Dallas Renovating: Converting an Attic into a Guest Bedroom

Converting an attic space into a guest bedroom is often a smart way to maximize space in your home and to offer a room to friends and family without compromising their privacy or yours. Read on for tips on converting attics to guest bedrooms.

Having a comfortable guest bedroom is a staple in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. DFW residents are known for their hospitality and close relationships with friends and family. Many locals opt to repurpose a room such as the attic or basement into a guest bedroom for many reasons, including having a designated space for visitors that does not limit storage and space for the home’s occupants. Below are a some tips for incorporating a guest room into an unfinished or finished attic space.

Working with an Unfinished Attic Space

Before converting an unfinished attic into a habitable space, you should consult a contractor and an electrician. The amount of professional work that you may need done will depend on when your house was built, how your attic is insulated, and whether the attic floor can safely withstand the weight of furniture. Fortunately, many products exist to help finish an attic space, such as Attic Dek flooring, which is available at many home and hardware stores. If finishing your attic space requires significant remodeling, you may also need to file for a building permit with your city.

Here are a few important points to consider when converting an unfinished attic into a guest bedroom:

  • Safe Access: If a drop-down ladder is your attic’s primary means of access, you might want to consider having your contractor build a small stairwell for easier entry into the attic.
  • Heating and Cooling: Because an attic quickly traps heat during the summer and feels colder than the rest of your house during the winter, you should consider adding central heat and air ducts to the space. If your attic has a window, a small air conditioning window unit may suffice to keep the temperature comfortable on hot days. During the winter, portable heating units with safety shut-off features are a cost-effective option for keeping your guests comfortable.
  • Lighting: Consider using a combination of plug-in nightlights and lamps for adequate lighting throughout the attic and its entryway to ensure visibility and safety.

Decorating a Finished Attic

Working with a finished attic is certainly easier than with an unfinished space. When converting a finished attic into a guest bedroom, you will focus primarily on placing furniture throughout the room in a pleasing way and decorating the room so that your guests will have a relaxing, functional space in which to rest.

Indispensable furniture will likely include a dresser or wardrobe to store clothes; a vanity table and mirror; a comfortable chair in which your guests may read or relax; and, of course, a place to sleep. If you are working with a small attic, a day bed or sleeper sofa might help to maximize the room’s space.

Because attics often have less natural light than the rest of a house, light wall colors and mirrors to reflect light will create a more open atmosphere and make the room appear larger than it actually is. Be sure to place a nightstand with a table lamp next to the bed or sleeper sofa.

Converting an attic space into a guest bedroom is often a smart way to maximize space in your home and to offer a room to friends and family without compromising their privacy or yours. Be sure to keep safety and comfort in mind and to consult with professionals—especially when working with an unfinished attic.


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