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Published April 19, 2023

7 Tips for Renovating Your Attic

Home Remodeling by Dana Laksman


Renovating your attic can raise the value of your home on the market or simply make it more practical. Attics are perfect if you need another guest room for friends or family staying over or you started working from home and want to turn it into a home office. They are also very valued in the real estate market. A nice spacious attic attracts a lot of Los Angeles home buyers. However, it is a big home project, and you must research it before committing to it. We will give you some guidelines to help you out a little.

Can you afford it?

Attic renovations can be a significant investment, and there might be some costs you don't know about. Average attic renovations cost roughly 7 thousand dollars. That's not too expensive considering the results you will get, but it's still a significant sum. So before committing, do a review of your finances. See if this is the right time for you to make this investment. The good part is that you don't need all the money immediately. You must have enough to pay your contractors and get the necessary permits. Minor things such as decorating can be done later. It's also essential to set a budget and stick to it.

What permits do you need?

Now that you set the budget, it's time to get serious. The first order of business is acquiring the necessary permits. The good news is that you don't need a permit for most attic renovations, but there are some cases when you do. For example, if you are making significant changes with electricity or knocking down walls, there is a possibility you might need a permit. But this differs from state to state, and there isn't one general answer. You should check what your local laws say about this so you can acquire permits if necessary. Usually, permits are around 150 dollars, and we suggest you don't try and avoid this step. If you try to remodel your LA home without a permit, you will pay a hefty fine, which will cost you much more than a permit.

When renovating your attic, you need to follow the regulations

One thing that makes attic renovations a little complicated is the regulations you have to follow.  These regulations aren't implemented to make your life difficult but for your protection. They are there to make sure no accidents happen. The first regulation says that you need at least 70 square feet of floor space, and it needs to be at least 7 feet in any direction. The following regulation is about height. A minimum of 50% of your floor space must have a ceiling height of at least 7,5 feet. You will also need to fulfill the requirements about access to the attic. You must ensure your ladders leave enough head space for people climbing them. They are wide enough, etc. That might sound like a bit of a headache, but it is necessary, and you have to respect it.

Clean out the attic

Now that you have all the permits and have checked that you are following the regulations in Los Angeles, it's time to clean your attic. There are a few things you can do in this situation. First, there are items you should move from your attic to self-storage (electronic devices, clothes, gym equipment, etc). After you move them to a unit in the area, you can take them whenever you feel you need them, and they will still be in excellent condition. Then you need to clean out the junk you don't need or use anymore. And if you find some things that are still usable but don't need them, you can do a good deed and donate them to a charity.

Don't skip the insulation

One of the more crucial steps you need to do right when renovating your attic is insulating and installing heating and cooling systems. If you want to be able to use this room all year round, this is a must. And you mustn't try to take a shortcut when doing this. Otherwise, the whole attic renovation will be ruined. You will need to hire someone with a lot of experience with these things to ensure the job is done right. And even if you think it is expensive, this is a wise investment. You can take some of the money you planned to use for furnishing the attic and use it for this instead. You can even repurpose some old furniture to save some money.

Be careful when choosing a contractor

One of the trickiest things when renovating your home is finding good contractors, especially ones who will insulate your attic. But there are a few things you can do to check their qualifications and see if you trust them. Before hiring a contractor, ask them for some proof of experience. A good contractor needs a license to work in your state and insurance. Also, a smart thing to do is to contact more than one contractor. Call some local contractors and compare their qualifications and how much they cost. That will help you make an informed decision.

Paint the wall in light tones

Once you have decluttered the attic and installed heating and insulation, you can start thinking about decorating. That is one of the more uncomplicated tips, but it is still essential. The attic should never be painted in a dark color palette. They get less natural light than the rest of the house, which is usually small. Painting them in dark colors would only emphasize that. Instead, focus on light tones like white or light yellow, making it look more bright and spacious.

In conclusion

Renovating your attic is an excellent investment. You need to be smart about it. Follow the rules and regulations; don't cheapen out on your contractors, and you will get great results.

Written by Dana Laksman

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