Honeycomb cellular shades are energy savers for renovated attic windows

Nov 11 2010

Before decorating begins in an attic renovation, homeowners need to reinforce floors, build a full-size staircase and add ventilation.
Before decorating begins in an attic renovation, homeowners need to reinforce floors, build a full-size staircase and add ventilation.
Using an unfinished attic to enlarge a home's living space requires some basic construction to meet buiding codes.

According to ThisOldHouse.com, the first requirement is to have a full-size staircase for entering and leaving the new space, with a minimum 6-foot, 8-inch clearance overhead. A second way out, which can be a window, is also needed for fire safety.

The rest of the living area must have at least 7 feet of headroom, although sections of the attic that have lower clearance can be used for storage.

Another consideration is the floor support, since attics in newer homes aren't built for living space. As a result, attic floors need to be reinforced with added joists and a new subfloor.

"Houses built before 1950, and some built after, may also need foundation work," architect Stewart Davis told the website. That is especially true when a roof must be raised on the home.

Adding windows, ceiling or window fans or air conditioning will address heat and moisture that naturally rises within a structure. Installing honeycomb cellular shades, which trap air to conserve heat in winter and cool down hot rooms in summer, can help balance temperatures within the space and save money on energy costs.
 
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