Week 3: Project Attic of Awesome

The attic really doesn’t look like much yet, but, believe it or not, we’re slowly getting through the most difficult, most involved, most complicated bits of the project.

When the house was originally built, despite the adorable dormer the builder added to the roof, it was not designed to be living space. Most attics are like this: ceiling joists are a lot less robust than floor joists because they don’t really have to support much. Attics tend to be built with ceiling joists. And then filled with insulation. And never seen again. This means that, since we want to make the attic a living space, we have no choice but to reinforce the ceiling joists with 2 by 6 boards. If we didn’t, a) we wouldn’t pass inspection by a long shot and b) we would fall through the floor. Maybe not right away. But eventually.

On top of that, we want to take out a wall on the main floor. And, guess what? It’s a supporting wall! This is where being married to an engineer who has connections to the house building business comes in really handy. This process involves building two temporary walls – one on each side of that supporting wall – to hold up the ceiling while we take down the supporting wall and slide in a beam.

See? It’s all very complicated.

At this point, we’re here:

We’ve reinforced the roof and framed in our ‘closets’ at the same time. Half of the ceiling joists have been reinforced.

We’ve carved our stairwell out of the floor, adding in a beam – and removed the temporary wall we built, pictured here, when we were finished.

This week, hopefully we’ll get a set of temporary stairs put up so I’ll actually be willing to brave the floor joists. It’s a lot easier pulling yourself into a small attic opening than it is a large stairwell opening.

This week is also the electrical week! The past couples weekends, we’ve had the Husband’s dad and brother out to help us. This weekend, my dad is rolling up his sleeves and setting his mind to the logic and symmetry of circuits and switches.

Ah, progress. We’re getting there!

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