How Long Does a Conversion Take?

Many homeowners opt to convert their attic into usable living space. However, some may be unsure about how long the process typically takes. It’s a common query among our customers and those considering such a renovation in Ireland.

Here is an insight into how long an attic conversion takes to complete.

Factors Influencing the Duration of an Attic Space Conversion

You need to understand the factors that can influence the duration of your attic room conversion project before diving into the typical timeline.

  1. Size and complexity – Larger attics or those with intricate designs and features will naturally take longer to convert than smaller, simpler spaces.
  1. Accessibility – The duration can extend if your attic has limited access or requires significant structural modifications to create suitable entrances and pathways. This may require an engineer
  1. Structural modifications – You may need to reinforce or modify the existing structure to support the new living space depending on your attic’s current condition which can add time to the project.
  1. Hiring experienced contractors vs. DIY – Attempting an conversion as a DIY project can significantly prolong the process, whereas hiring experienced professionals can help streamline the work.
  1. Permit acquisition timeline – Obtaining the necessary permits from your local authorities can take several weeks which should be factored into your overall timeline.
  1. Availability of materials and labor – Delays in sourcing materials or scheduling contractors can impact the project’s progress.

Average Timeline for a Typical Attic Space Conversion

Every attic room conversion project is unique but there is a general sequence of steps that most conversions follow. This sequence can help provide a rough estimate of the timeline for a typical attic Space conversion project.

  1. Pre-conversion planning and preparation (2-4 weeks): You will work with your local permitting office to obtain any necessary permits and approvals required for the conversion project during this stage. You’ll also hire an architect or designer to create detailed plans and drawings for how the new space will look and lay out. 

This includes determining room sizes, placement of doors/windows, and locations for any new plumbing. Once designs are finalized, you’ll bring on a general contractor to manage the construction. 

  1. Structural work and framing (2-4 weeks): The construction crew starts by assessing and reinforcing the existing attic structure as needed to ensure it can handle the new weight loads. This may involve installing beams, columns, or adjusting roof framing. 

They’ll then construct a permanent staircase or other access point to the attic space. Finally, they’ll frame out the new room(s) by constructing the vertical walls, floor joists, and ceiling framing per the architectural plans.

  1. Electrical and plumbing rough-in (1-2 weeks): Electricians run new wiring from the home’s electrical panel to the attic for lighting, outlets, and any equipment needing power with the framing completed. Plumbers also come in to route supply and drain lines for any new plumbing fixtures like sinks, showers, or toilets planned for bathrooms or wet bars.
  1. Insulation and drywall (1-2 weeks): Insulation batts are installed in the exterior walls and attic ceiling/knee walls to make the new space comfortable and energy-efficient. Once insulated, drywall is hung on the framed walls and ceilings, and drywall finishers apply joint compound and tape to create smooth wall surfaces.
  1. Flooring installation (1 week): Your chosen flooring material like wood, laminate, tile, or carpet is installed throughout the new attic rooms during this stage.
  1. Window and door installation (1 week): If your plans call for new windows or doors, those are typically installed next.
  1. Finishing touches (1-2 weeks): This final stage covers all the detailed work like painting the drywall, installing interior doors, baseboards, crown molding, closets, fixtures, and any other finishing touches to complete the newly converted living area.

You can expect a typical attic space conversion to take approximately 10 to 16 weeks from start to finish in total assuming no significant delays or complications arise during the process.

Of course, if you do a DIY conversion job it will take longer

Shorter vs. Longer Attic Space Conversions

Some projects may be completed more quickly or take longer depending on specific circumstances:

Factors that can lead to a quicker conversion:

  • Simple design with minimal structural modifications
  • Readily available materials and labor
  • Smaller attic space
  • Experienced contractors with efficient workflows

Scenarios where an conversion may take longer:

  • Extensive structural reinforcements required
  • Complex designs or custom features
  • Unforeseen issues or challenges during the process
  • Change orders or design modifications mid-project

Tips to Minimize Delays

  1. Start the permitting process well in advance and have a detailed plan in place before beginning construction.
  2. Work with professionals who have a proven track record of completing conversions on time and within budget.
  3. Finalize your design plans early on and avoid making significant changes during the project, as this can cause delays and additional costs Here is a guide to average costs..
  4. Have a buffer in your timeline and budget to help mitigate potential setbacks.

Of course there are all sorts of pros and cons with an attic conversion

Conclusion

Converting your attic into a new living space is a big project but it can really improve your home and how you use it. The timeline of 10-16 weeks may seem long but you can take one step at a time.

Be patient and flexible. Remember, an conversion is an investment in your home’s value and your family’s lifestyle. The extra square footage, new functionality, and potential increase in your home’s resale value make it a worthwhile project. 

If you need help with your attic space conversion, don’t hesitate to drop us a message. You can unlock your attic’s full potential and create a new space that truly feels like home with the right mindset, a skilled team, and a clear vision.

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