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Consider a home design that turns your attic into living space

June 10, 2014

Hardwood FloorsFor families who love their home, but are running out of space, an attic can yield enough room for an extra bedroom, a home office or any other use for their needs. Make it a bright and airy space starting with the installation of hardwood flooring painted in a pickle barrel finish from Anderson's Vintage Coastal Art collection.

If you're also in need of an additional bedroom, create a suite that includes a walk-in closet. Whether it's for guests, or the teen in your family, no space offers quite as much privacy as an attic bedroom. Place the bed under a skylight for beautiful night views, or install a reading nook under a window. Almost any color pattern will do, but lighter shades will make a small attic space feel larger.

For the resident artist in your home, an attic can be an ideal studio for a painter or craftsman. Expand the windows or install a skylight to bring in as much natural light as possible. Keep storage against the walls so it doesn't block any of the windows.

Stylish storage
It may seem redundant to turn an attic used for storage into a walk-in closet, but closets aren't what they used to be. Today, many homeowners turn them into full-scale rooms with seating, mirrored walls, plenty of innovative arrangements of drawers, bin-style shelving and loads of space to hang clothes.

In fact, Zillow rated a room-size walk-in closet among the amenities that homebuyers look for most when they're house-shopping. If you don't have the space or the right layout to create your dream closet just outside your bedroom, consider building a walk-in closet in your attic.

Construction issues
Whether it's an artist's getaway or a teenager's retreat, construction improvements must meet building codes that typically call for a full-size staircase for entering and leaving an attic living area. According to This Old House magazine, a minimum 6-foot, 8-inch clearance overhead is also required. A second exit, which can be a window, is needed for fire safety.

The rest of the living area must have at least 7 feet of headroom, although sections of the attic under eaves are allowed to have lower clearance. Another consideration is the floor support, which must be reinforced with added joists and a new subfloor.

Once these code-related changes are completed, you'll have a new room with a view that no other room in the house will be able to claim.