How Much Does Finishing an Attic Cost?

Are you thinking of adding another room to your house to welcome a relative who is moving in or to store your mountain of books or piles of CDs? Then maybe it’s time to put your attic into proper use.

An unfinished attic, like your basement, gives you enough room for the imagination. You can turn it into a bedroom, media room, library, playroom, walk-in closet, or your retreat after a long day. As long as your attic can support the added weight, you can transform the space into anything you want.

Your dream room, though, comes with a price. So naturally, the next question will be: How much does it cost to finish an attic?

Average Cost of Finishing an Attic

Home Advisor puts the national average cost of finishing an attic to US$49,438. This cost is assuming that you have a completely unfinished space below your roof that you want to remodel into a functional room with a bathroom.

beautiful room reconstruction

Of course, prices may vary based on the type of room you want, the size of the space, the amount of work, and materials needed to complete the renovation.

  • Homeowners must adhere to the “rule of 7s”, which mandates that a finished attic should total at least 70 square feet and should have a minimum height and width of 7 feet. So, the remodeling price will start based on the said measurement and will go up the larger your space is.
  • The amount of work. This involves the installation of different components into your attic including insulation, ventilation, heating and cooling systems, walls and ceilings, electrical works, to name a few. The more you want to install, the more costly it gets.
  • The price of the materials for your attic project affects the total remodeling cost. The total expense includes everything from flooring to the tiniest hook you will have fastened on your room’s walls.

Cost of Turning Your Attic into a Bedroom

Google “finish attic price” and you will surely stumble upon articles that detail the costs of turning an attic into a bedroom. And the total cost to do that? About US$65,000.

However, turning one’s extra space into a bedroom is growing popular nowadays despite the high expenses it entails. That’s because the finished attic would retain about 61% of its value if ever you decide to sell your house. Think about it as a kind of investment.

To give you an idea, we will show you a sample breakdown of expenses for a US$65,000 attic renovation project according to Remodeling Calculator:

  • Roof Repair. Before repairing the roof, you’ll need to hire a professional to inspect it. The inspection will cost you US$250 to US$350. Repair, on the other hand, will cost you US$350 to US$600.
  • Proper ventilation will prevent heat from getting trapped inside your attic. Installing ventilation will cost you from US$350 to US$1,200. It may go up to US$3,000 if you need new materials to finish the installation.
  • Mold Removal. Mold remediation costs US$1,000 to US$3,000.
  • Fiberglass or cellulose will cost you about US$600 to US$1,800 for a 2,000 sqft. room.
  • HVAC system. The heating and cooling system including the heat pump, AC unit, and ductwork will cost you at least US$6,000.
  • Air Seal. Typical costs for air sealing the attic starts at US$350 and may reach up to US$1,500.
  • To comply with building codes, it is imperative to install egress windows. The cost for installation ranges from US$3,000 to US$18,000 depending on the size, roof steepness, quality of the windows, and finishes.
  • A straight run staircase costs US$550 to US$2,800 while spiral stairs are more expensive, costing up to US$6,000. Furthermore, you need another US$580 to US$1,300 for the installation.
  • Electric Works. Licensed electricians will charge you about US$65 to US$85 per hour for installation of electric wiring, outlets, and lighting.
  • Interiors Walls and Ceilings. Expect to spend about US$900 to US$2,800 for finishing these part of the attic.
  • You would pay your installer an hourly fee of US$3 to US$7. Installing a carpet will cost you US$1,300 to US$2,600 while a laminate tile costs US$2,400 to US$3,500.
  • You could choose not to install this one if you want to save costs, but if you badly need it, then expect to spend around US$3,000 to US$6,000 for a basic bathroom.

Cutting Down on Expenses

lady standing at the doorsteps

You might already know the answer to the question “how much does it cost to finish an attic?” Also, you probably have an idea of what the phrase “finish attic price” entails. But apart from knowing the costs, what else should you consider when it comes to renovating or remodeling your extra space?

One is cutting down on expenses. Saving money for remodeling an attic is not far-fetched if you could follow a system. First, keep in mind that the cost of a remodeling project should not exceed 15% of your house’s value. With that said, your budget should fall within that percentage. Any more than that and you’ll be overspending.

As for writing the budget plan itself, it will help you to create a list of needed materials and their costs. Then create a separate list for the ones that you want to include but you don’t necessarily need. This way, you may end up realizing that giving in to extra desires will cost you a considerable amount of money.

When you already have a budget plan, stick to it. Yes, it’s a bit hard to do once you saw other improvement options that are costlier. However, sticking to the plan will save you unnecessary expenses.

You can also save by doing the work yourself. DIYs are applicable for minor projects like installing insulation and carpeting. For other things, though, like plumbing, it is safer to hire a professional than cause damage to your house.

Final Tips

Aside from knowing the costs and how to save, you should never forget about getting a permit before doing anything to your attic. Permits are mostly required for plumbing, electrical installations, and large-scale renovations. Check with your local government or your contractor what documents you need to secure first before starting your remodeling project.

Transforming your attic into a livable space means a lot of work so make sure you are financially and mentally ready before you proceed. If all things go as planned, your once extra, useless space will transform into an asset.

With that, we wish you good luck on your remodeling project!

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