Can I convert my attic to living/entertainment space?

Question Icon
Posted by: from Waterloo
2/22/2020 at 9:25:57 PM

The winter in Canada is long, and for most of the time I stay in my house. Last week, I happend to read a article about how to convert a attic to a living space. It make me thinking can I have my attic be converted? I want some extra space for entertainment.

So I climbed onto my attic and found it's in fact quite big space. The length is about 35 feet, width is about 25 feet and the height of the ridge is about 11 feet.

But the rafter structren is weird. I didn't see any collar ties close to the ridge. And also no rafter ties close to the ceiling of my top floor. But there are horizontal ties which is about 4.5 feet from the top floor ceiling.

I cannot insert image here. Please check the following link.

Can I add collar ties close to the top and rafter ties as the floor stud of the attic. And then remove the 4 feet high ties?

Can I convert my attic to living/entertainment space?
Can I convert my attic to living/entertainment space?
User Icon
Daniel from RENOVATIONONE in Winnipeg
Date/Time2/23/2020 at 1:20:49 AM

Hi Jian,

Looking at the photos you provided I would say it is likely possible to convert your attic into living space, however I would not suggest removal of the existing collar ties and relocating them. I am not in your area, and without doing a site visit to see the rest of the structure I am unable to provide more information for you.

my advice would be to bring in a structural engineer and have drawings done before attempting removal of any structural members.

In most areas this work will require plans and permits to complete anyways, and your home could be seriously compromised if the roof structure is not properly supported.

The purpose of those collar ties is to stop the weight of the roof, and additional snow load from pushing the walls out and allowing the roof to fall, their placement is crucial, and moving them 4 feet without an alternative equivalent support is not a good idea.

Hope this helps you make an informed decision.


User Icon
Date/Time2/23/2020 at 10:18:51 AM

I agree with renovationone. Since your attic is sticked framed with Rafters and collar ties and knee walls.

You need to call a structural engineer and get drawings done this way you will know exactly what is necessary to reframe this for living quarters as well you will have drawings for all framing contractors you contact to get an accurate quote to build your attic living space. You will need the engineers drawing for city permits anyways! I would recommend contacting I trusted Pro framing contractor in your local area since he might have structural engineer that can assist with this process. You might also want to put a dormer at one side of attic to increase living space and get Windows in your living space as well. I highly recommend this project it will increase the value of your house immensely and add a huge square footage to your living space.

User Icon
Date/Time2/23/2020 at 11:33:28 PM


You can convert your attic to a living space good clearance ceiling high is 11 feet but before you doing any work make sure flooring for attic a living space. must be good condition support living space area you can not remove all kind of high ties because of structure supporting roof and ceiling of existing home you must find right General contractor like me get you right permit and make right structure supporting for your project

Ali Guven

generalproca AT gmail com

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

Get quotes from top-rated contractors