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Old 05-24-2011, 10:36 AM
 
576 posts, read 1,495,302 times
Reputation: 185

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I'm trying to renovate my unfinished attic (just want to add more insulation, better flooring, sheetrock and more lighting). Would those renovations define the attic as living space? My primary goal is just to make the attic more insulated and a better storage area.

Is there a way to do this w/o the risk of more taxes or will pulling a permit of any kind sound the alarm at the assessor's office? Not sure if the things I'm doing will even require pulling a permit...

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Edison NJ
1,850 posts, read 4,346,125 times
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I am no expert, but I believe ceilings need to be a certain height, needs a window. If you are not touching structure, electrical, or plumbing, I don't see why you would need a permit.

Make sure you are not going to be covering any electrical junction boxes.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:04 PM
 
3,246 posts, read 3,307,756 times
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.... and you'll want to call it living space when you sell though, right...?
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:02 PM
 
576 posts, read 1,495,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HalfFull View Post
.... and you'll want to call it living space when you sell though, right...?
Not necessarily. I probably will not make it living space until I'm ready to sell so I'm not paying taxes on the extra space. We got enough living space, just need more storage.

I also heard a living space is also defined by whether the area has heating...
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:52 AM
 
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Default Living space

Because "living" is defined within the codes under the "habitable space" definition, and many jurisdictions do not differentiate between the two (except by policy), you would fall under the 2009 IRC for habitable attic space. You would then be required to provide emergency egress, code compliant stairs, a headroom of 7', etc. Additionally, it is unclear that the attic floor would support that use.

Basically, anytime you "finish" an attic, most jurisdictions find that the space is considered habitable.

I would strongly caution you against doing the work without the permits. If you are discovered as having converted non-habitable space without a permit, the fines can be steep, and it could potentially stop any sale of the property. Many realtors check the tax records when putting houses on the market, and they are required to report non-conformities to any potential buyer, as are you.

I see this type of thing with my jurisdiction frequently, and it NEVER turns out well for the person who did the work without permits.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Somerset, NJ
505 posts, read 1,581,242 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbait View Post
because "living" is defined within the codes under the "habitable space" definition, and many jurisdictions do not differentiate between the two (except by policy), you would fall under the 2009 irc for habitable attic space. You would then be required to provide emergency egress, code compliant stairs, a headroom of 7', etc. Additionally, it is unclear that the attic floor would support that use.

Basically, anytime you "finish" an attic, most jurisdictions find that the space is considered habitable.

I would strongly caution you against doing the work without the permits. If you are discovered as having converted non-habitable space without a permit, the fines can be steep, and it could potentially stop any sale of the property. Many realtors check the tax records when putting houses on the market, and they are required to report non-conformities to any potential buyer, as are you.

I see this type of thing with my jurisdiction frequently, and it never turns out well for the person who did the work without permits.
+1
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Old 06-08-2011, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Vermont
4,748 posts, read 9,224,793 times
Reputation: 1955
I wouldnt put all this work into storage
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