If you just moved into a new home, you should consider what areas could use a remodel. Here are attic renovation mistakes to avoid for new homeowners.

Are you feeling a little confined these days?

No room to breathe?

Even if you are in a new home, sometimes your “stuff” can get in the way of actually living. An attic upgrade converts otherwise wasted space into a practical storage or living space.

But not all spaces above the ceiling are suitable. How do you avoid costly attic renovation mistakes and still come up with a stylish, useful, and functional spot for extra items?

Importantly, how do you create an attic renovation budget?

Read on to learn some important questions to ask before you begin.

What’s Already in the Attic?

Creating additional attic storage or living space isn’t just about tossing up some flooring and drywall and calling it a day. Many homes have heating and cooling units, electrical, plumbing, and insulation to consider.

Moving ductwork and plumbing can be costly. Older insulation may require professional removal. Also, inadequate joist support may find someone stepping through the ceiling of the room below!

Map out existing features before you plan on changing anything. Consult a professional about airflow and ventilation. Many homes depend on attic airflow to control moisture in the home.

Can You Get a Permit?

A building and safety permit is required in most jurisdictions. Even if you plan on doing all work by yourself, consider the need for a permit and inspections. Nothing is worse than putting your sweat into a project, only to tear it right back out.

Attic renovation mistakes like moving HVAC (heating and cooling) units or creating new living spaces without a permit can cost you. Watch out for access issues. Turning an attic space into a living area may mean an additional fire exit or a permanent stairway.

Don’t forget an electrical plan and a plan for adequate day and night lighting.

Attic Renovation Mistakes You Can Avoid

Is this a storage space for out of season toys and extra blankets? You may not need an expensive renovation. A simple plywood floor and ladder access are all you need.

Instead of freestanding stacks of boxes or cupboards, consider loft shelves. You can use every nook and cranny. No expensive finishing and no accidental holes in your ceilings.

You can even combine storage in your unfinished space with a new climate-controlled area for living. Changes like loft shelves and plywood flooring are inexpensive and easy.

What Do You Want to Do?

After you map out your attic “bones” and explore the permit situation, set up your scope of work. For best results, make a budget and stick to it.

Contact several contractors for bids (or suppliers if you plan on DIY.) Don’t forget permits and safety. Many changes to attic space have effects on your whole house.

Dodging attic renovation mistakes like overbuilding or skipping the permits can save you time and money. At the same time, a sensible attic upgrade adds value to your home and gives you the space you need.

Want to learn more about upgrading your living spaces? Keep reading!