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        DIY Attic exploration help Sign In/Join 
        posted
        Hi All,

        DIY first-timer here...

        I decided I wanted to take on my attic... figure out what space I have there to use and how to use it. I planned on putting attic decking down and using it as an extra storage space.

        Well, here's the problem. I opened my little access door and got a bunch of insulation in my face. It seems as though the insulation is blown ON TOP of the access door. And, all around the inside - at least where I can see - is a wall of silver insulation.

        Does this mean my attic is unusable? Or, is there a way around this insulation mess? I don't want to break in through all the insulation, just to find more insulation. I definitely don't want to create more of a problem exploring...

        What is the best thing to do here in this situation?
         
        Posts: 2 | Location: United States | Registered: Feb 17, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Welcome to home repairs 101. A face full of insulation will do you a lot of good, I think (home repairs is seldom a 'clean' thing to do). But getting up there and checking everything out is a good idea. Right around that access hole there should be some built up lumber to hold the insulation from falling to the floor.

        Remember that the insulation is a good thing. Maybe you can add wood to the trusses and build a platform up there above the insulation. Is your roof structure made of trusses (most easily recognized by metal plates wherever two pieces of wood join together)

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: Re-mdlr,


        They make it look so easy on tv, don't they
         
        Posts: 1003 | Location: No. California | Registered: Mar 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Thank you for your reply.

        Yes, it is definitely going to be a messy job... not just a quick look around like I thought.

        So, on the other side of the house, the previous owners built up into the attic to create quite a fantastic room. The visible beams have been stained a gorgeous color and do have the trusses you are talking about. However, in this un-remodeled attic area, I honestly can't get the access door up far enough to look inside.

        Because of the weight of the insulation (or something), I am only able to lift the door about 4 inches. Also, there is that silver fabric stuff (looks like a car sunshade) surrounded the area I can see. So, the actual attic is still off limits to me.

        Would you just keep pushing the door up? And what about the silver stuff? Would you just move that out of the way? I haven't done this before so I don't know what is typically on the other side of that silver insulation... there isn't anything I can mess up by digging around, right? As long as I stay on the beams and keep from stepping through the ceiling?

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: Katpen5,
         
        Posts: 2 | Location: United States | Registered: Feb 17, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of Jaybee
        posted Hide Post
        Any chance that there is another access point to the same attic space? I ask because if there is that much insulation on top of your access hatch, it would have been hard to keep it there while still using this particular hatch to exit the attic for the last time.

        Just a guess, but it sounds like there may be another access point.

        Once you do get in there, then it will not hurt anything as long as you do walk only on solid framing. Too much walking around will eventually compress the insulation, making it less efficient.


        Jaybee
         
        Posts: 10501 | Location: Knoxville, Tennessee | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of joecaption
        posted Hide Post
        It's rare to see an attic space made for any real storage let alone living space.
        If there's nothing but a small hatch way and not at least some pull down stairs then it's far more likely that it's not made for storage without some major changes, most are just designed strong enough to hold up the ceiling.
        Under sized ceiling joist and top loading will cause cracking of the ceiling material, sagging, and may even crack the joist.
        It always surprise me how few homeowners have a clue what's in there attic or under the home.
        Two of the first places that should be inspected when buying a new to them home and every year after.
        Often times it's the first place problems with the home show up.
        Very important to have the right amount of insulation, air sealing, and ventilation in that attic.
        Google "insulation zone map" for the amount of insulation to meet even min. codes.
        You did not take the time to add your location to your profile so it's hard for anyone to suggest places to go for recourse.
        Does this guy have a license? If so in my state it would be the board of contractors and local building dept.
        If he's required to have a license to do paying work and does not have one in this area there would be fines and even possible jail time if he got caught.
        You can not just leave those vents like that there all going to have to come off and be redone, there going to leak. Now it's going to cost extra because someone's going to need a bundle of shingles to do it right.

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: joecaption,


        joecaption
         
        Posts: 18046 | Location: Hartfield VA | Registered: Jan 31, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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