04:20PM | 02/10/08
Member Since: 02/09/08
1 lifetime posts
I have a single story home with an attached garage, but built like a 2 story. The whole upper half of the house and garage are open in an attic space. To me this is such a waste of space. I would love to turn this wasted square footage into living space. My question is where do I start to make this possible? Architect,handyman,contractor....etc. Whom do I contact to see if this is even a possibility?


01:17AM | 02/11/08
Member Since: 03/03/05
273 lifetime posts
I think your first step would be to contact your local Building Department to find out what you will need for building permits and other regulations.

Example - In my town, I would need to get signatures from my neighbors, stating that they would not oppose to the addition to dormers. Then I would need to take those signatures along with complete building plans in front of a board of town regulators in order to get a variance. A town official would be involved with inspecting the job durning all stages including signing-off on the complete project.

A main consideration will be safety. There should be an entrances andr an egress to the living space in case of fire.

Most likely you will want to add a dormer/s to the roof to either create windows, raise the roofline or create vertical walls.

Your other considerations is once you turn your attic into living space, you have to make sure your roof is properly vented to accomodate the change in thermal characteristics.

If your roof is old, it is also advised that you consider redoing your roof with ice shield and new shingles. Once you create your new living space you want to ensure the roof does not leak. Even a small leak can lead to big problems.

I'm not an carpenter, but I have dealt with mold issues related to attic living spaces. Finding a good carpenter that has performed this type of work in the past is key. Also make sure you consult with a roofer that also has the same experience.

There are several approaches to this project and the pricing can range depending on how far you want to, electrical, plumbing, skylights...etc. Do not choose a carpenter without experience and references!


06:39AM | 04/20/08
Member Since: 03/24/08
62 lifetime posts
Boy, your building department sounds a little stringent -- signatures from neighbors? Anyway, I would also check with an architect to see what can structurally be done, assuming your building dept. says it's o.k.
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