California Residential Building Codes for How to Make an Attic into a Bedroom in Mountain View, CA

When seeking more space in a home, many homeowners will look up and wonder if their attic can be converted into a bedroom or for additional space. When converting an attic there is a lot to consider such as if the conversion can be brought up to building codes and if the attic is suitable for the conversion. Future Vision Remodeling will share what considerations there are when converting an attic to an additional living space.

California Residential Building Codes

When converting an attic for additional living space the top consideration is if the remodel will be up to code. You need to know if the attic support structure is adequate, access, and if there is plumbing, electrical or HVAC work requiring rerouting. Building codes are for safety and to ensure the building’s durability. They are essential when it comes to any remodeling project. Local codes vary, so when considering remodeling an attic for additional living space it will take a little investigating to determine if the remodeling is possible. However, following is a list of general codes that can help determine if your home’s attic is adequate for the remodel.

Ceiling Code Requirements

General codes state that a living space can only be remodeled if the area is 7 feet by 6 inches high or over a minimum floor that has at least 70 square feet of space. If the square footage is too small than this standard for the remodeling is not up to code.

Floor Joist Code Requirements

Often an attic remodel adds weight to the joist which is the support structure of the entire home. The joist must be able to hold the additional weight. Often the joist may require replacement and fortification to ensure they are up to code.

Egress Window Code Requirements

Egress code requires that there are at least two exit points. An exit can include a door with a proper staircase and window with a suitable ladder to the ground level.

Support Beams & Attic Roof Systems

Another major consideration to whether or not the remodeling is possible is that the structural framing beneath the roof such as the rafters and trusses are able to support the remodel. For example rafters or the internal beams that extends from the peaks of the roof outward toward the eaves provides an open center and make the remodeling more possible. When trusses create more of a (W) shape it makes the remodel harder, for removing the support beams will cause the roof to collapse. Sometimes the support can be redesigned. You will need to consult a contractor to determine what is possible.

Plumbing, Electrical and HVAC System Codes

Often there is plumbing, electrical, and HVAC components running through the attic. Often electrical wiring will need to be added and redirected to provide power to the addition. Plumbing can sometimes pose a problem and can be in the way of the remodel. Plumbing often needs to be rerouted. However, one of the big obstacles is the HVAC system. HVAC systems are often installed in the attic as well as the duct work. Depending on the duct work and how it is designed in the attic is can make the attic addition difficult.

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When remodeling an attic there is a lot to consider that often takes the consultation of a contractor who knows local codes. If you need more living space and are looking to extend it to the attic, contact Future Vision Remodeling we can help determine if the attic is possible and what it would take. For remodeling and design, contact Future Vision Remodeling today.

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