Can You Really Do Your Own Simple Attic Conversion?
Updated: Mar 4
DIY home renovation is something thousands of people devote weekend after weekend to, and there certainly is something to be said for the satisfaction that comes from seeing a transformation that you effected yourself.
One project that many a weekend DIY warrior has decided to tackle themselves is a simple attic conversion. After all, how hard can it be? The guys on the TV shows made it look easy enough.
However, too many people do make certain common mistakes when renovating or improving their own home via a simple attic conversion that sabotage their efforts and either leave a big mess that someone else – i.e. a local attic conversion specialist - has to come in and clean up or a rather empty looking bank account.
A successful DIY Waterloo Region home project of any kind should ideally not only increase your enjoyment of your home, but its actual value as well, even if it's only a bit. Here then are some things to keep in mind if you were to decide to try and attempt a simple attic conversion by yourself or eventually decide to enlist the help of the pros.
Have a Plan
Every home DIY project, however big or small, including a simple attic conversion, needs to be planned out before you begin, even if that plan is just scribbled down in a notebook somewhere.
For example, if you plan to freshen up the look of your attic a bit, there's usually more to it than popping down to the home store and buying a big can of paint. Are you going to do something with the floors as well? Is there really enough light up there to see if you are planning to create an attic home office space? How long do you think it is going to take?
A little simple planning can really make all the difference, and can also quickly show you that maybe your planned DIY conversion is a little out of your depth after all.
Have a Budget
Often what starts out as a small project spirals out of control cost wise as people keep adding “just one more thing”. A budget should be a part of the plan. Allow a little extra, but try to stick to it as closely as you can.
Another example. The homeowner who intended to buy a fairly inexpensive new desk for that home office in the attic. But when they get to the store they fall in love with a fancy $1,000 model and buy that instead (because they saw some expert or another recommend it, it's superergodynamic, or something...)
Trouble is, now they only have enough cash left for just about decent flooring to surround it, not the nicely patterned carpet they'd planned on. The end result is nowhere near as nice as it could have been, and the whole simple attic conversion to amazing home office project falls a bit flat...
Don't be Too Cheap
Saving money where you can is one thing, but going too cheap can backfire on you in a big way. That carpet that is so much less than all the others you have looked at? Chances are it's cheap for a reason; the quality isn't there. Sure, you save some money now, but when it needs replacing in just a couple of years because it's worn out already, you'll wish you'd spent that bit extra in the first place.
The same goes for getting help when you require it. If your simple attic conversion is turning out to be a little more complicated than you had imagined, stop and call in the cavalry in the form of an experienced attic conversion specialist. It's not admitting defeat, it's simply being smart enough to know when your lack of knowledge could foul everything up and cost you big time.
Will an Attic Conversion Add Value To My Home?
Regularly cited among the top ten ways to add value to your home, an attic conversion could be an incredibly cost-effective of increasing the square footage and the resale value of your house.
So the simple fact is that an attic conversion can actually be one of the best ways to invest in home improvements if you also have an eye towards increasing your property value. And who wouldn't, even if they have no current plans to sell their home in the near future.
The key to making use of an attic conversion to increase the value of your home however is the quality of that conversion. Homebuyers are actually pickier than ever when shopping for a new home. It's the reason that, as an industry, home staging has exploded across Canada.
Home shoppers now expect to see near Instagram worthy interiors when touring homes for sale, so a less than perfect attic conversion just isn't going to get you the kinds of financial gains that you might have been hoping for.
What Can You Do Up There?
As most attics actually run the entire length of the house, an attic conversion can end up giving you a whole new floor's worth of space. People choose to create bedrooms, full mother-in-law suites, game rooms, libraries, even playrooms for the kids. As long as the project is structurally sound and within your budget, the sky's the limit (pardon the pun) when it comes to attic conversions.
It is worth remembering though that your attic conversion will probably affect the lower levels of your home as well. If you intend to build a room or space that will be used on a regular basis, simply hanging an attic ladder is probably not going to cut it, and you will need to have some form of permanent staircase installed, which will steal floor space from the lower level.
A good attic conversion specialist will help you work through all of these kinds of issues. This is also another reason why a DIY project rarely ever really works out. You can indeed find lots of YouTube videos and books that will help a relatively accomplished DIY fan perform a very basic attic makeover, but there really aren't any to help you build stairs, as that really is a job best left only to those who know what they are doing!
The Beauty of an Attic Conversion
Whatever use you actually decide to put your new attic space to, it can often end up being one of the most aesthetically attractive spaces in your home. This will increase your enjoyment of it and should you ever change your mind and decide to sell up it will increase its perceived value as well.
The higher ceilings and interesting lines that most attics and attics have naturally lent themselves to creating a very interesting space visually, one that is perhaps more interesting than any built on extension could ever be, creating something really special and unique that will make your home an even better place to live.
Looking to sell your Waterloo Region home? Or buy a new one? Let Team Pinto use their huge local real estate experience and expertise to help you. Contact the award-winning Team Pinto here, or book a free Zoom consultation to discuss your unique Waterloo Region real estate needs here