How Much Does it Cost to Finish a Third Floor or Attic?
Looking to add low-cost square footage to your new home or make space for a future hobby area, game room, sports center, or guest retreat?
Choosing a floor plan with an unfinished third floor or attic may be the answer.
One of the questions you need to ask is, what is the most cost-effective way to finish third floor or attic space?
The cost of finishing a third floor or attic space depends on several factors, including:
- Home size and price point
- Roofline style and size
- Size of the space to be finished
- Does the floor plan include a staircase?
- Would you want to add a bathroom?
- Would you want to add windows or a skylight?
Generally, the minimum cost will be about $50 per square foot. This will include:
- Basic lighting
- Basic electrical outlets
- HVAC system (which will require an additional heat pump, AC unit, and duct work - the cost for this is usually about $6,000 alone)
- Basic required trim work
- Standard level carpet
It can be less cost effective to finish a smaller space, and the total cost per square foot will vary based on the size of the space being finished.
If you need to add a staircase from the second to third floor, the price tag can become much higher.
The expense of the project can also increase if you need to add any kind of windows or skylights. If you don't plan ahead, you will need to remove siding and roofing, reframe the structure, add the window or skylight, and replace the siding and roofing.
The cost of adding a bathroom will vary depending on the finishes desired as well as what stage of construction the home is in. If requested at planning stage, the plumber, framers, and electricians will be able to complete all work as they are finishing the rest of the home, resulting in some savings.
A third floor can be a great space for a homeowner to finish themselves over time, with some significant labor savings. Check with your local jurisdiction to see if any permits are required - you'll want to be able to count the area as finished square footage if you should ever want to sell your home.
Make sure to get a full price quote before taking on what can become a major project.