Attic Storage


Old 12-28-03, 01:03 PM
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Attic Storage

I live in a 3 level townehome in Northern Virgina

The attic has blown in cellulose insulation.

I would like to turn a section of the attic into a small storage area for some lightweight items.

The roof support system uses an engineered 2x4 structure so I know that I cant store heavyweight items.

The question I have is regarding the insulation. Currently as I said there is about 10" of blown in insulation. There are other sections of the attic that use R30 fiberglass sheet.

In the area that I want to put a plywood flooring for storage, I will need to remove the blown in insulation, and replace it with fiberglass sheet. I test fitted a piece of R30 fiberglass sheet in one spot and found that its a bit too thick since the ceiling joists are only 2x4's the insulation must fit in that space with only a little compression from the flooring.

Is there insulation available that provides the same R value but is thinner than normal fiberglass sheet insulation?
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Old 12-29-03, 08:01 AM
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The worst thing you could do is to move the insulation. Foam board has an insulation value of R-5 per inch for extruded polystyrene, and some foam boards go a little higher, but I donít know of any insulation that will give you R-30 in 3.5 inches, the depth of the bottom chord of your attic trusses.

Your attic space is not designed to be used as a storage space, you would be better off building some shelving up high in the garage, or in the basement, or in a little used closet somewhere, or just throwing away some junk to free up more space.

However, if you MUST use the space for storage, you could screw 2x4 cleats to the sides of the attic trusses above the level of the insulation, cut plywood the width of the space between the attic trusses, and then put the plywood on the cleats and store you stuff on those. Attic trusses are generally 24 inches of center, which would make your shelves 22.5 inches wide. You would get 4 of these 4 feet long out of one sheet of plywood.
Old 12-29-03, 10:23 AM
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Thanks for the info...

Yes, I MUST use the attic for storage. Ive already done the garage shelving to the max. From what I understand Ill be fine for storage up there if I put no more than 10 lbs / square foot. The stuff Im planning to store up there are about 10 to 15 18" x 18" x 18" cardboard boxes that will weigh no more than 15 - 20 lbs each.

I think I understand your theory... If I build the shelves as you say... I will be transferring all the weight of the items on the shelves to the same "V" point where the "upright" trusses meet.

I was thinking of another solution as well... How about A) Doubling up the thickness of the lower trusses by screwing 2x4 lumber to it... then B) nailing 2x2 lumber to the top of the lower trusses. This would give me another couple of inches in height.
Old 12-29-03, 12:51 PM
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I'm suggeting that you put 48 inch long cleats parrallel to the bottom chord of the trusses, about 2-4 inches above the top level of the insulation, screwed into the sides of the trusses. The plywood sheets, cut to 22.5 inches by 48 inches, would rest on the cleats, with or without screws into the cleats. The 48 inch dimension of the plywood shelf would run parrallel to the trusses.

How you elevate the shelves off the insulation is not that important. That you DO elevate it off the insulation is the important part.

I wouldn't do any nailing up there - too easy to crack drywall ceilings below. Use screws for everything.

It gets real damn hot up there in the summer. What are you storing? Hope it is not heat sensitive.
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