What are the requirements for habituating an attic in the state of NJ?

I have this huge attic in my house and would like to convert it in livable space for my daughters since their bedroom is small. Any suggestions for the process? cost? things to keep in mind? permits?

  4 answers
  • you need to check with your local municipality on zoning ordinances. You can usually get some free/cheap estimates for work from general contractors in your area. things like heating/cooling/ventilation, path of egress are all things you need to look at.
  • Check local building codes first. Hire a contractor who will draw up plans that need to be submitted in order to obtain necessary building permits and inspection schedules. Cost all depends on what you have to work with, what has to be brought up to code, quality of materials chosen. Insulate well, since you are using for children it needs to be warm in winter and cool in summer. Insist on windows with screens on opposite ends of the attic so you can open up, air out and use the breeze to provide additional airflow. Install soundproofing so those below are not disturbed. Use an easy to care for flooring, with kids, I would go with a vinyl product. Install adequate lighting and electrical for homework, computers and all the electrical gadgets one collects these days. When you think you have enough outlets, add at least 2 more . . . And most of all enjoy the process! And call your insurance agent to update your policy.

  • Emily Emily on Jul 09, 2018
    We did this for our visiting grandchildren. We did not check with town. But we have attic windows and a hanging ladder under one bed, also the windows in front lead to an open porch the ladder could reach. Before we did this work, we had the attic rewired. We had already insulated it and we added beadboard. We have windows with screens and storms on either end of the attic. We leave door to attic open when they use it. Neighbors of ours did this for themselves and they added no add'l heat. This is one of the best things we ever did, as far as the enjoyment they have gotten from it and also had friends stay with them. But for a full time occupation I would want a larger egress for them. This cost was minimal, it was a lot of work, but the attic was floored and we added linoleum on top for ease of cleaning. Our house is over 100 years old but it is very solid.
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