Converting an Attic Space into a Kids Bedroom and Bathroom

In early 2016, my wife and I were unexpectedly blessed with the discovery that she was pregnant and that we would be welcoming a new baby, our fourth, into our home in late-autumn. Prior to this time our three young children had been sharing a bedroom (two girls and one boy) but we were aware that the situation would eventually need to change. Our plans were to renovate our finished attic space that we had been using as a storage room, to convert it into a large open bedroom for our two older girls, and convert one corner of the space into a 3-piece bathroom for them to reduce the expected waiting time on our main bathroom.

These plans suddenly needed to be put into fast-forward pending our newest arrival in order to make sufficient space in our home without resorting to "temporary" arrangements that would result in unneeded upheaval and could last much longer that we would wish.

This is a journal of the process that we took to renovate our attic. The challenges, frustrations, and discoveries we made throughout this process in which we had no roadmap, no guide, only some knowledge and skill to handle the work that was required, the knowledge of what work we couldn't do ourselves, and a vision for what could be. Prior to this project we did have some experience with renovation. We had gutted and finished half of our basement, we had professionals rebuild our kitchen, we had built a storage closet beneath the stairs, replaced parts of the flooring (some vinyl, some hardwood) on three floors, and painted and done trim work elsewhere in the house. We had also replaced all the attic windows already, using professional installers at Ecoline Windows and Doors. The amount of work and the process of doing it was not unfamiliar to us - but the scale of the project was much larger and more expensive than anything we had previously attempted.

We started demolition on March 5th, 2016 once the worst of the winter cold had passed and we could live with the loss of insulation. Currently we are in the midst of the project, a long way from completion, but I will update this journal as we continue on this journey as a record of the work we have done and with any luck it may even help someone looking to begin a similar type of project.

Part 1: Project Scope and Purpose

Part 2: Demolition - Uncovering Past Mistakes

Part 3: Engineering - Overbuilding for Dummies

Part 4: Structure - In a Hurry to Wait

Part 5: Engineering - A Sequel