Frugal Homeowner: How to Get More Living Space Without Adding On


The answer to creating extra living space in your home can be to use a pre-existing space such as an attic. If you want an extra room but don’t have space to extend your house, then the attic space can be transformed into a fully livable space that can serve multiple purposes. Opting to transform your attic instead of extending your house can be far more cost effective with essentially the same result.

Before you decide to work with the unused space offered by your attic, there are a few things to consider prior to making the investment.

Building Code – 7s

Although building codes vary from place to place, the rule of 7 is usually applicable. It requires that at least half of the attic be 7 feet wide and 7 feet high. It should total at least 70 square feet for it to be considered for a room extension.


With a room so close to the outside and positioned at the top of the house, the attic will usually get warmer when it’s warm and colder when it’s cold than the rest of your house. Insulation is therefore important so that the room temperature isn’t decided by the outside temperature.


To comply with building standards, a permanent staircase that leads to the attic-space must be installed. This brings space into question. Is there adequate space in which to put the staircase? How much square footage are you losing to put in the staircase? Will a staircase hamper the flow of the hallways and rooms below?

Now that the basic requirements for a room in the roof have been considered, room ideas can be discussed. What do you want the room to be like? What purpose should it serve?

Kids’ Play Room

If your family is in need of a room just for the kids to play in, then the attic-space can be a perfect fit. With insulating walls and flooring, there is ample noise reduction so that the sounds of the kids playing don’t carry to rest of the house. Additionally, the angles of the room make for a more interesting and creative space.

Entertainment Room

The space created in the attic can be the ideal place to make an entertainment room. With the use of noise-canceling walls and flooring, the room can be kept isolated from the rest of the house, allowing those inside the room to have the TV or radio sound as loud as they want. Having an entertainment room can also keep more valuable possessions safe from exploring toddlers.


The roof area is usually out of the way of most traffic in the house, making it a quiet space to do work related activities. It can be a perfect space to do bills or finish up work from earlier that day. If you decide to make the space into an office area, then consider installing a dormer window which allows for more light to enter the room.

Additional Bedroom

Transforming the unused space in your attic into a livable bedroom space can be an inexpensive way to increase the number of bedrooms in your house. To be considered an official bedroom, an attic room needs to have a closet and a window. The angles of the roof can create very interesting room designs and make the room unique and cozy.

Julie Drew Miller is a writer and contributor to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *