When you think of an attic, what do you think of? If you answered ghosts, hidden treasure, a place to throw all your stuff, or an unfinished place that you never want to visit, then it’s time to think about what you could do with that extra space. You’ve probably never thought about it before, but especially if your attic is accessible by staircase, it has potential. Not only can you add extra livable space onto your home, but you can also add value to your home for when it comes time to sell.
Before you can turn your attic into something great, the first step is to make it usable. Although that involves shelling out some cash, remember that adding that extra usable space to your home will also add value at selling time. Finish the walls, add some lighting and flooring, and make sure your heating and cooling system is installed and working in the room. It may also be smart to install a ridge vent on your roof to control the humidity level of your attic. Voilà! You’ve got a blank canvas. Here are some idea for what to do with that space.
An Extra Bedroom
Whether your family is growing, college kids are returning home, or you could just use an extra bedroom, the attic is a great option for a bedroom. How you access the room, though, will have to be considered. If your attic is only accessible by wooden ladder, you probably can’t fit any bedroom furniture up through the access hole in the ceiling. If your attic has stairs, though, this is a great choice for a teen’s room or guest bedroom. It’s very private, and is a blank slate to decorate however you want.
A Clean Storage Paradise
If you’re the type of person who has a lot to store, creating an organized and accessible storage space can help you un-clutter the rest of your home. Set up closets, shelves, cupboards, and specialized hangers for things like bikes, canoes, and other larger equipment. While an unfinished attic does work to store things in, you’re probably always afraid of how musty they’re going to smell later, and how many bugs might be lurking inside the boxes. With a finished, clean, organized, and temperature-controlled storage space, you can avoid those fears.
A Play Room
If the attic is easily accessible, a play space can be a great use for it if you’ve got kids or grandkids that are old enough to not need constant supervision. The attic is an out-of-the-way location for them to throw toys all over in, spill juice in, and throw basketballs without breaking lamps or destroying furniture. Create a space with stain-resistant flooring and plastic or old kid seating, and let them hang out there.
A Media Room or Man Cave
Especially if your attic doesn’t get much natural lighting, a media room is a great way to go. Set up a TV or projector with some comfortable seating, and perhaps a small bar area or popcorn machine. Or, create a complete man cave out of it. Put up sports memorabilia, a wet bar, and some chairs and TV. If it’s big enough, a pool table or foosball table could be an excellent addition to create the ultimate man cave. Let your man’s imagination run wild.
If you need a quiet space to yourself to get some work done in, your attic is the perfect office environment. Create a space that inspires you to work – don’t clutter it, add thought-provoking decor, and make it very zen-like. Make sure its set up to handle everything you need to plug in, such as all your computer devices, printer, and other office equipment. Keep the area clean, and make sure family members know to not bother you when you’re in the zone.
Joli D. writes for Quarrix Building Products, leading providers of ridge vents and other roofing accessories, roofing ventilation products, and composite tile.