When it comes to finding more storage in our homes, the attic is often the last frontier. We turn to it when there is simply not where else to go with all our stuff. At first glance, it may not seem ideal. But last does not always mean least. Although they’re dark with funky slopes to the ceiling and often unfinished, an attic can become a very nice closet. Whether you dream of a large walk-in attic closet that spans the width of the house or garage or something smaller, take a look at these attic closet ideas. The answer to your storage problems may be waiting overhead.
Before you begin your attic to closet renovation, make sure the ceilings are high enough. You don’t need a full eight-feet. However, check that you can stand fully upright in the center of the attic. If the space is tall enough, it will probably make a good closet. If not, you’re better off just using it to store boxes and finding another location for your closet. Your attic closet will also need to be to be “finished,” meaning the room needs insulation, dry wall, electricity for lighting, and a solid floor.
Planning an Attic Closet
Take accurate measurements.
Low slanted ceilings are the most common challenge when converting an attic into a closet. Overcome this challenge through planning. The key to dealing with slanted ceilings and all sorts of odd-shaped spaces is accurate measurements. If you have a sloped ceiling, such as those found in an attic closet, use your angle finder to determine the degree of pitch. Create a sketch of the slope that you can refer to later. Notate the distance from the bottom to the floor and the degree of angle to the top. If ceiling heights vary for each wall due to the slope from an eave or other irregularity, note the ceiling height for each wall. This information is essential when you later lay out the type and location of your storage components.
Measure the knee walls.
Be sure to take note of and measure the height of any knee walls in the attic. Knee walls are the short perpendicular walls that extend from the floor to meet the slanted ceiling. Some attics may not have a knee wall. However, if yours does, it can make planning the closet easier. If the knee wall is 42-inches-high or greater, you can install a traditional closet organizer for hanging clothes along this wall. If it is shorter than 42-inches, shelving is your best bet with clothes rods extending from the slanted ceiling. When installing your hanging rods against the sloped attic ceiling, be sure to use a cleat anchored to the rafters and place closet rod support brackets every 30-inches for support.
Use a closet design tool or seek help from a professional closet designer.
If it all seems confusing, don’t worry. A closet design tool can help you with the layout of your attic closet. Add your closet measurements to the program and begin to lay out your storage components. If you have a lot of angles to deal with, it may be better to seek the help of a professional to ensure everything will fit the space properly.
3 Examples of Inspirational Attic Closets
Put your master closet in the attic
Many older homes lack the large master closet that has become de rigueur in most modern bedrooms. An attic closet may be the only way to add this space without going through a major redesign of the entire interior floor plan. If you’re lucky enough to have an attic with enough headroom in the center to stand up, you’re in business. Use this attic space to create a large walk-in master closet. Don’t worry if the pitch of the roof lowers the height along the sides. Simply fill that space with attic shelving or other closet organizers.
Tips to Maximizing the Available Space
Some attic closets are small while others are large. But no matter what the size, attic closet ideas should always include organizers sized and cut to fit the slant of the attic ceiling. This will maximize storage.
There are tricks to making a small attic closet seem larger. One of them is making use of the space behind the knee wall. Builders often like to route air conditioning vents or pipes inside a knee wall. But beyond this use, the area is often mostly empty space.
You’ll get a larger open area in the center of your new closet when you recess your organizers. Maybe even enough to add an island in the center of the closet. If your space has 42-inch-high or greater knee walls, consider recessing your closet organizers into the wall. The depth you can recess the organizers will vary from a few inches to a foot or more. It will depend on the size of the organizer and the pitch of your roof. Just be sure to provide access to the pipes and vents in the event your home’s mechanicals need servicing. This access can be in the form of a small crawl-through door or a cut-out in your closet organizer.
Maximize your storage space with an attic closet!
A cramped closet is no fun. But neither is driving to a remote storage locker to stash your “stuff.” If you’ve nowhere to go in the house with all your possessions, it may be time to think outside the box. Put that empty space overhead to use. Let these attic closet ideas can get you started on your way to organizational bliss. You may even find that your home has a lot more to offer in the way of storage than you first thought.
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