Attic Conversions – To Finish or Not to Finish?

Feeling claustrophobic? Walls starting to close in on you? The answer may be right above you. A recent article in the Vancouver Sun delves into the pros and cons of converting your attic into living space. In a town like Vancouver where houses are often selling in excess of $400 per square foot (PSF), this is likely a wise investment.

Cheaper than building a new laneway house (starting at around $200 PSF), an attic conversion (starting at around $35 PSF) makes unused space within an existing home usable. On top of that, any added space will add value when it comes time to sell your home.

Older homes are the best candidates for attic conversions while newer houses that utilize roof truss systems will often be more costly to convert. The basics of an attic conversion are ensuring it is properly insulated and ventilated and that the floorboards are adequate to support people and furniture. You can go all out and add dormers but expect your costs to be significantly higher. Skylights are a good investment with any attic conversion due to lower/sloped ceilings.

Whether creating a no-go zone for the kids or somewhere to stash them, new space is usually a welcome addition. No kids? Home theater or home office perhaps? Did I mention the views are generally better up there.

Just Sold! Vancouver Special with a view and “laneway house” potential

I just sold this large property high on the hill near 22nd and Carolina in Vancouver. This property was a hot commodity that led to multiple offers and sold over the asking price of $959,000 one day after the first showing. Just 4 blocks off high demand Main Street, this home has a great view and the property offers great potential for building up to a 750 square foot laneway house (the maximum size permitted in Vancouver) with great views downtown and to the West.  The oversize lot is 49.5×122 which makes it 50% larger than a standard 33×122 lot.

The buyer plans to renovate this great Vancouver Special and modernize it at the same time. A laneway house may someday occupy the rear portion of this lot. A couple of local companies at the forefront of laneway house design are Lanefab and Smallworks. Here is a great lanehouse recently designed and built by Lanefab: