construction permitting office to determine if attic conversion needs building permit. Usually, a permit is only needed if you’re adding ventilation or electrical wiring, or if you’ll change your home’s structure, such as knocking down a wall or adding a dormer.

Assess Attic Safety Codes 

Converting an attic space into a living space is regulated for a reason. They’re prone to fire, causing injury and death. The U.S. Fire Administration estimates that between 2006 and 2008, about 10,000 residential attic fires occurred, mostly caused by electric sparks. Before you convert the attic into a living space, confirm its safety for building and electrical code hurdles. 

Assess Whether Your Attic Has Enough Space

Here are five codes that determine whether or not your attic can be converted into a living space:

  • Do you have roof trusses or rafters? Trusses decrease an attic’s ceiling height, challenging its conversion to a compliant living space. Rafters provide better space. 
  • Area. The attic must first be a habitable space to qualify for attic conversion. It must have at least 70 sq ft. floor space.
  • Floor Space Dimensions. The attic needs at least 7 ft. in any direction ( 7′ x 10′).
  • Ceiling height. At least 50% of the attic’s usable area requires a ceiling height of 7.5 ft. or higher.  
  • Windows & openable area. An attic’s minimum window area must be at least 8% of its usable floor area to provide adequate outside access.

Assess Access and Support Capability

To convert your attic space into a livable space, you need stairs for access, with the following specifications:

  • A load capacity of 30 pounds per sq. ft.
  • At least 6’8″ of headroom.
  • 36″ wide.
  • Treads of 10″ deeper or more.
  • Risers of 7 1/4″ high or more.

Create an Egress Point

Using an attic space as a living space requires at least two exits because attics are prone to fires. Since the staircase access can spread fire easily, a second exit point can be an egress (exit window). 

Finish Attic Construction 

Once everything regarding the attic remodeling is in order, you can finish converting your attic into a living space. You may hire an attic conversion to help you complete these activities:

  • Clean the attic area. Remove old junk, building materials, and other stored items you longer need. You can store them somewhere else in the house or hire a storage company like Osmon Moving and Storage for your storage. 
  • Remove old insulation. Remove old and compressed insulation. Be sure to remove the insulation if it’s loose or blown in. 
  • Attic wiring for lighting and electricity. Hire a local licensed electrician to help you wire the attic across walls and ceiling, according to code requirements. This will prevent the risk of electric fires.
  • Build a Subfloor. If the attic’s joists are visible, you may need to build a subfloor. The joist must first meet code requirements for weight support. Build a subfloor only after electrical and ventilation installations. Hire a qualified contractor.
  •  Insulate your attic. You can insulate the attic on all attic walls and ceilings through do-it-yourself (DIY) procedures or hire an expert.
  • Install drywall and ceiling and paint them. Install drywall and ceiling in the attic to give it a shape and theme. A home furnisher or interior expert can help you select great drywall for your attic. A paint should deliver the theme color you want.
  • Install attic flooring. Choose and install your attic flooring according to your taste. Carpeting is a great option to reduce sound and add additional insulation.

Furnish Your Attic

Once you finish the attic, it’s time to furnish and decorate it to make it the living space you want and enjoy. If it’s an office, you’ll bring in office material, while you’ll bring in a bed and bedroom furnishing if it’s a bedroom. Select great lighting in the attic based on your preference. We recommend that you use a cohesive color scheme. Every finish you add will reduce the floor space, so be careful not to make the attic living space too crowded.


If you have an attic that you don’t use, consider converting it into a living space. First, check if you need any permits for the remodeling. With the permit, you can convert your attic to any living space that fits your desires.

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