Livable attics are very attractive these days. As housing market inventory shrinks and housing prices continue to climb, more homeowners are looking to upgrade instead of move. Turning the attic into a livable space such as a new bedroom, a quiet office space or a fully decked out entertainment center is a dream come true for those willing to invest in such an option. If you are in the business of constructing a new home or remodelling existing ones, you should consider offering your customers the option of building a livable attic.
Livable attic requirements
For an attic to become livable, building codes apply. The ceiling needs to be 5 feet or higher for a minimum of 70 square feet. For half the usable space, a ceiling of at least 7 feet is required.
Windows are also a code requirement. Window areas must represent at least 8% of the usable floor area.
Although no code requires it, the addition of a bathroom in the attic helps increase the convenience of the new floor space, as well as the resale value of the house.
Most importantly however, the floor must be able to support the dead and live loads that the new room(s) will accommodate. Most existing homes have ceiling joists below the attic. These are typically designed for loads up to 10 pounds per square foot, and that simply won’t do. A Load capacity of at least 40 pounds per square foot is necessary.
To help make such a renovation go smoother for you and your customer, floor joists with an open design are recommended. They give you maximum flexibility for installation of plumbing, wiring and HVAC. They also help maximize available living area.
Also, as many remodelers and homeowners have discovered, existing houses are often not quite straight. A joist that is adjustable on-site is definitely recommended.
TRIFORCE® joists have both an open design and adjustability.
If you are constructing new homes you should also consider offering the option of installing floor joists in the ceiling of the home. This will make attic conversion much easier down the road. If you’d like to make it very easy for them, why not offer attic roof trusses as an option?
Most homeowners dream about having extra space in their home. It’s up to you to help them make their dream a reality.