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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Construction & Renovation > Attic Remodeling

Attic Remodeling Cost


How Much Does Attic Remodeling Cost?

 
average costAverage: $2,000-$5,000high costConversion averages: $10,000-$25,000 or more
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Remodeling an unfinished attic or attic conversion can provide much-needed storage or living space, but the project usually requires extensive changes, such as reinforcing the attic joists to bear weight, and adding insulation, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, stairs and other features as needed in a particular home.

Typical costs:

  • Creating 400 square feet of storage space in the attic atop an 1,800-square-foot home by adding flooring, lighting and insulation, as well as reinforcing the attic floor joists cost about $3,000, according to RealtyTimes.com[1] . On average, converting an attic into storage space runs $2,000-$5,000, depending on the existing state of the attic, the challenges faced and the amenities desired.
  • A basic pull-down staircase is around $100-$300 (aluminum costs more than wood), but a high-quality pull-down stair with an energy-efficient insulated cover can run $750-$1,000. Installing a pull-down staircase is similar to installing a pre-hung door and installation costs anywhere from $75-$300 or more depending on location and the complexity of the project.
  • A simple conversion of an attic into one large open living space, such as a playroom or workroom, still requires reinforcing the floor joists as well as adding insulation, ventilation, electrical wiring, plumbing, finished floors, finished ceilings, finished walls and meeting building codes for items such as an additional fire exit through a window or other opening. This can average $10,000-$25,000 or more, depending on the existing attic space, the challenges faced and the amenities desired.
  • Converting unfinished attic space into a 15x15-foot bedroom and a 5x7-foot bath with shower as well as a 15-foot dormer (for head room), four new windows, closet space, insulation, finished ceilings and walls, electrical wiring and lighting to code and adding a rail and baluster to an existing stairwell costs an average of $41,389-$60,135, according to Hanley Wood[2] .However, some estimates for extensive work converting attic space into an upscale living area are as high as $80,000-$90,000 or more.
Related articles: Home Addition, Basement Remodeling, Garage Conversion

What should be included:
  • Check with your local planning department, even if you're just adding flooring in the attic for additional storage space. Adding living space in an attic always requires a permit to be sure the remodeled room meets all code standards such as sufficient ventilation and a second fire exit (a window will do). For example, the city of Madison, Wisconsin[3] posts its attic conversion process online.
  • The US Department of Energy[4] provides attic insulation tips.
  • Better Homes & Gardens provides guidelines[5] for deciding if an attic is worth remodeling, as well as an illustration of how an attic became a master suite[6] .
Additional costs:
  • The paperback Attic Remodeling Workbook[7] by Don Fritschen is $9.95.
Shopping for attic remodeling:
  • DoItYourself.com lists eight factors[8] that might be included in an attic conversion, and ThisOldHouse.com provides tips[9] for hiring a contractor. Contractor referrals are available through the National Association of the Remodeling Industry[10] .
  • Get several estimates, making clear what is (and isn't) included in each quote. Request and check references; ask about the contractor's length and type of experience; and be sure they're properly bonded, insured and licensed in your state[11] . See if there are any complaints with the Better Business Bureau[12] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
making a attic
Amount: $24,000.00
Posted by: ChOCOLATE in manchestar, ND.Posted: January 8th, 2013 01:01PM
Type: childrens roomSize: medium
i have made a room but not very happy with it
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attic bedroom addition
Amount: $9,000.00
Posted by: mistermom in denver, CO.Posted: March 15th, 2012 11:03AM
Type: Size: 300 sqft
built a stair case to a part of the attic on a split level home. Framed and put up drywall to finish a 300sqft area. Did the framing myself hired someone to do the drywall, electrical and hardwood flooring. Lots of storage. Still trying to figure out how to decorate -where can i look for attic bedroom ideas? Got an estimate from www.remodelormove.com cost estimating for about $10,000 so i think i got a good deal. I think my house probably appreciated $20k due to finishing my attic so all in all a good investment - better than a CD.
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External Resources:
  1.  realtytimes.com/rtpages/20040628_atticconversion.htm
  2.  www.remodeling.hw.net/2009/costvsvalue/national.aspx
  3.  www.cityofmadison.com/developmentcenter/residential/attic.cfm
  4.  energy.gov/energysaver/articles/where-insulate-home
  5.  www.bhg.com/homekeeping/is-your-attic-worth-remodeling/
  6.  www.bhg.com/homekeeping/how-unused-attic-space-became-a-master-suite/
  7.  www.amazon.com/Attic-Remodeling-Workbook-Dan-Fritschen/dp/1933007206
  8.  www.doityourself.com/stry/attic-conversion
  9.  www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20539027,0000.html
  10.  www.nari.org/
  11.  www.contractors-license.org/
  12.  search.bbb.org/
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