Bungalow Attic Design Ideas

Updated February 21, 2017

Wasted space in an attic can add lots of storage or living space to a bungalow house. Take a look at available room in your attic to figure out the cost and benefits of incorporating that space into the overall house design. Many bungalows have shorter attic space than some house designs, but you can use this space productively or open a first-floor ceiling. By reviewing various options, you can make choices that will be pleasing over time.

Evaluate Structural Strength

Access the attic to check out structural soundness. You may need to reinforce walls or flooring to construct a room there, so ask a building expert to help evaluate your attic. A small bungalow might not have the same sturdy attic floor joists as a two-story house. You'll need to think about ways to build a staircase with ample headroom too.

Develop a Visual Plan

Determine how you want to use the finished attic space. You can plan a layout for the attic around hobbies, such as sewing or creating crafts. Look at ways to add a couple of dormer windows to bring in more light. Don't overlook raising part of the roof to create a wall of windows for an attic room. If you need to build a small in-law apartment in the space, build a deck outside with an exterior set of stairs.

Plan Electricity and Plumbing

You'll need to evaluate electrical and plumbing needs. Any living space in the attic will require at least a half-bath. Look at bathrooms below the attic to see how you might route plumbing from them. Ask an electrician to take a look at electrical needs and options. Also ask the electrician to help you figure the possible need for an additional heat pump to serve the attic. Conducting an energy evaluation to add extra insulation is important as well.

Open the Attic and Add a Balcony

Open part of the attic to raise a ceiling below. A vaulted ceiling or tray ceiling in a family room can be achieved by taking out rafters and building taller attic framework. You can open a floor below all the way to the home's rooftop in half of the attic. New bedrooms can be constructed in the other half. This way, you can build a nice balcony overlooking the first floor.

Take Advantage of Storage Space

Using the attic for more storage can increase living space in the main house. If your bungalow house is rather small and limited, you can still construct well-planned storage rooms in the attic. This way, your main living space is easier to keep neat and organised. For example, you can store winter clothes and Christmas decorations in the attic to free up other closets on the main level. Shelving constructed in the attic can store holiday dishes, camping gear and ski equipment that might crowd your back porch or garage area.

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About the Author

Judi Light Hopson is a national columnist for McClatchy Newspapers. She is founder of Hopson Global Education and Training and co-author of the college textbook, Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress. She holds a degree in psychology from East Tennessee State University, and has been a professional writer for 25 years.