The attic is the one great source of potential new living space in many homes. The first step is to decide how you want to use the space, and to see if it’s practical. Adding new bedrooms is a good use of a converted attic. Gaining extra sleeping quarters is the reason most people convert an attic.
Whatever your decision, consider consulting a builder or architect while developing your plans. A professional can tell you whether your budget is reasonable, and what permits, inspections and variances you will need.
A typical, small, uninsulated cover on an attic-access opening can lose more heat to your attic than the insulated ceiling over an entire large bedroom. Additional energy is lost to air leakage around the cover. Since heated indoor air naturally rises, the air leakage is greatest in the winter. This not only drives up your utility bills, but it creates chilly drafts inside your home. One of the most effective methods of reducing the energy loss is to install attic stair covers.