Attic Finishing Ideas and Cost

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Old 01-30-14, 06:52 AM
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Attic Finishing Ideas and Cost

Hello

Just bought a new construction 2209 sq ft 1 story (4 BR, 3 Bath) home in the Dallas TX area and I found that the attic is fairly large (See attachment of attic and living space below).

The one thing my 1 story home lacks is a game room.

Would it be worth finishing the attic for a game room or additional bedroom? Currently as you can see the attic has insulation, rafters, and is unfinished.

How much would it cost? I also would like new stairwell built through the living space into the attic as it is fairly open.
 
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Old 01-30-14, 07:13 AM
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A lot will depend on how the attic is constructed. Generally an attic isn't built to accept much load so there may be significant cost involved in beefing it up. It would be a good idea to consult an architect. He'd know what would be involved and have a rough idea on the cost.
 
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Old 01-30-14, 04:34 PM
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It's hard to tell what exactly is going on in there. You will need to insulate the rafter bays above this new room you want to put in. You also have a ton of bracing up there that needs to be dealt with. So an engineer is in the cards. Is Dallas in an area that gets frequent tornadoes?
 
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Old 01-30-14, 07:05 PM
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Thanks for the replies!

I measured the rafters and they are 2x6s. I assume they will need to be replaced with 2x12s.

This is a project that will probably happen after a few years. What is your best guess on the cost?
 
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Old 01-30-14, 07:43 PM
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Cost is highly dependent on where you live. And, determining it will first require a structural engineer's assessment. So, if I were you, when you're ready to get serious, I would shop for a home structural engineer. I wouldn't fool around with an architect first; I did on a job at my house and wasted money because they hired the structural engineer whose assessment made the cost prohibitive. Get the engineer's assessment first, then if you're still interested, hire an architect.
 
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Old 01-31-14, 02:20 AM
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Your project may be ended before it gets started. With deeper joists, flooring and new ceiling/deeper insulation going in, the pix of the attic show that the portions outside the center (under the ridge) will be usable only by very short people. Seriously, though, a quick call to your local building department people should verify their minimum requirements for ceiling height in livable spaces, as every part of the country has its own unique requirements. The IRC requires at least 7' over no less than 50% of the floor area where sloped ceilings are involved--with the necessary building modifications mentioned above, your attic doesn't appear close to meeting that requirement (unless the new room is made extremely narrow).
 
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Old 01-31-14, 05:33 PM
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Thank you for the replies. I agree with the suggestions and I am giving up on this project but may one day think about opening up the roof, adding a second floor all together or may be just buy a 2 story home, whichever is cheaper
 
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Old 03-25-14, 12:42 PM
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The good thing about finishing attics (and basements) is that floor and roof is already there! But like everyone has said There are potential structural issues - since the attic often isnt designed to have much placed on thee floor/cieling of the rooms below. A big question is the span of the floor joists/ceiling joists. An engineer is the way to go - as well as do a bit of research yourself - it is really the floor joists you are concerned about- what is their span from bearing wall to bearing wall? even if you have to sister some new beefier floor joists to accomodate the living space it may be worthwhile. As far as an estimate i got an estimate of $15,000 from the finish an attic calculator at remodelormove.com..i had to make a lot of guesses - if you try you probably can answer the questions better..the website also breaks out the cost by category - framing, flooring , appliances etc which helps me customize it even more
 
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