attic room conversion question & mortar step repair

What's the usual rule of thumb on the effort required to convert an existing attic into a room ?
Have an attic with conventional rafters in the way (not the "W" type), and some plywood on the ceiling joists as an attic floor.
Had one home inspector say that most attics are designed for 20 lbs/sq ft loading, and that i'd need to shore it up to withstand 40-60 lbs/sq ft loading before the attic can be used as a bedroom or such.
what's that involve ??? (work wise)
also, i have some rear steps that are made of concrete with pieces broken off. one contractor says he needs to tear it all down and rebuild it from scratch (expensive proposition). since he claims if he patches it, it could collapse on itself. but the cracks and missing pieces aren't that big. so i can't see how weight of the new concrete filling in the cracks would cause it to collapse.
another contractor says, no problem, i can patch it up easy.
who's more credible here ???
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You can patch it up easily. However when you are done you will have a patched up set of steps with problems.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@stopspam.gov wrote:

You need to get someone with the engineering knowledge to make some plans first. That can be very expensive or it can be not so bad, but someone has to do the numbers first. You don't want the neighborhood handyman to do that. It will also need to pass local code inspection so that could make a difference as well.
I would not trust any estimate given to you on-line.

Structurally, will any of the patches need to hold weight? If so it is not likely that the fix will work. It is also almost certain that if it can be patched, it will always look patched.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.