Our attic is entirely unfinished - exposed floor and wall studs. It has windows and is wired for a single light fixture. There is a fixed staircase up to the attic from the second floor where 19.5 is on the diagram below.
I've done some basic code research and as we only have 7.5 feet of height along the unfinished centerline, we clearly don't meet the "50% of the usable floor space should have a ceiling height of 7.5 ft or more" requirement.
Based on my approximations, we have about 400 square feet of area with 4 feet or more of height. I'd like to make use of it somehow other than just dry storage - even if it just means a carpeted play area for our children.
What are the implications of not meeting that height code? Would a contractor refuse to take the job? Would a DIY project be subject to fines? Why does the height even matter? I can understand not wanting someone to misrepresent it as a bedroom but any prospective buyer would immediately understand the reality of the situation upon climbing the stairs.
We're in Illinois if it matters. I'm having trouble finding anything other than "the code says" ...