Transforming Unfinished Attic into a Master Suite

Transforming Unfinished Attic into a Master SuiteMost of the times attics are fairly large and because of that, people are going to generally use them as storage space. However, if you want to add more living space to your home by remodeling your attic, you could very well turn it into a bathroom or even a bedroom.

Prior to beginning work on the project though, you’ll need to consider a few things.

Carefully Evaluate Available Attic Space Area

Empty unused attic can be transformed into master suiteWhile based on where you live building codes are going to vary quite a bit, it’s very important that minimum 50% of your finished attic is at least seven feet and six inches in height.

On top of that, the area should also be a minimum of seven feet in width and have a total surface of at least seventy square feet. It’s very important that you consider hiring a local builder who is going to come and assess your attic and tell you what type of modifications you can make to ensure it’s brought up to code.

Verify Local Building Code Requirements

A lot of people have attics that are accessed by using a hatch and if that’s the case with yours as well, then you should consider making space for a staircase, but you should also build an emergency egress as well.

On the other hand, you should keep in mind that if you want to turn your attic into a bedroom, it needs to have a door that leads to an external staircase or its own egress window. In the majority of areas, remodeling an attic is not that simple and you’ll need to obtain a construction permit from your local building department.

This means the attic needs to be properly inspected in order to ensure it meets all fire safety and building code requirements.

Attic Bathroom Installation Plumbing Advice

If you want to add a bathroom next to the bedroom in the attic, it’s absolutely mandatory that the floors joists are capable of handling the load of the plumbing fixtures. To make sure the piping is properly installed, you’ll need to consider hiring a plumber which might be also required in your jurisdiction.

On top of that, he’s also going to make any necessary changes in order to prevent issues from happening in the future. Keep in mind that positioning the bathroom close to the property’s existing plumbing stack could significantly lower your plumbing expenses.

Built-Ins for Storage

As an alternative to choosing to install separate shelving units or bulky dressers, it’s recommended that your storage is recessed into the knee walls. Closets, but also built in shelves and drawers around the attic’s perimeter are a good idea to consider, since they allow you to use the area in the center for other purposes.

Design Suggestions

Finished attic areaSince this is a project that basically means you’re working with a small amount of space, you should consider decorating it with the purpose of keeping it simple and light.

Check this link for examples of attic remodeling – http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/rooms-and-spaces/storage-space/16-amazing-attic-remodels-pictures

Now when it comes to arranging large fixtures and furniture such as bathtubs, desks and beds, you need to arrange them at the exterior edges. On top of that, it’s also going to make the room look larger.

If you want to allow natural light inside the room, you should install mirrors on the walls and consider making use of sheer fabrics on your windows as well. However, if you only have a single window, then you should add a skylight or add another window.


Bathroom Shower Window Challenges

Bathroom Shower Window ChallengesEven though there are many benefits to having natural light in your bathroom, it seems that there are still a lot of builders who don’t really get this too well and go on to build crystal clear windows in the middle of you shower stall.

If you live in the countryside, then this is not a problem, but if you live in a Chicago neighborhood where people can easily see you if the window is open, then you may want to think twice about the types of window installation you plan on doing for your home.

Luckily, if privacy is what you’re looking for, there are many methods you can consider in order to obscure or block the view through a shower window and below we’re going to take a closer look at some of them.

For more creative ideas click this link – http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/window-treatments/12-ways-to-add-privacy-in-your-bathroom-pictures

Shutters and Shades

bathroom window blindsIf you want to deal with one or more shower windows, then the best way to go about that is to cover them with a shutter or a shade. Regardless if you want to use a woven shade, sheer curtains or roman shades, the effect is going to be the same.

However, when it comes to choosing the right shade, you need to make sure it can be easily taken down and washed when required and that you can also use other cleaning products in order to maintain it.

While most people will go with plastic shutters, if you love a more organic look, then you can choose to get wooden shutters. However, to avoid warping, you need to treat them with a waterproof lacquer.

