Grizzly Bear, Home Owner in Somerville, MA

Replace attic with an extra room and roof deck?

Asked by Grizzly Bear, Somerville, MA Tue Oct 2, 2012

Renovating West Somerville two-family house - can we convert the attic to an extra room and roof deck for the second-floor apartment? And if we can do it, is it a good investment for resale?

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Territory.com’s answer
You asked another question before about renovating what I think is the same place. If you can add more bedrooms to the top unit and then still renovated the kitchen you would do very well. Again, consider doing all that and condo'ng the units and reselling.

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 9, 2012
Your build question is one for the building department in your town, and the resale info is one for your local real estate professional.
Resale will depend on time frame as well as the added construction costs and permits.


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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 6, 2012
as to the ability to convert the attic into an extra room and roof deck, one would to

1) seek the advice of the building and zoning dept of somerville to see if the zoning, building codes and height restrictions allow it

2) you would need a licensed builder and or structural engineer / architect to determine if the existing ceiling joist meet the code for a floor and can carry the weight of the roof deck.

Any and all new work done would have to meet the current building codes. This will require a buidling permit. Building permits typically require, site plans, floor plans and structural plans. You will also have to have your electrician and plumber pull permits for their work as well.

As to resale it will certainly add to the value and or the marketabilty of the property, but more importantly you will be doing this for your own enjoyment and needs.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 2, 2012
Hi Grizzly,
Highly unlikely the city will allow a roof deck. Depending on your ceiling clearance in your attic you may be able to expand, you’ll need to check with the building department. If you can do it fairly reasonably it’s probably worth it from an added value perspective. If you make it into say a master bedroom you need to think about another full bath. Just open finished space won’t add much value. Also remember cooling is very important with third floor space. Definitely talk to the building department before beginning any big plans. Again, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me. Thanks, Joanne
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 2, 2012
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