Helena Talbot’s blog – How To Decide Whether Or Not To Turn Your Attic Into A Bedroom

Have you outgrown your house? Are you in desperate need of more space but don’t want to hassle with zoning restrictions? Then you may want to consider turning your attic into an extra bedroom.

Your attic is probably the current home to all of your old keepsakes, some insects and possibly some rodents. This is wasted space that you could easily use to add some much needed living space without having to deal with zoning restrictions and easement concerns.

Adding an attic bedroom is a great investment because it will help increase the value of your home. But just because it is a great investment, does not automatically mean that it’s doable.

Here are some things you need to consider before proceeding with your attic addition.

• Check your localities building codes. These may seem unnecessary to you; however, they really are put into place for your safety and the safety of others. The building inspector will check to see if the ceiling meets the height requirement of 7′ 6″ over a minimum floor area of 70 square feet. If it doesn’t, then you will not be allowed to turn it into a living space. Your inspector will also check the joists to see if it can handle the extra weight of your proposed addition. He will also check to see if the rafters are able to support the sheetrock, the lighting, the electrical, the plumbing and the HVAC system. Your inspector will then check to make sure that you have at least two exits. Usually a doorway and a window. Two are required to meet local codes

• The structure must be sound. Everything from the framing, trusses, rafters and the internal beams. Sometimes in order to make the space work, you have to cut through some of those support beams that keep the roof and the structure of your home in place. So a remodel may not be practical and may not be safe

• Have your electrical panel checked. You will need a licensed electrician to determine if your breaker box has enough room for the additional breakers that will be needed for your added living space

• You will also need a plumber to assess the plumbing if you will be adding a bathroom to your attic bedroom

• Call an HVAC company to check your existing system to see if it is large enough to handle your existing space, as well as, your new addition. If it’s not, then you will need to consider a window air conditioner and electric baseboard heating as possible alternatives

• You will need a staircase to gain access to your new living space. So check the space below the attic to see if there is room. If not, you will need to check with your zoning department to see if they will allow a stairway outside of your home. Some neighborhoods consider an outside stairway a sign that you have a multi unit dwelling and this may be against your local zoning codes

Adding an additional living space to your attic is usually a very good idea. But you have to make sure that it is practical and doable before you begin.

I hope you have found this article helpful. If you have found that adding more living space to your home is not practical or is not doable, call your realtor and ask for some assistance in helping you find a home that is more suitable for you and your family’s needs. Your realtor would be more than happy to help you sell your current home and to help you find another home that is more suitable to your needs.

I specialize in helping buyers and sellers invest in real estate in Loudoun County and Northern Virginia.

I have over 25 years experience in the real estate industry.  As a Broker/Owner with Exit Realty Talbot and Company, I bring special tools and solutions that enable me to exceed the expectations of my clientele.  If you are considering listing your property in Loudoun County or the nearby areas, ask me about our latest internet marketing systems.  I would appreciate the opportunity to earn your business.  I am experienced in listing and selling short sales.  For information on the short sale process, please visit  www.LoudounShortSaleSolutions.com.

For a free market analysis on the value of your home, please visit http://www.LoudounHomeValues.com

My past awards and designations include – 2003 President of the Dulles Association of Realtors, 2003 Dulles Area Assoc Realtor of the Year, Salesperson of the year 2000 Dulles Area Assoc of Realtors,  Top Producer awards from both the Dulles Area Association and the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors.  I am a member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network.

I have lived in Loudoun County since 1979.  I am married with two grown children and two grandchildren.  My son in law is my business partner in real estate.  I love to jog in the mornings and spend time relaxing on my Trawler during the summer months.

Loudoun County and Northern Virginia Real Estate Sales and Solutions – Helena Talbot, Broker. I specialize in helping buyers and sellers invest in real estate in the Northern Virginia area to include Loudoun County and surrounding areas including Fairfax, Clarke, Fauquier, Prince William  Counties.  Our local neighborhoods includeLeesburgAshburn, Sterling, Potomac Falls, Brambleton, Broadlands, Lansdowne, River Creek, Belmont Country Club, Beacon Hill, Shenstone, Waterford, Lovettsville, Purcellville, Hamilton, Round Hill and Bluemont.                        Cell 703.727.9885    Office 703.574.3800

Free iPhone/Android Mobile App to search Northern Virginia real estate.  2 easy ways to get the App:  Text “Exit9” to 87778 or enter http://87778.mobi/Exit9 into your browser.

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