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brown324 02-27-2010 05:14 PM

attic remodel cost help!
hello all! I am purchasing my first home that is a 1 1/2 story with a walk up attic. I want to dive into remodeling the walk up attic into a master bed and bath right away. The space is 14' x 28' and has an 11' vaulted cieling. these measurments are from knee wall to knee wall 14', and end to end 28'. It also already has a wall studded in at one end for a bathroom, leaving a 14' x 20' bedroom and 14' x 8 ' bathroom space. First I want to stud in 2 additional walls in the bathroom to cut it down to about 10' x 8'. The bathroom space is above the lower floor bathroom and it already has plumbing for the drain up there ( 3" pvc vent from lower bath) so I would need to run water supply up from the lower bath, and the new upper bath would be simple with a toilet, 48" vanity, and fiberglass tub/shower combo. Now the bedroom would be a matter of carpeting the floor and insulating and drywalling the space (which would need done in the bath as well). The windows in the attic are already new, and so is the roof so no worries there, and electric is already up there as well just need to install the outlet boxes and wire them into the existing line. My plan is to do all the work myself, and I have a little bit of experience with drywall work and believe I can figure out the plumbing and electrical with a little help from family. The big question is I have about $6,000 available to do this, is it even possible on this budget?

Scuba_Dave 02-27-2010 05:55 PM

Where are you located ?

What size are the floor joists ?
Roof rafter sizes ?
Existing insulation anywhere ?

Daniel Holzman 02-27-2010 05:55 PM

You are proposing to convert attic space into living space, which raises a whole series of issues that can only be addressed by your local code enforcement official. For example, you have egress issues, windows, ventilation, fire stopping, electrical supply, insulation. Not to mention if you are on septic you have to meet the requirements for an expansion in the number of bedrooms. Before anyone can even begin to address likely cost, you need to discuss the project with your code official to determine what modifications to the structure and supply systems will be needed.

tpolk 02-27-2010 06:36 PM

thats why i said couldnt say. how can you possibly answere that question without eyes on. i wasnt trying to be flip guess thats why the delete

brown324 02-28-2010 08:36 AM


Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave (Post 406966)
Where are you located ?

What size are the floor joists ?
Roof rafter sizes ?
Existing insulation anywhere ?

ok I was not specific enough in my description. house is in upstate NY.
Dont know what size floor joists are because there is already a sub floor over the joists. don't know what size the roof rafters are because the space is already "finished off" with insulation and some old school partical/wafer board, so yes there is existing insulation everywhere except on the sides that have studded knee walls, leaves about 4' x 28' (x2) to be insulated. and to answer holzman, ventilation is already addressed, it has vented soffits, gable vents and a ridge cap, I would just be removing the existing partical board and drywalling. Also no worries on electrical supply as stated before it is already wired for electric (with dedicated circuits from breaker box), and egress/ firestopping......please enlighten me! windows, there are 2 brand new windows in what would be the bedroom space, and 2 new windows in the bathroom space, so no worries there either. And the house is in city limits, so no septic or water supply issues all city utilities.

Scuba_Dave 02-28-2010 09:44 AM

OK, my 2nd floor was basically a walk up attic, 2x6 floor joists, 2x10 rafters
A bathroom & bedroom were added at some point in the past
Insulation in my rafter bays was not enough, mix of R7, R19 & R25
It was worth it to pull the ceiling down & install R30C for cathedral part & R38 for flat ceiling
New walls on the back of the house now have R19

Existing walls (R4-R7) were upgraded to R15
With heating costs its better to make sure you have as much insulation as possible

Bedroom requires windows that are big enough 5.7 sq ft - one must be this size for emergency egress

Bathroom requires dedicated 20a circuit
Bedroom requires AFCI protected circuit

Check with your building Dept on local codes & what they will require
You could probably DIY for $6k depending upon materials you buy
But best to make sure the insulation & wiring is up to code 1st

brown324 02-28-2010 12:02 PM

yeah I believe the existing insulation in the attic is 3" thick older R-19 maybe? How thick is the R30c? this is something the home inspector and I talked about that if I was going to finish the space having heavier insulation would be a good idea, his thought was that they used 3" insulation to leave an air gap between the insulation and the roof decking for ventilation, and as it is there are no ice problems with the roof, I'm afraid if I fill that air gap with thicker insulation it may have a hard time breathing and start to have ice problems? any thoughts on this? I know the way to go is spray foam insulation but that will break the budget beyond what I can afford. And the windows are plenty big enough for the regress issue, what about fire barrier, what is this refering to and is it something I need to worry about?

Scuba_Dave 02-28-2010 12:13 PM

The 3" insulation is only R15 (not used a lot) at best, probably R13 & maybe older R11
My 3" old insulation was R7
R30C is made for a 2x10
Another idea is to possibly put 1-2" rigid foam over the rafters & then the drywall

I use rafter vents to maintain the air space
Then I use the Max insulation that can fit in the rafter space

Window egress is very important, they have to be big enough for a fire fighter in full gear to get in
You might be surpised at the size that is needed

Fire stopping has to occur where there are specific openings between floors
Usually a staircase is a weak spot if underneath the stairs does not have sheetrock
Here is a thread by one of the Pro's on thsi site about Fire blocking

brown324 02-28-2010 02:19 PM

so the rigid foam would go in between the rafters along with the fiberglass insulation?

Scuba_Dave 02-28-2010 02:32 PM

No, reg insulation would go in between the rafters
Then 4x8 rigid foam would go across the face of the rafters for more insulation

Gary in WA 02-28-2010 02:48 PM

What are the measurements of the biggest existing proposed bedroom window? Is it a slider or a single/double hung or casement?

Be safe, Gary

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