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Converting attic to master suite

1393 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  GBrackins
We have what our realtor calls an "attic rambler," with a full staircase to a previously unfinished attic space. The last owners finished this space to include living room, bathroom, and a bedroom at each end. The bedrooms at each end have full windows. The rest of the space has skylights.

I'd like to convert half of this space into a master suite, with the living room space being the bedroom portion, and one of the current bedrooms becoming the grand master bath. So the only egress window would be in the bathroom. Can we do this?

If we left a large opening between rooms, and didn't have a door, would this satisfy the codes/laws? Just have the bedroom open to the big bathroom?
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where are you located?

codes are based upon what has been adopted in your local jurisdiction. There are numerous items that you must confirm, in most areas of the country that is, especially if you are obtaining a building permit.

Typically you must provide an Emergency Escape and Recuse Opening from every bedroom. Your attic floor joists need to be evaluated for the load you're applying. Insulation requirements need to be verified. Typically adding a bedroom will require that all smoke detectors in your home be hard-wired. Again all this depends on your local building codes.
I would recommend discussing with a plumber/builder the layout of your Master Bath to see how the pipes (waste & water) will be brought from below up into this space.

You could hire an architect or experienced residential designer to prepare drawings and specifications for your project. Having proper drawings allows professional builders and trades to provide you with accurate estimates. You could always contact your local building department to see if they can recommend some individuals/companies that you could interview to prepare your drawings. You can find out from them also whether drawings are required for the scope of work you propose. If they are not required then it would be a decision you'd have to make whether to spend the money for the drawings.

Installing a Master Bath can add more weight than a bedroom or living room depending on the fixtures you plan to install. It would be wise to evaluate your existing flooring for this area. It might be prudent to sister additional floor joists to the existing to strengthen the floor. Just food for thought ....

Be sure to verify that the windows in your bedroom meet the Emergency Escape and Rescue Opening requirements. You can obtain this information from your building department or designer.

Post back with any additional questions you may have.

Good luck!
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