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Farmhouse Attic Renovation

We live in a farmhouse that has been in my husbands family for over 100 years.  Throughout the years of our marriage we have made updates to our home, including removing the carpet and refinishing the wood floors, adding a front porch as well as refinishing the original woodwork.  The biggest project came when we decided to remodel our attic.

The attic had been used for storage and came with a very wobbly set of Clark Griswold fold down attic stairs.  It was a dark and cold space that we only really used when we had to get out our Christmas decorations.  

Attic Window


Even though we live in a large house, the layout is not the best and we end up wasting a lot of space.  Our boys never really had their own playroom, so we made the decision that the attic would be a great space for them.

We had a few obstacles to overcome.  There was a chimney located in the middle of the attic and we needed a designated spot for a staircase.  The floor wasn't in the best condition, but we did want to salvage it, if possible.

We decided to use a bedroom (we used as a guest room) for the staircase, as it offered the best option of not taking up too much space when placing the opening in the attic floor.  Our house does not have the largest bedroom closets, so we would be losing a much needed space in this bedroom for storage.  

The plan was in place and so the work began.  The steps were first on the list and we ended up getting a small storage space under the stairs.  We decided to leave the space directly under the stairs open, as we planned to place a bed back in that spot.  

Attic Staircase

A hole was also cut into the attic floor to accommodate the stairway opening.  

Attic Entrance

Next came demo on the chimney, opening up the window area and adding insulation.  The floor around the chimney had buckled over the years so we would be dealing with an uneven surface.  The chimney opening would also allow us a spot to bring up the heating and cooling ductwork.

Attic Window

Attic Chimney Removal

Brace work for the staircase was added before drywall.

Attic Staircase

Flooring was also tore out behind the knee wall so we could patch in areas where the boards needed to be replaced.  Next came the drywall and sanding the floors.

Attic Drywall

We were fortunate to have a salvage store close to our home where we picked out the boards for the stair steps, staircase railing, newel posts and baseboards.  My father graciously ran all of the boards through his planer, which saved us a ton of refinishing time.  I set-out to refinish the newel posts and staircase railing.

Attic Newel Post

I completed the refinishing work just in time as we were ready to install the staircase railing.    

Attic Staircase

Attic Stair Railing

We had an open spot by the window that we decided to use as a window seat with storage underneath.

Attic Window Seat Storage

The final steps were installing and varnishing the baseboards, varnishing the staircase railing and stair steps and refinishing the floor in the bedroom below.


staircase landing

Attic Windowseat

We love our new attic and the boys will be able to enjoy this space for many years to come!

Attic Playroom  

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