The Attic Renovation: The Finished Product
Finishing the attic, with the exception of building the dormer and upgrading the heating system,, was probably within my abilities as a do-it-yourselfer. Certainly, I have done insulation, electrical and drywall in the past with good results. The project was slowed down mainly due to money and the longer it was delayed, the more frustrated I got. It was necessary to hire the first contractor to build the dormer. The insulation and drywall work he did for us was a bonus. The cost to me out of pocket was not too much more than what another company had quoted a year before for just roughing in the dormer. Having the work finished by the other contractors in 2009 was a no-brainer. It only took them a couple of days to finish all the trim, hang the doors, install the bamboo floor and repaint.
The bamboo floors were installed the same way as hardwood (nail-down, not floating). The only stipulation is that the bamboo must run perpindicular to the floor joists. I chose bamboo for two reasons: it was something a little different and it is environmentally friendly. It can also be refinished the same as hardwood. I do, however, question its durability, Our floor seems to dent and scratch easily, and the damage doesn’t blend in with the character of the bamboo as well as it does with traditional oak floors.. The trim is painted MDF moldings which allowed for simple miter cuts in the corners– any minor gaps could be filled with caulking. The closets are finished with wire shelving which I installed myself (the instructions are very clear and idiot-proof).
After living in the house for six years, we were finally able to live upstairs. My daughter had a sleeping area set up in the livingroom. Now she has her own bedroom (and it is huge!) We also have a nice guest room for when we have out-of-town guests staying with us. My father-in-law can go upstairs and watch NASCAR while everyone else watches non-NASCAR programming on the main television in the family room. Best of all, there is ample storage for toys, games and puzzles– things that were cluttering up the main floor for years because we had no place to put them.
Project Completed in 2009
- Problems with the attic
- Installing collar ties
- Adding the dormer
- Removing the chimney
- Wiring for the future
- Lighting and heating
- The finished product