If your family seems to have outgrown your home, then you may be thinking of adding living space in the attic. You can use the area for many purposes, including an extra bedroom, home office, or man cave. Before you get too far into the process, however, learn the essential requirements, according to the Florida Building Code.
Many people do not have excellent attic access. They may have to position a ladder under an access door, or they may have a rope ladder that they climb to access it. The law says that if you are going to convert your attic into living space, then you must have regular stairs to the attic. The stairs must be at least 36-inches wide and be at least 6 foot 8 inches tall the entire way. The place where you place your foot, the tread, must be at least 10 inches deep. Each riser must be at least 7.25 inches.
While you may envision a tiny area that is just big enough for you, the law says that an attic room must be 70 square feet. Additionally, each direction must be a minimum of 7 feet. The reason lawmakers wrote the code this way is to prevent homeowners from constructing small areas that may become death traps if your home catches on fire.
At least 50 percent of the ceiling above the 70 square feet must have a ceiling that is at least 7.5 feet tall. The code is written this way so that people can stand up in the attic.
If you are going to convert your attic into a living space, then you must have rafters and not trusses. While trusses are considered superior in attaching the roof, you must have rafters to use this space as a bedroom, office, or other living space.
When many people go into their attic, they discover joists separated by insulation. To convert the attic to a living area, you will need to have boards laid between the joists. Then, workers will need to cover the boards with a layer of plywood before you can have carpeting, linoleum, or another type of flooring laid.
You also must have a secondary way to get out of the attic should an emergency arise. You may want a domer with a window installed, or you may want to create an opening in the side of your attic and have a window installed.
If you would like to talk to a professional about turning your attic into living space, contact CFL Renovations. This home remodeling contractor in Orlando can go over the requirements with you and help you think through your attic conversion. If an attic conversion is not possible, then this home remodeling contractor in Orlando may have other ideas about how to add living space to your home.