I'm new to the site.

I'm curious as to what kind of potentially usable space I might see if I built (or had help building) an attic loft in a 2/2 home with a low pitched roof (about 5:12 pitch).

Basic Details: - 1160 square feet, 2 bed, 2 bath - 5:12 pitch (not a high pitched roof) - slab = 40' x 30' (approximately)

If I move forward with the idea, I'm thinking of replacing the attic ladder with a spiral staircase - currently in a closet.

I have not purchased the home yet, so unfortunately I cannot get exact measurements.

Any direction or research ideas would be helpful as I am a complete novice to this idea. So far, everything I've found are Attic Loft ideas for High Pitched Roofs so even a website link for an attic loft with a low pitched roof example would be helpful.

Many Thanks!
-Gabriel B.
Houston, TX

  • Do you mean a 5/12 pitch roof (rising 5" every horizontal 12")? How high is the ridge pole above the attic floor, and where is it in the 30' x 40' plan? – Daniel Griscom Mar 14 '16 at 12:57
  • What is a "2/2 home"? – isherwood Mar 14 '16 at 19:24
  • Thanks all, very helpful. 2/2 is a 2 bedroom/2 bath.... My spouse and I decided to move forward, even though the attic area cannot really be used for much other than storage (only about 60" in height at peak). Other than raising the roof (expensive as was commented)...We may consider adding a room down the road, or finish out one of those portable barns as a "room" for our oldest son. Anyway, the input was helpful although I'm just now getting a chance to reply. Thanks again! -Gabriel B. Houston, TX – Gabriel Blair Apr 7 '16 at 19:39

I'd say bad idea & keep looking at other houses. Go look at it again with a tape measure. But, the only thing I might consider is putting the utilities up there to gain more user-friendly space on the main floor. Get rid of closets to use floor to ceiling cabinetry instead & store more up in the attic. Maybe a garage or porch can be abandoned & converted to real square footage.

The issue is structural framing & of course roof pitch. It may be stoop worthy but not stand-up worthy & therefore would not ever constitute a legal room of any kind. Typically, the ceiling has to have a minimum peak of 7-feet & you may only have a 3-foot wide section of anything even close to that. Depending on joist height, insulation, rafter depth, collar ties & ridge beam. If any wood has to come out, the plan fails instantly & should not be attempted.

However, if it's wide open & you're thinking it'll just be an office type use where you're seated the majority of the time, then it may work for you. Though, I'd opt for more insulation & hanging utilities from the rafters to then use it as just a crawlspace sort of storage area.


Assuming the roof is across the short way (as per usual) you have 15 feet from edge to peak, resulting in a whopping 75 inch rise from edge to peak, less framing/rafters/trusses. So, no.

To have a loft with a low pitched roof, the roof either has to be built with a very high "heel" (the part at the edge of the roof - sometimes a "high heel truss" is used to get full insulation value out to the edge of the roof, but in that case you'd have a lot of trusswork and insulation taking up the space) or be a very long span. Otherwise, there's no vertical space for a "loft" unless you raise the roof (expensive.)

Some older homes have a fairly low pitched roof and about "half a story" extra wall above the topmost full floor. Those rooms are a bit weird, as all the side windows are very near the floor.

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