09:30PM | 06/15/05
Member Since: 06/15/05
1 lifetime posts
Question about attic finishing--Just bought an old colonial in DC area. Attic already has flooring at center(not pretty, but very solid), exhaust fan, windows at each end (inspector recommended replacing with venting), blown insulation along side walls (could use more, but utility bill history not excessive now). Central AC/heat pipes run along one side. Want to finish off as one large room--ideally as simple office with some storage along side walls (kneewells?), real window(s), simple built in bookshelves. Eventually need stairs to replace pull down (someone suggested spiral) but I can live with pull down for now. Semi-skilled friend said put simple drywall over open beams but with no + insulation, add 2-4 electric outlets, open an AC/heat vent, rug over floor. Big fear is screwing up insulation/moisture and/or doubling utility bill with new vents. Local contractors want 30,000 plus for very fancy. Like to do very simple for under 10,000. Am I delusional? Almost no DIY skills. Help! Ideas? Thanks!


09:18AM | 06/18/05
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
You will need to comply with your local codes and standard building techniques for this attic remodel.

Of prime concern is that you will need to put in a full size set of stairs if you plan to use this as any type of living space.

Codes require at least 2 means of egress for a room of this sort so you will need a code compliant set of stairs and windows whereby one can escape in case of fire.

It is also not uncommon for attics above 2nd stories to be required to be fitted with fire escapes by local code ordinance.

Insulation must be in rafter spaces. You cannot simply cover them with drywall.

End windows are fine for living space but will do nothing to assist in venting the rafter areas and attics behind new knee walls.

Your floor joists may not be deep enough to serve as proper load bearing floors by code and may have to be increased in size in order for this attic to be converted to living space.

Your best approach is to have contractors do the job so you are assured the job meets code, is safe and does not pose any lapse of insurance coverage because it isn;t doen right.

$10K will hardly get you a ticket on the subway to the ballpark let alone in the ballpark.
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