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kyliak 01-24-2013 08:33 PM

Attic in question
I have a 1910 victorian. It has a HUGE attic, the roof mist me at least 17foot in the center and is very tall almost all the way around. It has several very large windows and a few small ones. Id post a picture but its night and unfinshed.

I want to finsh it, bu finshing it I would have 2x the squarefootage in my house. The trouble is there is only a pull down staircase.

I want to have it looked at to see if a contractor can put a real staircase in it. Then id slowly finsh it.

I have no idea what it costs to put in a stairwell, or who to call. I heard somewhere that i need to make sure the attic can suport stair or finshing.

I have no clue if it would cost me 3,000 or 3,000,0000 to do this so i need some guidence here. I apricate tips and ideas.

joecaption 01-24-2013 08:39 PM

No one's going to be quoting any prices here.
And your right someone needs to first see if the joist will support a living space.
Any general contractor could do this for you.
It also gets pretty involved when it comes to make this an insulated living space.

kyliak 01-24-2013 08:46 PM

Really then I have called all the wrong contractors.

I have had people tell me they don;t know if the attic can suport an addition and thats about it.

what do you mean by pretty involved? I know I will need insalation and to run the heat eletric ect up there. anything else i'm not thinking of. I'm pretty good with a lot of things but this i'm a bit afraid of. Dont want to come crashing through the floor.

joecaption 01-24-2013 09:26 PM

Who have you been calling?
Any builder should be able to just look at how it was built and look at a span chart to see if it would work.

kyliak 01-24-2013 10:02 PM

HA I started dyi-ing because i couldn't stand contractors. I got sick of people I had a contrator show up drunk. Yes you read right so drunk he fell comming up my frount stairs and I had to call the police and report him when he left as he could bairly get himself into the car and wanted to drive home.

Thank you for the link. The instalation dosn't look too bad. It will be time and money but i think I could do it myself. Acording to the sheet i need to buy much more anyway for my attic. Although i will also say that I doubt highly there is any at all in my walls. I have has exterior outlets replaced and reached in the wall and found it empty. Id love to have it blown in but all esimits I have gotten ate in the 40k range. So i went with all new windows instead as it had many broken single pains which was more afordable.

Sorry i get distracted when talking about my house. So iI need to keep calling contractors then the last one i talked to said i needed an arkatect to tell me if it would suport a livingspace.

Or well i'm going to call more do you know of a good place website ect to find who is good? I have been googling and it hasn't gotten me far.

joecaption 01-24-2013 10:19 PM

You would need a strutual engineer to tell you if it was strong enough.
What's the width, unsupported span, and spacing of the joist?
Your also going to need some permits for this, electrical, framing insulation.
Some areas just use a remodeling permit.
How wide are the rafters? Most often they have to be built out to allow room for more insulation and baffles.
Do you have a ridge vent and soffit vents?

kyliak 01-24-2013 10:27 PM

I will have to get up there in the morning and make some pictures and measurments.

I will post my findings in the morning. I know i will need permits, this is the tough part i live in a village in a township in a county. Last time i did a sewerline i had to pull 3 permits and the village wanted 10k cash bond. (granted the street was opened) So i typically can not find contractors who work in my village oddly enough most just tell me they stear clear of my area.

joecaption 01-24-2013 10:51 PM

Very likly they do not want to work in your area because they do not have a real contractors licence and do not want to get cought.

Fix'n it 01-26-2013 08:31 AM

in my town. the contractor has to be registered with the town. to be able to legally do work here.

joecaption 01-26-2013 08:40 AM

That may be just a Business licence not a state contractors licence.
Just a guess based on how it works around here in VA.
I know what you mean though, out of about 100 local contractors I know I'd only suggest a very few of them to a customer and most likly would be to busy to do the job because they stay booked up.

Daniel Holzman 01-26-2013 11:11 AM

Conversion of attic space to living space has been repeatedly discussed on this forum over the past few years, you may want to do a thread search to see the issues. You probably should start by having a discussion with your building inspector regarding exactly what you will need to modify to make it habitable space, what permits you need, and what plans you need to prepare.

At a minimum, the building inspector is likely to discuss with you egress issues, ventilation, insulation, power and light, structural framing, heating and air conditioning, windows and doors. Some people elect to proceed with planning and construction without a permit; personally I believe this is a terrible idea, and the reasons for this have also been repeatedly discussed on this forum over the past few years. However, I recognize that the cost of conversion of attic space to livable space, done according to code and with permits, can be prohibitive for some people, hence they elect to perform partial work, or non-code compliant work., which as I have said I believe is a very bad idea.

You may want to purchase a book on fundamentals of construction, typically they are available at any big box store or lumberyard, and begin to get familiar with the complex issues associated with wiring, plumbing, HVAC, structural framing, egress, ventilation, insulation and windows, so you will better understand what your building inspector is likely to tell you, and why the rules are what they are.

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