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Attic/crawlspace access of a cross-gable type roof

Attic/crawlspace access of a cross-gable type roof

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  #1  
Old 06-27-16, 11:48 AM
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Attic/crawlspace access of a cross-gable type roof

Hello, all -

I'm a long-time "lurker" and consumer of advice and browsing on the forum, and first-time post. I'm a very beginner type when to the major projects I read in this forum, so my opinion and expertise is severely limited.

So - my post...
My home is a cross-gable type roof, very similar to the image here:



For reference, due to my lack of terminology, looking from left-to-right, I'll reference the left-side of the roof drawing as "roof side-A" and the right-side of the roof drawing as "roof side-B". As you can see roof side-A intersects with roof side-B and develops a valley down the roof, where it seems that roof side-B extends from roof side-A...

::sigh:: again, i'll apologize now for the poor terminology used, as I'm sure it's poor.

Here's my situation :
My attic access is in roof side-A. What I'm seeing when I'm in the attic is that the home-builder seemed to fully build/assemble the roof side-A laying plywood along the length of this side of the roof and THEN start the construction on roof side-B. This makes it seem that from my attic access point, I cannot access the attic/crawlspace of roof side-B.

I have a DIY attic/whole-house fan installed pulling air from roof side-A, specifically in attempt to cool roof side-B of the house, since that is where most of the sun hits, and (IMO) seemingly heats up the most. Roof side-B is the most difficult side to cool down via house fan or A/C system.

In the end, I'd like to access roof side-B for several reasons (to allow the attic/wholehouse fan to push air out from this side of the attic space, future potential to access this crawlspace to make improvements, etc)

So some questions I have:
1. any suggestions on how to get into roof side-B?
2. From crawlspace in roof side-A, can I simply cut into the plywood from side-A into side-B? or does that break any general roofing code or stability?
3. on the end/gable of roof-side-B, there is a gable vent, I want to say it is 1'x4'. I've read a few instances around the web of people access through this space

The other "wonderment" I have is how the homebuilder even sprayed insulation to the roof-side-B, which could make logical sense if they were to access the attic space via the gable vent.

Anyway, I appreciate any advice anyone can give.
 
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  #2  
Old 06-27-16, 03:28 PM
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Cut a hole in the sheeting to gain access to the other roof area. Obviously you'll want to make sure you are in the right area so you come out in the other attic area.
 
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Old 06-27-16, 05:38 PM
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What other venting do you have on A and B sides. Does A have 2 gable vents? Do either A or B have ridge vents.

A whole house fan usually refers to a fan in the ceiling of the house that blows inside air into the attic and out the attic vents. A powered attic fan blows hot attic air out of the attic and is replaced by incoming air through the vents. Clarify what you have, please.

Bud
 
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Old 06-27-16, 05:42 PM
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Cut a hole in the sheeting to gain access to the other roof area. Obviously you'll want to make sure you are in the right area so you come out in the other attic area.
Thank you.

Other than the fact that I could cut at the wrong place :S what other worries should I have?
For example - assuming I cut at the correct location, there shouldn't be any structural concerns or anything? The "anything" is thrown in there because I'm not sure why the builders wouldn't have just left this section open to the side-B attic space.

What other venting do you have on A and B sides. Does A have 2 gable vents? Do either A or B have ridge vents.

A whole house fan usually refers to a fan in the ceiling of the house that blows inside air into the attic and out the attic vents. A powered attic fan blows hot attic air out of the attic and is replaced by incoming air through the vents. Clarify what you have, please.

Bud
I apologize for the confusion. I do mean wholehouse fan and not attic fan.

side-A does have gable vents; 1 at each end. side-B also has a gable vent.
All around the house there are ridge vents, that is ridge vents exist along side-A as well as side-B.
 

Last edited by super32; 06-27-16 at 05:49 PM. Reason: added quotes and grammar(most)
  #5  
Old 06-27-16, 06:29 PM
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@super32, "ll around the house there are ridge vents, that is ridge vents exist along side-A as well as side-B." you need to clarify that as well. Ridge vents are at the very peak of the roof. All around the roof would refer to soffit vents under the eaves. Not being critical, but need to be clear.

