Whether you want to provide a unique guestroom for your visitors or there’s a brand-new addition to the family and you now need more space, you can always count on the attic. But how do you convert this into a livable room in Perth?
1. Ensure the Space Is Room-ready
According to the Building Code of Australia, the roofing space needs to meet certain requirements before homeowners can convert them into rooms.
• About 60 percent or more of the attic should have a minimum height of 2.4 meters.
• Attic spaces ideal for room conversions are those with low pitches or without trusses. Otherwise, you may need to work with property maintenance and renovation experts. While trusses can help support the entire roof, they can introduce problems if they get cut or become damaged. It means that the structural integrity of the house is in peril. Only professionals like structural engineers and those with adequate experience in attic conversions can work around that.
• Users must have easy access to natural light and ventilation.
2. Process the Building Permits
Whether you need to process a building permit or submit an approval plan depends on the city or town. However, per the general guidelines of Western Australia, you are likely to need a permit if the changes, such as alterations or renovations, can affect the soundness of the structure or can impact the health of the occupants.
If you’re in Perth East, you may need a permit when you’re finishing an attic, adding and removing walls, altering existing windows, or changing the chimney’s structure. A permit is also necessary for complex works that can range from plumbing to ductwork.
This stage of the attic conversions can be long. In some councils, it may take as long as six weeks before they can approve the plan. Processing the permit might be two weeks more. This is on top of other legal documents to submit and fees to settle.
Thus, when looking for people to renovate or alter the attic space, you may want to pick a team who can also process these papers on your behalf or help you accomplish these requirements.
3. Install the Right Flooring
Let’s face it, nothing feels more luxurious or superior than using wood floors in the house, including the attic. But hardwood floors may not be ideal for all types of attics because of joists. Joists are horizontal beams that usually run across the entire ceiling space to support everything that’s above and beneath is, such as drywall.
If the joists are small or thin, they cannot support hardwood floors, more so any furniture that homeowners plan to add there. But even larger ones may still need some inspection to ensure they are durable and safe to use.
But what if the joist system is reliable? You can consider using resilient flooring instead. The term “resilient” is just a description of flooring materials that are stiff or firm but flexible enough to be comfortable on the feet. They are usually a combination of natural and synthetic substances.
The market has a lot of resilient floors, such as rubber or cork. But two of the most popular—and ideal—for attics are vinyl and laminate. Laminates, in particular, already have several designs that can mimic or look like real hardwoods.
Overall, these resilient floors are beautiful and easy to maintain because they are convenient to clean. They are also less problematic to install. Many already use the locking system that someone with basic handyman background can install it. Most of all, these floors can act as a sound barrier, limiting the noise and creaking.
4. Pay Attention to Ventilation
One of the complicated aspects of the attic is ventilation. If you have poor air circulation, heat can actually accumulate here.
An HVAC professional can help you design the attic space so that it will have sufficient ventilation. But just to give you an idea, Family Handyman recommends that you place the ventilator in the roof’s peak. Else, you can add soffit vents on the eaves.
The ideal number of vents also depends on the size of the attic. This may vary according to the building code regulations of the town or city. However, the standard is to have 1 square foot of vent opening for every 150 square feet of the space.
Converting attics to rooms can take some time, and it may cost a lot depending on the condition of the space and the complexity of the task. However, in the end, you are rewarded with another room that may also boost the market value of your property.