Attic Conversion

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Posted by: from Waterloo
4/10/2013 at 1:41:28 PM

I am wondering what I should expect to budget for an attic conversion that is already partially complete (old home owners did it in 2009).

The space is 22'x15 - there are 5' knee walls, ceiling is 7' high (9' wide before slope begins). What has been completed: joist reinforcement for occupation, partially drywalled (about 50%), electrical, HVAC ducting.

To complete it I would need:

- a stairway - would run immediately above the stairwell that serves from 1st to 2 nd floor.

- flooring (subfloor already installed). It will either be laminate or carpet.

- windows -probably 3-5 windows on knee wall, as well as 2-5 skylights.

- building in closets/drawers/shelves in one side of knee wall to replace lost storage

- taping walls, paint

The house was completely renovated in 2009 with top of the line for everything. The attic room, while simple, would need to be finished in keeping w the quality in the rest of the house.

What am I looking at budget wise? ESP for the stairs and windows/skylight can anyone give me a broken out estimate for those elements?

Finally, any idea what a 3rd floor would do to my taxes? I live in Waterloo Ontario.


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Date/Time4/10/2013 at 9:54:57 PM

My first question would be did the previous homeowners get a building permit for the attic conversion? And if so where do you stand on the inspections. Because that may make a difference on the renovation as some things may need to be changed to meet code.

As for a budget I would say $18,000.00 to $25,000.00.

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Stephanie in Waterloo
Date/Time4/11/2013 at 7:01:01 AM

The previous owners made the changes to the attic space that the time of the reno they did on the full house. The rest of the reno was inspected and built to code. It is my understanding that they had originally intended to complete the attic changes for occupation, so had it renovated accordingly. I can only assume that they did have it inspected- but as a go forward I can contact the previous contractor to confirm that.

I am a bit surprised that you would estimate so high- could you give me more detail on what went into your thoughts that the budget would run between $18-25k?

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Date/Time4/13/2013 at 1:56:35 PM

Hi Stephanie,

I am glad to give you as accurate a quote as possible. Please keep in mind you were very explicit about the high end finish that exists in the rest of your home. I am basing prices and guesses on high end as well. From method of construction, down to the finish of all the materials.

I have assumed the staircase will be a stained oak. Or wrought iron. Both are high end depending on the finish you are looking for. Either will run about $5,000.00. A nice laminate will run you about $6.00 to $8.00 per square foot installed. You can get it for as little as $3.75 per square, but I would not.

Each window will cost you about $800.00 to $1,100.00 installed. Is the outside material brick? siding? it aluminum or vinyl?. This will effect the instillation cost.

Good quality skylights installed are about $900.00 to $1,100.00 each installed.

I am assuming there is minimal electrical finishing. And the insulation and vapour barrier is properly finished.

A high end unit built along one side would be $1,500.00 to $3,000.00 depending on the size and finish you are looking for. If you are looking for it to be made by a cabinet maker or kitchen manufacturing company it will run fro the $3,000.00 range and up. I am assuming it runs down the length of the room, 22'. If it is smaller, divide by the linear footage.

I would guess at a price at about $22,500.00 to $27,000.00. This is based on five window's and four skylights.

If you were my client, I would strongly suggest you only install a couple of skylights. The best quality units still have a fairly high heat transfer ratio. You are going to cool the room off a bit in the winter, but you will bake in the summer. Unless you get the units with built in blinds. Add another $900.00 per unit for those.

Good luck with your project.

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Stephanie in Waterloo
Date/Time4/13/2013 at 5:56:26 PM

James, that was *tremendously* helpful!

Thank you!

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