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This is the fourth post in our new series of home renovation articles. We’ll discuss the pros, cons, hows, and whys of popular reno projects. Today’s post will focus on attic remodels – a growing trend in home remodeling.
If you’ve been following our series about the basics of home renovation, then you’ve already read about basement remodels. If basement renovations are like finding a second home beneath your feet, then attic renos are like having an extra suite above your head.
What It’s Take to Complete an Attic Bedroom Remodel?
Your attic is a bit different than the rest of your home. In many post-1950s homes, it was never intended as a dwelling place. It was rather more utilitarian, a place for insulation and maybe some storage.
Attics can be divided into two groups: rough and finished. A finished attic already has the bone structure for being a habitable area – flooring, electrical, walls and plumbing (if needed) and at least some type of heating and cooling. A rough attic has timber and maybe some kind of rudimentary flooring.
What will you need to do to transform your attic space into a workable bedroom or master suite?
• Access, usually a stairway and a door inside the house
• Insulation, beyond the stuff that should already be there

• Building permits and inspections
• Depending on the current state of your attic: electrical wiring and outlets, walls, a window or two, heating and ventilation ductwork
• If you’re adding a bathroom, considerable plumbing work will need to be done.
How Much Will It Cost to Remodel My Attic?
There’s no easy answer to this question, because so much of it depends on the condition of your attic right now. If it’s reasonably liveable – electricity, floors, insulation, etc. – then you can estimate that the cost will be around $35 to $50. Unfinished attics or those in rough condition can see the price per square foot soar to $100 or even more.
For comparison purposes, check out this post on HGTV’s blog about a Toronto couple that spent about $125,000 on a deluxe attic suite reno, complete with a walkout, sky-view deck. Sure, Toronto prices aren’t Vancouver prices, but it’s a good way to see all that can go into this type of remodel.
Why Should I Consider an Attic Bedroom?
Space is finite, especially when we’re talking space in the Vancouver area. In Vancouver’s booming yet price-prohibitive market, many homeowners are looking to work with what they’ve got rather than going out and buying a whole new chunk of real estate.
The returns on an attic bedroom renovation are particularly good, with 70% (and often more) of the cost recouped. Why not use the space you already have and transform a wasted area into a cozy retreat or a comfortable guest bedroom?