Bathroom Window Clings

If you don’t want to block the light your shower window provides you, then you can consider using window clings. Finding them is certainly not a problem and they can be ordered either from the internet or you can also find them in almost any retail store across the country.

If you want to only distort the appearance of things behind the window, then you can go ahead and purchase frosted clings. On the other hand, if you’d like to opt for something that’s a tad more elegant, then you need to go for a cling that resembles stained glass or one that depicts an image you like (such as a beautiful landscape for instance). However, if you do open the window for any reasons, you’ll lose your privacy.

Paint Window Pane or Frost It

Paint or Frost your bathroom windowFrosting is considered a more permanent option to achieving greater privacy and there are many paints and glazes you can use for your windows. For instance, you can even make your own glaze by mixing stale beer with Epsom salts until the beer has become saturated to the point it won’t be able to dissolve any more salt. Use a sponge to apply the mixture on your windows and scrub it off later.

Remove your bathroom windowWell… Go Ahead and Remove your Window

Last but not least, if you want 100% privacy, then you should go ahead and remove the window.

This is generally something that should be left to the professionals, since you need to match the interior and exterior finishes of the walls. It is also going to be in most cases the most expensive approach to your bathroom window.

It could run in thousands if the exterior wall has masonry finishes, it could also look ugly if matching the existing finish is not possible.

Other than that, this is the best way to make sure you benefit from full privacy when using your bathroom.


What’s Hot in Bathroom Designs for 2015

We are already several months into the 2015 and in the paragraphs below we’re going to take a closer look at some of the trending bathroom designs you may consider for your project.

Absent Bathtubs

bathtubsThere are quite a few reasons to why bathtubs are not trendy anymore, including:

  1. A lot of people attribute the loss of popularity when it comes to bathtubs because they cost quite a bit of money. This means that if you want to remodel or build a new bathroom with a bathtub, it’s going to cost you a lot of money. On top of that, if the bathtub is only going to be rarely used, then that money is considered a bad investment.
  2. According to what others are saying, it seems that the hectic life many of us are living make the use of a bathroom too time consuming and therefore not absolutely necessary.
  3. Lastly, some people think that showers are a lot greener than tubs and that’s because you don’t need to waste as much water when taking a shower compared to bathing.

Regardless of the reasons though, a lot of architects are reporting that more and more people prefer bathrooms with no bathtubs compared to the previous years.

glassshowersExpansive Walk-In Showers

You’ll probably laugh if we were to tell you that showering is a hot trend these days and it’s something that (hopefully) everyone mutually agrees with. Just like most other people, you either shower a few times a week or everyday and you assume that this is very normal. Correct?

Well, while that may be true, doesn’t it make you think?

So if you’re just showering, then this means that you aren’t taking baths and if you don’t take baths, then you may find no use for a bathtub, right?

And if you don’t need one, then this is certainly going to help you free up a lot of space in your bathroom which can be used for something else, such as a very large shower. Well, at least that’s what a lot of people are thinking in 2015.

In our modern times, it seems that a lot of people are focused on achieving a larger open feeling in their bathroom, especially when it comes to the shower area. The answer that came quickly and helps millions of people feel a lot more satisfied with the experience of taking a shower are no threshold, curbless or door-less showers.

Heated Floors

heatedfloorsIf the climate in your area is harsh for the majority of the year, then walking on cold tile is probably not a good idea. In this case, you could consider installing an underfloor heating system to stay warm.

Vanities With Sinks

doublesinksThis year, his and hers double sink vanities seem to be very popular in the master bedroom. If the bathroom is to be shared by siblings, it seems that 2-sink bathrooms are also a great choice.

Interesting Metallic Fixtures

What’s great about bathroom fixtures is that they are available in a wider range of colors and finishes, such as oil rubbed bronze, brushed nickel and chrome. There are of course many other varieties you can consider, including bronze like metals, brassy metals and warm colored coppery.

Hand Showers

handshowersIf you want to be able to direct the flow of water when taking a shower, hand showers are certainly a great choice.

Water-Saving Toilets

Cost saving and energy efficient solutions like dual flow toilers or low flow toilets are currently sought after by a lot of people.

