Creating office/closet from unfinished attic


By Larry Greene

IO Greene AFTER 2

Original attic: This Indianapolis home was built in 1994, and the owners have lived in the home for six years. As their family was expanding and their needs were changing, they began to think about the need for additional space. They needed a third bedroom and an office. According to the husband, “We have a three-bedroom house and I work from home. My wife is expecting our second child at the end of March, and we had to decide to either move or remodel.”


Remodeling versus moving: The homeowners weighed the pros and cons of moving versus remodeling. One noted, “We added up the costs of moving, including realtor fees, repairs, moving costs etc., which turned out to be a significant amount of money. We then used that as our starting budget for the attic remodel. We went a little bit over, but we were able to stay in our home. We like the location and the neighbors.”

Structural considerations: A structural engineer required beefing up the existing floor system by adding support to the floor joists. In addition, the design required extra foundation support in the crawl space, including new footings, piers and a large beam to support the new attic loading.  This allowed a new stairway from the new attic space with oak balusters and oak handrail. 

Final results:The owners noted, “The construction blends well with the home. If you were to come in for the first time now, you would never know the attic addition was new. I was able to work with the designers to come up with not only a plan for future needs, but a design that served my business needs. I needed a large closet to store my samples. We placed the closet over our master bathroom so the space could be easily changed into a bathroom if we ever had a need for another bedroom suite. I also really like I have electrical outlets so I don’t have cords running all over, and my office is removed from the house, so work does not influence family life.”