Not sure about you, but I’m a big fan of horror movies. They are scary, spike your adrenaline rush, and make you think twice about going for a mid-night snack fearing all the unreal and irrational elements might come and get you. One of the creepiest moments in horror movies involves a space that isn’t usually used to its full potential in American homes. With squeaky wooden floors that might have a few planks missing, cobwebs, dust and light creeping in through the small windows, and gaps in the roof, you all know where I’m getting at. Attics can be pretty scary.
But why is that? Why are we allowing an area in our home that averages 1,600 square feet of space to be scary? It’s our house and logic together with safety measures implemented dictates that there is nothing scary in there, but it still looks scary. Thinking about the square footage that is unused and the value for one square foot in every state you can’t help but reach the same conclusion. Why do we waste that space and, furthermore, allow it to be a source of nightmares?
In this article, we’ll see why attics shouldn’t be scary, how we can best utilize that space and how it will add thousands of dollars to the value of our home. Any space, no matter where it is located, if designed and put to good use will increase your home’s resale value. If you don’t plan on reselling anytime soon, just think of the extra space you will win. 1,600 square feet is quite something.
Essentials about Attic Renovations
The first thing you need to understand about an attic renovation is that it is the cheapest option if you want to increase your home’s footprint. An addition won’t only be much more expensive (just think about foundation, walls, an extension to the existing roof, etc.) but it would also take up valuable square footage from your yard. Avoiding that if possible should be a goal because if you’re limiting your yard even further, where will you be able to grow your own vegetables?
In order to renovate your roof and transform your attic into usable space, the first thing you need to do is insulate the entire attic. From this alone, you will have a 100% investment recovery so why stop there? The National Association of Realtors (NAR) estimates that homeowners that do a complete makeover of their attic and put that space to good use can expect a 56% recovery on their resale price but that percentage doesn’t take into account an extra bathroom that can be added.
While we did mention above that an attic transformation is cheaper than an addition, it isn’t free. Once you contact a contractor, the details about what you precisely want to do with the space may increase or decrease the investment, but the average cost you can expect from a project like this is around $40,000. Depending on what you want to do with the space, price tags can vary but let’s discuss the most common options and we’ll see if we can add a price to each.
Discover your Dream Bedroom
Adding an extra bedroom to your home isn’t only going to increase your home’s value, but it can also work as … well … a bedroom. It’s easy to furnish a bedroom so you shouldn’t even worry about that. Think about the time when your daughter comes back from college with her special friend and you might not be comfortable with them sleeping in the same room. Cue the new bedroom and you’ll have the security and peace of mind you want. Now, moving away from your children’s love life, an approximation of the increase in resale value by adding a new bedroom is anywhere between $30,000 and $50,000. This value is for each bedroom. Think about adding two new guest bedrooms if the space allows it. Add an extra bathroom and you’re looking at a potential increase of $100,000.
Undisturbed Home Office
Not every home is equipped with home offices because, for a long time, they weren’t considered a necessity. But since 2020, people are struggling to find an area in their home where they can work peacefully due to lockdown orders or other restrictions imposed for public safety reasons. Employees are required to work from home, at least for short periods of time, if not until further notice.
We all know that working from home isn’t the best option, especially if you have toddlers running around and pulling on your hand, shirt, pant leg, or tie. Pets also tend to disturb the working environment by demanding attention from you or barking during your video calls with Management or clients. Given the circumstance, a designated working space in their home became a necessity for the American household. Cue in your personal home office in your attic. Currently, people are looking to buy homes with an extra room for a home office so your resale value can expect a significant return of investment, not to mention the benefits it will bring to your sanity.
Private Playroom or Reading Space
Firstly, let’s cover transforming your attic into a room designed to provide your children with play and learning space. E-learning also affected the household dynamic given the lack of space readily available for this. If you have all that attic space, why not use it to give your children the area necessary for study, online classes, and even an innovative recreational center. You’ll be able to focus on your own work without disruptions and your children to study peacefully with no distractions like a TV.
Mess-making is another factor to take into account, depending on your children’s needs and ages. Providing your children with a room where they can create that delightful chaos that sets your nerves on edge, away from the family designated areas, will keep your nerves in check. At least until you check what they got up to in their new room.
Of course, we left the best for last. The best, ideal, literally perfect option for your attic space is a suite. Or why not the main suite? Having a whole new floor space at your disposal, depending on how much you love and prioritize your children’s needs (but hey, it’s your home so, your rules and desires come first), all that square footage gives you the necessary space to create your own suite. Given that it’s on a floor by itself, you’ll have more privacy than you’ve experienced since you decided to have children. In this new suite, you and your significant other will have the space, privacy, and liberty to do whatever you want. Get up to no good and, for added safety, add a sensor to notify you if anyone is coming up the stairs through the main applications available from LoRaWAN. As this includes a bathroom at least, if not a kitchenette as well, the cost can reach around $90,000. But, as with the bedroom, you can expect a 100% return of investment in resale value, or if you decide to rent it out.
That’s not all that can be done in a space that can provide you with so much square footage. Because of that and because we want you to have all the potential possibilities on hand, take a look at the following list and take your pick if the ones above don’t fit with your needs.
We all need more storage space and if you’re not studying the KonMari method of decluttering your life, you might include yourself here. All that attic space is a great fit for a gigantic walk-in closet. You won’t have a problem with the low ceilings as nooks are a great fit for clothing racks, shoes, shelves, or other organization methods. It can be used for your whole wardrobe or only for the seasonal stuff.
Not all storage is clothing and we all know that. So why not use the space to store all the things you don’t use frequently that you have scattered around the house. Just insulate it and ensure that the flooring can sustain a heavyweight and you have your storage space ready for use. Now all you need to do is shove those boxes in there, maybe in an organized fashion, and you can even have shelves installed for a more organized look.
Want to have brilliant movie nights with your friends and family without being bothered by people doing other stuff affecting the viewing experience? Organize the best home theater in your attic. All you need to do regarding furniture is add lots of pillows, beanbags, blankets, and couches, and chairs as well if they fit. A good soundproofing tip would be to use wood in your interior design as it won’t only limit sound leakage but will also add to the room’s cozy factor. Oh … don’t forget the screen and a stocked snacks and drinks bar.
Any inch in your home has a purpose. Whether it’s the space beneath the stairs where you installed closet space or the space beneath your bed where you also store suitcases, you need the space. But still, the attic is most often forgotten by Americans and it shouldn’t be. Through this article, we tried to showcase the many applications for that scary and unused area so that you start your planning process with a few basic ideas. Take these ideas and mold them into something that fits best with your lifestyle and your family life.
Don’t forget to let us know in the comments below if you plan on doing anything with your attic space. We’re curious to know what applications you can come up with and what is the most common choice for Americans like you. Like & Share this article with friends and family because everyone should use their home’s available space to its full potential.