It may not be as convenient as the garage or the basement, but the attic can be a great place to tuck away items you don’t use on a regular basis. Yes, this includes your grandmother’s extensive quilt collection you just can’t fathom parting with and the boxes of Christmas ornaments that take up too much space in the basement. Before you start hauling your stuff up there, though, you many need to do some renovation. Here are five things to consider.
1. Check Your Trusses
Unfortunately, an unfinished attic isn’t going to support the weight of your stuff. A house with weak trusses is also going to make attic-as-storage-space a difficult undertaking. Be sure to contact a professional to take a look at your attic before you get started to ensure that what you plan is feasible.
However, if your attic trusses can support the weight of a floor, this project can prove to be a simple redo. If you’re handy, it can also be a great do-it-yourself project that doesn’t put a huge dent in your budget.
2. Install Flooring and a Ladder
An easy ways to redo your attic is to install plywood flooring and pull-down stairs. The whole project might not run you more than $300, which is great for those on a budget. First you’ll need to redo the access opening so it can accommodate pull-down stairs. After the opening is complete, you can lay the plywood floor. Know, though, that if you have wiring crisscrossing the joists, you can’t place the plywood directly on top. Instead, fit furring strips to the joists and then lay the plywood flooring down.
3. Add Insulation
If you plan on storing items for an extensive amount of time, add insulation along the walls. Most attics come with insulation between the joists, but additional insulation will slow down the heat rising from the second story of your house. Choose insulation that is tailored for the weather in your area.
Every attic also need some sort of ventilation system to prevent humidity and moisture build-up that can ruin stored items. Ventilation options include solar powered vents, fans or wind turbines. Which you chose depends on what is the right fit for the space you’re working with.
5. Build Storage
A simple redo is great for some, but those looking to optimize their space may want to do a bit more. Consider placing shelving in between the rafters or around gabled windows. Use knee-walls to create your own built-in storage units. Or install rods or hooks for hanging storage bags.
There’s no need to get too crazy with the renovation — after all, you’re just using it for storage. Focus instead on creating a functional, sound space that fits both your needs and your budget.
By Megan Mostyn-Brown