Cost-effective ways to finish third floor or attic space
Looking for ways to add low-cost square footage to your new home? Want floor plans with 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. Learn more about building a new home in the Raleigh, NC area, below - with important questions to ask your builder.
How Much Does it Cost to Finish a Third Floor or Attic?
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
- Is there staircase access, and is the area engineered for future finish?
- 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:
- 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)
- Drywall, Paint, and Trimwork
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. Adding a staircase will cost more, too.
The expense of the project can 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.
Are there other ways to increase the sq ft on a floor plan?
Adding a bonus room - whether on the second or third floor - is a great, cost-effective way to increase your square footage. Read more about adding a bonus room and expanding your house size (for the lowest cost) in these articles:
Can I add a third floor or attic later on?
A third floor can be a great space for a homeowner to finish themselves over time, with some significant labor savings, with some planning ahead before construction of the main home begins. Check with your local jurisdiction to see what kinds of 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.
If you're thinking of ways to maximize your budget, make sure to get a full cost estimate from a custom home builder in the Raleigh/Triangle area before making any decisions.