Converting an attic into a playroom is a great way to create some extra space and, depending on the age of the children, move much of that roughhouse, playtime noise away from the main floors of the home. It’s also super fun for the children to have a designated play area with all of their favorite things loaded into one place, but getting there can be quite a bit of work.
First off, try and get a good sense of what you are working with. The quickest ticket to your downstairs quiet time is to have a solid strategy with everything laid out in detail, so it’s important to understand what it’s going to take.
If the walls and the floor are already there, you will have a much easier time making the transition into a playroom, but if you are working with a bare attic, things might be a bit more difficult. Converting the attic will also be a lot easier and a lot more spacious with a conventional rafter system, as opposed to a trussed system.
Say Yes to the Skylight
You definitely want a well-lit room, but if your attic is windowless, artificial lighting isn’t going to be enough. Even if your attic does have a side window already, still consider adding a skylight. Heck, add two skylights. They make great features and they ensure that the room is well lit with natural lighting.
Strategic placement of your skylights will also create a little warmth in the room during colder months, and you can even buy skylight shades to keep the sun out during the hotter ones. Just keep the position and path of the sun in mind. Otherwise, you might miss out on the much-needed sun during the winter.
Insulate Before it’s Too Late
If you are taking on the project of installing the walls or the ceiling, make sure that you load them up with insulation. Attics are notorious for reaching extreme temperatures, and you may want to see if it’s possible for your central heating and air system to reach the attic if it doesn’t already.
Insulation, however, will ensure that the blasting heat from the sun doesn’t penetrate as easily into the room, and it will also prevent rapid temperature loss, save you energy, and make sure the kids are comfortable.
Two Flooring Options
There are essentially two practical flooring options, laminate or carpet, and both have their advantages. Laminates allow you to recreate beautiful hardwoods or tiles without spending the money on expensive materials, and the material is satisfyingly solid and easy to keep if you anticipate messes. You can also purchase laminates in bright colors to coincide with the skylight.
Carpets, on the other hand, are more comfortable and provide better insulation. If somebody were to fall down, carpets offer a much softer landing, but if you do anticipate messes, carpets are going to be more difficult to clean.
You could also combine the two by covering the floor with a nice laminate and strategically placing rugs around the room.
Be Careful with the Furniture
As a playroom, you want there to be a good amount of space, but with an attic, you are probably pretty limited. With that in mind, you definitely don’t want to overload the room with furniture, but with a little imagination, you can cram quite a bit in there.
If you are installing the walls yourself, you may be able to build storage into the wall itself. There’s typically a little space between the wall and the edge of the home, and you can utilize that to save space in the actual playroom.
Depending on how much space you have to work with, you can add shelves to the side walls, a little couch with storage space underneath, and whatever else you can think of to make the room comfortable, yet spacious.
Consider Hiring a Contractor
If there is a considerable amount of building involved, you may consider, at the very least, getting advice from a professional builder. They can help you understand what’s possible and what’s not as practical, as well as point you in the right direction as far as walls, floors, and even skylights.