2x4 roof rafters - what to do?


Old 12-25-04, 04:19 PM
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Question 2x4 roof rafters - what to do?

I'm thinking of finishing off my attic, but my roof rafters are made from 2x4s. I know this isn't going to be sufficient for baffling and insulation. What should I plan on doing?

I live in Atlanta, so snow and ice aren't a concern, but I do want standard insulation, of course.

And I also have 2x6s that make up the floor of the attic. Considering the house was built in 1912, the wood is stronger than a 2x6 that you'd pick up today, so I think that I'd be fine leaving the 2x6s. Any opinions? I've gone up in the attic and jumped around up there, and everything seems very solid. I'm not planning on doing anything more than just finishing off the attic as additional space (i.e. no bathroom/plumbing being installed).

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Old 01-02-05, 05:52 PM
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Attic conversion

You will need to check in with your local building inspector with your plans to see if what you plan to do is acceptable to local codes and requirements. Things to consider include: Headroom (most codes require at least 7'6" over 50% of the space); Floor joists (most codes require greater than 2x6"); Windows (most codes dictate amount of window space); Foundation (will it support weight of additional living space); Heating/Cooling (will current system support additional space). Typically, if 2x4s are used as roof rafters, trusses are used for additional support.

A house built in 1912 probably has real plaster ceilings, and any weight or activity above may result in cracked plaster. Many attic conversions have resulted in cracked ceilings, sagging joists, & overloaded structures. Jumping up and down may reveal little or no bounce in attic floor, but it's not the same as when furniture and books are added. The building inspector should be able to check things outs. If joists are only 2x6, they may need reinforcement. Many older homes have actual 2x4s & not the 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" that we call 2x4s today. If you have actual 2x4s, point this out to the inspector.
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