At Home in Berks August 2017 - 9
contractor will help you figure out the installation of plumbing,
HVAC or whatever other elements are necessary.
Regardless of what your plans are for your bonus room, you
need to make sure that it meets all safety standards and doesn't
create any risks for family members and guests.
You might think that your attic space would make a terrific
bedroom for your teenager, or the space above your garage is
perfect for a workout center, but you'll need to take steps to
assure that it's safe.
Drew Eck, a partner in Eck and Hoch Construction, LLC in
Temple, warned that most attics aren't made with same load capacity as other rooms, and may not be able to hold up to heavy
furniture and other items.
"Structure is a big consideration when you're thinking about
using your attic for a room," Eck said. "There's a lot to think
about before you start a project like that."
In older homes, you'll need to make sure that the stairs
leading to an upper space are in good shape. Consider what
sort of lighting is available, and make sure that the electrical
system is sound.
If there is any unprotected wiring, missing junction boxes,
overloaded circuits or other issues, you'll need to call in a professional electrician to address them. You'll also need to assure
that there are adequate smoke detectors.
If you plan to convert space into a guest room or bedroom,
you'll need to have egress. If there's no door or window to the
outside, the room can't be used for a sleeping room. If you
have a room without egress, ask your builder about adding a
door or window. If one can't be added, you could convert the
space to an office or sewing room, but you would not be able
to use it as a bedroom.
Another option for extra space is to create dual function.
You can use partitions or screens to divide a room, creating space for two different purposes. A seldom-used guest
bedroom also could contain a small home office or space for
And, while it may be nice to have a designated bedroom for
guests, if the room is hardly ever used, it may be better suited
for another use, advised David Strick, president of Trademasters, Inc. in Mohnton.
"It doesn't make sense to tie up space as a guest room if
somebody only stays over once in a blue moon," Strick said.
When considering a space conversion, think about your
needs and be realistic about the frequency of use of the space.
If you're looking for inspiration, there are
hundreds of ideas available on websites including hgtv.com, pinterest,
diynetwork.com, houzz.com and
others. Just make sure to do your
homework before beginning any sort
of remodeling project, and consult a
local contractor with any questions
Excellence in Everything
LIGHTING & CEILINGS
The amount of light your bonus room gets might affect your
use of the space. While a sunny, bright room would be great for
a sewing or crafting room, a dim space may be better suited for
a home theater.
at a Higher Standard
Ceiling height also can affect what a bonus room is used
for. All rooms must have ceilings that are a minimum of seven
and a half feet high, Kehres said, and stairs require 80 inches
of clearance for height. An attic crawl space, then, would
obviously not be suitable as living space.
A popular option for extra space is to convert the
space to an activity room for teens or tweens, as
it gives kids and their friends space to socialize
without encroaching on your space.
AUGUST 2017 AT HOME IN BERKs
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