5 Attic Finishing Mistakes to Avoid in Denver Metro, CO.
In a world where working from home is becoming increasingly more popular and available, using every space your home offers has gained importance — just imagine trying to do your work with all the hustle and bustle of family life squashing out any quiet time.
Attic space, which was usually used for storing outdated items, has found a new life in becoming a home office or guest suite in order to provide for a quieter atmosphere and more flexibility at home.
However, there are construction and city codes to meet when converting your attic as well as design flaws that could cost you thousands of dollars in future repairs.
To help you with this project, here are five attic finishing mistakes to avoid in Denver Metro, CO.
1. Don’t forget the paperwork
Everything we do in our homes has some sort of regulation or standard to prevent homeowners from errors that might cost them their homes in the event of an accident or disaster.
Skipping this step, whether to avoid the filing costs or time it may take for an inspection, is the biggest mistake you can make as it could result in having to undo some of the renovation work to meet requirements and that can be even more daunting a task if you hired out the labor and will need to do so again to reverse and then reinstall what was already done.
Being sure to start with the step also helps you make design decisions for the rest of the project as you will know immediately what needs must be met in order to pass an inspection.
2. Keeping the air in
Attic spaces are vented in order to prevent the buildup of mildew and water that could cause wood rot — but these vents let in some of the weather as they are open to the outside.
It is tempting to close off these portals to be sure you are more comfortable in your attic space but be sure that you are finding alternate means of venting the room.
A great suggestion (even better if you are ensuring the vents are still in place, but helpful if not) would be to send any appliance’s exhaust directly outside rather than simply venting upward to avoid the trapping of the air around the attic.
3. Putting the light out
Attic spaces are generally sparsely windowed and even less lighted — a bare bulb in the center of the room is not uncommon to see in these spaces.
When converting your attic into a working or living space, however, you need to consider the lack of light in many dark corners that a simple mid-room fixture or small windows will provide.
Install larger windows or even skylights to bring in as much natural light as possible and scatter your light fixtures to cover every inch of darkness.
4. Not checking the insulation
Considering the vents to the outside and often underwhelming amount of framework in an attic space, these areas can be quite drafty and cold — certainly not ideal for a cozy home office or guest suite.
Also, pests can get into the attic and nest in the insulation without notice and the insulation, while present, might not be of a livable quality.
Be sure not to assume your insulation is in good order and always check prior to closing any walls or floor spaces — and choose an insulation that is right for the job as certain choices will add more climate control or your regulations may require specific types.
5. Forgetting the exits
Lastly, but very importantly, do not assume the stairs to your attic are an adequate escape in the event of an emergency.
In fact, they may not be adequate just for everyday use as regulations for attic stairways can be very specific depending on your location and may not suit the space once you are finished — meaning that extra work we previously mentioned as you have to tear out and redo the existing stairs.
However, you should also not neglect your windows in this case, either as they can mean the difference between rescue workers being able to reach you if a fire prevents you from descending to the floor below.