An attic apartment is a living space on the upper floor of a building, directly beneath the roof. It is sometimes known as a loft apartment, and it will feature most of the amenities and necessities of any living space, including a bathroom, kitchen, lighting, and heating. The attic apartment is usually fairly small and simple in layout, though this can vary according to the size of the building. Very often the apartment will feature unusually slanted walls, and the slant of the roof will affect how much space is available in the apartment.
In order to create an attic apartment, more work must be done than simply remodeling and then painting the walls. Adequate lighting and ventilation will be necessary, as will planning for entries and exits. It is important to find out what the local laws and regulations concerning construction of an attic apartment are before undertaking the task; most importantly, the floor of the attic will need to be reinforced and safe enough for everyday use. This may mean replacing support beams, floorboards, or other flooring that may already be present in the attic space.
The attic usually includes the entire top floor of the building, whereas a loft may only take up part of that space. An attic apartment may, therefore, be larger than a typical loft. Most apartments built in an attic space will feature a full bathroom as well as a kitchen, though the size of the kitchen and bathroom will vary significantly based on how large the attic space is. Available natural light can come from windows on the sides of the building as well as from skylights built into the roof, and ventilation can be created through these windows or through specially designed air exchanger systems.
An attic space is always on the top floor of the building, which means access to the attic apartment can be an issue. In some buildings, a stairway can grant a person access to the attic apartment through the house itself, but if the house is broken up into several units, this may not be possible. An exterior stairway may therefore need to be built, meaning an exterior doorway will also need to be built. This can be a difficult process, and building permits will need to be secured before such a project can be started. External structures on a building usually need to be inspected by a building inspector to ensure safety and legality.