Adding Usable Storage Space to Your Attic
In most homes, the attic and the basement area, unless completely finished, are most commonly used as storage areas for seasonal clothing, decorations and other items. But in some older homes the attic area is not a useable space – many attics include exposed joists and no actual floor, making it unused square footage in the home. When additional storage is needed, but the attic has no floor, it can be simple to install one and help make this wasted space become a useable storage area within the home.
Materials and Tools for Installing an Attic Floor:
Directions for Installing an Attic Floor:
1. Prepare the Area for Building: To begin, remove the access panel in the attic and also remove any existing trim using the crowbar. Make sure the areas between all joists are free of any obstructions including electrical wiring or plumping. Also, remove the framing between the joists and use the reciprocating saw with a flexible metal-cutting blade to remove any nails holding the framing in place.
2. Inspect the Attic: Many older homes have roofs that are supported by 2 inch by 8 inch or 2 inch by 10 inch trusses – if your home is built this way, there is no need to worry about the ability of the trusses to support a floor. If the home is newer, it may be constructed of 2 inch by 4 inch roof joists which, although strong, are not meant to support the weight of a floor. If your attic is built in this way, make sure to factor in the weight of the joists, the flooring and any items you may store in the attic before moving forward with the project.
3. Prepare and Install Furring Strips: Wiring usually runs crisscross across attic joists, so the floor of the attic will need to be raised above the wiring. To do this, group wires together so they cross the joists in fewer places. Then, measure the length of the floor, making sure to omit the areas where the wires come over the joists. Transfer those measurements to the furring strips and cut. Dry fit the furring strips to the joists, making sure each grouping of wires fall into the gaps between strips. When the fit has been confirmed, secure the strips into place using screws and cover each grouping of wire using nail stops – this will prevent you from nailing into the wires when the floor is being installed.
4. Prepare and Install the Floor: Down the center of the attic, snap the chalk line to create a guide for laying the floor. Align the long side of a 2 ft. by 8 ft. piece of plywood with the center chalk line and have the ends of the board fall along the center of a furring strip for stability. Drive nails long the ends of the wood to hold it into place. Then, slide the next piece of plywood against the first and secure to the joists in the same fashion. Continue this process until the floor in complete.
If you need supplies for this DIY project, stop by our hardware store in Mountain View, AR, or use one of our online outlets to get what you need shipped right do your door. To find out more about our store and online sites, please click here.