Free-Standing Bathtubs

freestandingtubsIt seems that not everyone wants to get rid of their bathtubs this year. There are still a lot of people who love them, but they do indeed opt for the smaller choices such as serene soaking tubs and spa-jet tubs.

High-Tech Faucets

hightechfaucetsThe faucets most people use at home seem to have become a lot more efficient and user friendly. While in the hospitality industry sensor activated faucets were used for a very long time, it seems that these days many people are buying them for home use as well.

LED Lighting

ledlightingLED lighting is very popular in many areas of the house, including the cabinets, bathroom, kitchen and so on.

For inspiration and pictures of interesting bathroom design concepts visit http://www.hgtv.com/design/rooms/bathrooms/2015-nkba-peoples-pick-best-bathroom-pictures


Get your Feet Warm on a Bathroom Floor

coldfeeton electricheaterHave you ever experienced floor heating system?

Many people who did fall in love with it. Floor heating is actually one of the most efficient heating systems you can get for your house.

Distribution of heat is one thing and there are of course a few variables on the other end of the floor – what’s producing that heat.

There are currently two main types of underfloor heating systems you can consider:

  1. Hydronic floor heating
  2. Electric floor heating

Well, as you may already know, both of them have pros and cons and in order for you to take a decision, you’d need to learn more about each of them.

  1. For those who remodel

electricfloorheatingIf you’re doing a remodeling project, then it’s a much better idea to consider going for an electric radiant floor heating system and that’s because installing one is easier. All you have to do in order to install it is remove the flooring from the room and that’s about it. What happens next is that rolls of electrical heating cables or sheets are going to be installed on top of the subfloor and the floor is then going to be installed on top of them.

If you wish to opt for a hydronic system instead, then you’ll need to be ready for some extensive reconstruction which requires valves, pumps, a boiler and many other plumbing additions.

For a small bathroom, a hydronic system costs between four to eight hundred dollars and they generally have high start-up costs due to the boiler. If you already have a boiler though, this can be a viable heating solution and the cost is generally lower compared to installing an electric heating system.

  1. For new home builders



There are also people who are just beginning to build their own home from the ground up and if that’s the case for you, then installing a hydronic heating system is very much recommended.

Over time, these systems are going to save you a lot of money since they deliver heat at a much lower total cost per square foot. On the other hand, they do take a bit longer to heat up, so make sure you don’t leave it on all the time just because of that.

  1. For lazy ones

After installing the flooring in your house, it’s recommended that you opt for a maintenance free heating system to prevent having to break into the flooring later on. In this case, an electrical floor heating system is the best choice. Even if it may break over time, identifying the point where the cable broke can be done using a thermal camera.

With hydronic piping on the other hand, there’s a much higher chance of failure due to all the mechanical parts involved. So if you have a problem with it, finding the leak and repairing it is going to be a lot more troublesome. Having to remove the entire floor to fix one small issue is certainly not fun.

  1. For green home owners

When they’re turned on for the first time, hydronic heating systems take up to 7h to heat up, while electric heating systems require about 1h. For this very reason, a lot of people will leave their hydronic system turned on continually which wastes a lot of energy over time.

If you want to save good money and avoid having to remove all your flooring if the heating system does indeed experience an issue, then an electrical heating system is a much better choice. On average, with one such system, you can expect to pay about twenty five cents a day for heating a thirty eight square foot bathroom.

This is just one example of an electric floor heating installation, take look:

  1. For tall people

When choosing a floor heating system, most remodelers will be interested in the elevation of your floor. Since they’re very thin, electric floor heating systems are going to raise the floor by about 1″ for tiled floors, about 1/4″ for floating (depending on the floor mat thickness). A hydronic system though can add up to a few inches in floor height. Therefore, if you want to preserve your existing wall trim or tile, but also accessibility, an electrical floor heating system is the recommended choice.

At the end of the day, no matter in which type of floor heating system you’ll plan on investing, you should know that both of these are going to offer you great air quality and consistent warmth under almost any flooring surface.