One of the points I want to make will be the height of the opening into side B. so side A and B will function as one, the opening will need to be as tall as reasonably possible.

As for other concerns, only cut the plywood sheathing, not any of the rafters. I would locate where to cut and make a small opening to get a look inside and then increase the size of the opening.

Bud
 
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Old 06-27-16, 06:37 PM
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Just cutting a hole in the sheeting won't cause any structural problems as long as you don't cut any rafters. That means the opening will be only 14 or 22 inches wide, but if all you want is access that should be good enough to squeeze through.

Does the B side happen to include a garage? If so then some areas require the attic over a garage be isolated from other attic space (to slow down spread of a fire that might start in the garage).
You could still cut an opening, but would want to close it back up with a piece of plywood when you no longer need it. [edit:]Of course in that case you couldn't leave it open for ventilation.
 
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Old 06-27-16, 07:02 PM
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@super32, "ll around the house there are ridge vents, that is ridge vents exist along side-A as well as side-B." you need to clarify that as well. Ridge vents are at the very peak of the roof. All around the roof would refer to soffit vents under the eaves. Not being critical, but need to be clear.

One of the points I want to make will be the height of the opening into side B. so side A and B will function as one, the opening will need to be as tall as reasonably possible.

As for other concerns, only cut the plywood sheathing, not any of the rafters. I would locate where to cut and make a small opening to get a look inside and then increase the size of the opening.

Bud
Oh, dangit I apologize again.
Yes, I did mean soffit vents. I do not have ridge vents, that I know of, or from what I noticed while I was in the attic.



Just cutting a hole in the sheeting won't cause any structural problems as long as you don't cut any rafters. That means the opening will be only 14 or 22 inches wide, but if all you want is access that should be good enough to squeeze through.

Does the B side happen to include a garage? If so then some areas require the attic over a garage be isolated from other attic space (to slow down spread of a fire that might start in the garage).
You could still cut an opening, but would want to close it back up with a piece of plywood when you no longer need it. [edit:]Of course in that case you couldn't leave it open for ventilation.
That is interesting you mention the garage-fire-safety measure.

The garage is actually integrated into side-A.
Side-B is actually the master bedroom and master bath - which is why I would like to get a way to cool it down

The garage attic space is not separated from the rest of the house. My garage is sealed with drywall all around (3 walls and ceiling). I am able to walk from attic space over the garage into the attic space above the living room, kitchen, and the other bedrooms. I live in Central California - if that helps any in figuring out the attic requirements - or perhaps the builder messed up in this regard :\




Before cutting or drilling test holes into the side-A plywood, would you know why the builder wouldn't leave this area un-covered/sealed? I'm really curious as to the "why" as well as how they might have sprayed (if they sprayed) insulation into the side-B area if the attic-access door is in side-A and side-B isn't accessible from the side-A access door.
 
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Old 06-27-16, 07:28 PM
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This was one video I watched in attempt to try to understand what's going on with my home. The main difference being that what I call roof side-B is not so much a post-production add-on to the home, rather the house design plans were built as such.

https://youtu.be/1WOyyQvyfxY?t=1m33s So you can see my worry as to whether or not I should even make this cut :P
It almost looks as though the roof of what I refer to as side-A is actually supporting portions of the roof of side-B
 
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Old 06-27-16, 08:03 PM
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Not familiar with CA codes, but suspect they don't require (or didn't at the time your house was built), the garage attic to be isolated from other attic space. Inspectors would not have missed that. The ceiling drywall in the garage acts as a fire stop anyway, so it's not like you are in grave danger.

Sheeting the whole long part of the roof does add some resistance to racking from wind or seismic loads. Cutting a small access or ventilation hole in it won't matter, but having a whole bunch of unsheathed rafters, as would be the case if they left it open, might. It also gives them an easy place to land the rafters for the intersecting part of the B roof.

I'd be really surprised if the B section was *not* insulated, either with foam or more likely, blown in or batt fiberglass. They had all kinds of opportunities to do it during construction without needing access from the other attic section. Fiberglass batts, for example, would have been installed from below before the ceiling drywall was installed.
 
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