An attic doesn't have to be finished to be functional for everyday living. Don't let raw beams scare you away from using this space. For renters, attic spaces can be a cheap alternative to traditional apartments. For owners, attics can add several hundred square feet to your home, with just a few updates.
If you're a renter, an attic can offer the same amount of space for half the rent of a regular apartment. There are additional benefits. Attics get more light because the views are usually unobstructed and skylights can be installed. Also living in higher spaces can reduce heating bills during the winter. Exposed wooden beams convey a rustic charm that you might not be able to get in a cookie cutter apartment.
Attic spaces offer expansive potential to homeowners. If you've outgrown your house, sometimes it makes more sense to convert an attic or a basement in order to avoid selling in a recessed housing market. Painting the walls and adding more substantial flooring is usually all it takes to create a livable space. Attics can provide a refuge from busy loud households in the form of an office or reading room. Also, attics can serve as makeshift barracks for multiple guests, like holiday guests or traveling groups of friends.