My roof shape affects the way I design my attic

An attic is sometimes seen as a space without a purpose, because of their shape, exposed beams, narrow corners and awkward access. It might be because of a tight budget or the uncertainty of renovation that the attic is often being left alone, used as storage space or used to help regulate the temperature in the house. This space directly below your roof can become as magical as the stars it lays under.

If your roof allows it, having an attic in your home can give you an extra space to enjoy and it can even become the most appealing interior in your home. Create you attic into a number of practical rooms like a bedroom, home office, attic apartment or playroom and with some imagination these high spaces can go along the way.


How does my roof affect me having an attic?

Roof Height

Some roofs are not high enough for using the attic as an extra living space. In that case the attic will become a storage room. Others might be just right for kids to have as a play area and even teenagers would not mind the height limitation if they can use it as their “hanging out area” when the friends come over. If the height is good enough at a sitting level, then you can turn it into a home office. Higher roofs that allow a decent standing and walking space for adults can make great bedrooms.

You must keep in mind that a loss of 6 inches in height will be inevitable when the attic gets converted. A finished height of 6 feet is acceptable for kids’ rooms or an office, but it would not make a good adult bedroom. If this is the case and you insist on having a bedroom in the attic, then there is a possibility that the roof can get raised by adding a big dormer on the back and rows of slates on the front.

Roof Shape

If you have a hipped roof, meaning the roof has a slope at the side, creating a decent size room in the attics might be a bit more complicated. The biggest problem might be the stairs on the outside of the wall, leaving no height in the roof for new attic stairs. Stairs on the outside wall makes adding new stairs less complicated. If you are planning to use the attic as an office then a fold down wooden ladder might be fine. Building a new wall and door in one of your main bedrooms can form a corridor into which the new stairs would run. An adjustment to the roof profile can get made with a side dormer or a dutch hip which will give the needed roof height for a new attic stairs above the existing stairs.

Pitched roofs that are intersecting with valleys can also be more difficult to change unless cross walls are present inside that can support new timber beams. In order to support beams to form the new roof space, new walls or columns are possibly needed at the intersections.

Easier way to modify for extra space are roofs with gable end walls.

Taking care of the attic if it is not used

If your roof does not fit the profile to accommodate a decent sized room or you have no need for one then making sure your attic stays in good condition will save you from maintenance in the future. You should inspect your attic regularly to prevent problems like mildew, or pest. Loss of thermal energy gets prevented by making sure that the insulation is evenly spread. Check your ventilation vents for blockages which can cause humidity to stay inside your home causing mold or mildew.

Some roofs are less complicated to change into an attic than others. Either way, converting your attic into an extra living space by raising the roof can not only give you an attractive and interesting space, but it is most likely more profitable than building an extra room along the side of the house. Another plus is that you do not need to take away a part of your garden. Visit Arizona Roofing Systems for more details.


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