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Is converting your attic into a bedroom a waste of money?

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Do you really need that other room?

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Converting the attic space into a spare room is an often-touted home upgrade that is supposed to add value to a home. If you’re planning on selling your home, then maybe it’s worth investing €15,000 in an upgrade if it will create a return on that investment. But if you’re not planning on selling, do you really need that extra room and the hassles that come with it?
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5 reasons not to convert your attic into a bedroom

  • You don’t need it. Converting the attic is a big expense and can be a lot of intrusive work, there are planning issues to deal with, floors may need to be reinforced, extra insulation may need to be installed. If the room will sit idle for most the year, is it really worth the time and money?
  • If there won’t be someone living in the room full time it will be left vacant until guests come over, in dryer parts of the world that may not be an issue, but in colder climates a room that doesn’t have someone living in it full time may start to suffer from mould and you will have to maintain that room even when it’s not being used. If you don’t have people staying over regularly is the cost and effort of maintaining that room worth it?

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  • Depending on the size of the attic it may be a very uncomfortable room to live in. It’s often only possible to stand upright in the middle of the room and the sloping ceiling can mean that basics like closets or tables don’t fit properly. It may require custom fitted furniture which increases expense.

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  • As pointed out in point 2, you will need to maintain this room to protect it from the elements including the cold, a room with a staircase going up to it will sap heat out of the rest of the house. Are you prepared for that extra cost?
  • It’s expensive, Prices can start as low as €12,000 and go up as much as your willing to spend. Attic conversions can seem simple on the face of it but because attics are unusually shaped rooms you will find that some simple tasks become a real headache.

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Convert that space into attic storage

For less than €2000 you can convert the attic into an easily accessible space by installing a folding ladder and some flooring, now you have a walk-in storage space that’s much more useful than an unused bedroom. You can further customise the space by adding in basic shelving and lighting to create a neat and tidy storage room that you will get use out of all year round.
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