Access to joist bay between floors


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Old 03-02-15, 12:46 PM
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Access to joist bay between floors

Hi all.
I have a pest problem somewhere between my floors (I hear scratching at night). The distance between the ceiling of 1st floor and the sub-floor of 2nd floor is approximately 20 inches, but I do not have any access to it. How would I go about making a hatch to access that joist bay?
  • Go through the finished floor and the subfloor of the 2nd floor
  • Go through the ceiling in the kitchen
  • Go through the wall in the living room (it is 2 floors high)
The 2nd and the 3rd methods are not very aesthetic, especially if I go through living room. But I am not sure I like the idea of destroying my finished floors (laminate) either. Which method would you recommend? Is there a code for this?
 
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Old 03-02-15, 12:51 PM
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Drywall is cheap.
Figured out how there getting in?
How would you know exactly which bay there in?
What's the plan even if you did find out where they are?
 
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Old 03-02-15, 12:55 PM
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I agree both with the ceiling being easier/cheaper to repair and how would you know which joist bay to access? although at 20" I assume you have floor trusses, some of which are open.
 
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Old 03-02-15, 01:01 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

If there is 20" between the floor and the ceiling then it's not a typical joist bay. That distance would almost indicate a dropped ceiling so cutting thru sheetrock makes more sense but like Joe mentioned.... once opened... what next ?

Is this in a one family dwelling that you own ?
 
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Old 03-03-15, 03:18 AM
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More info

Thank you all for your replies.

I was assuming that the space has trusses, is it possible that it won't? How would the bays be divided in this case?
Also I was thinking about installing a hatch rather than repair so that I would have access to the area in the future. Is this feasible?

To answer your questions:
  • No, we haven't figured out how they are getting in. I had Pest Control make a walk-through and they couldn't find any access points.
  • The plan is to set a trap and remove whatever gets caught. Someone was advising me to use poison, but I don't want anything rotting between floors...
  • Yes, this is a single family home with 2 floors.
 
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Old 03-03-15, 04:22 AM
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IF you have 20", then it should be open trusses, so building a hatch, like you mentioned would be advisable. Repairs often don't turn out well. Is there another area adjacent to the kitchen that you could access, like a closet or mud room? The joists will run the entire length of the house, so they are interconnected.
 
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Old 03-03-15, 11:41 AM
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Thanks everyone. I am looking into making a hatch now. The only question remaining is where? Here are the options:
  • Ceiling in the kichen
  • Ceiling in the living room (limited, so going to be a very small hatch, but I was actually planning on fishing some cables through in the future)
  • Ceiling in the dining room (I think this is out of question for "wife" reasons)
  • Wall in the living room (would also look ugly)
  • Floor in Master Bedroom
  • Floor in Walk-In Closet (access to the attic is through this closet as well)
 
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Old 03-03-15, 01:23 PM
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No closest that will work on the lower floor? The ceiling is generally the way to go but if it had to be in a floor - a closet floor is best. I have a small cellar that only has access thru a trap door in my closet floor or an exterior door. My wife keeps that part of the floor piled up with shoes and boxes which eliminates easy access
 
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Old 03-03-15, 02:15 PM
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So, Mark, I guess escaping egregious Union forces via your tunnel is out of the question.
 
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Old 03-03-15, 02:19 PM
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The main reason I installed that hatch was in case a bad storm came up but my wife won't go into the cellar because there are spiders down there, she'd rather blow away with the house than face a bug
 
 

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