2x6 Joists For Attic Storage And Ladder - Carpentry - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 09-25-2013, 07:44 PM   #1
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2x6 joists for attic storage and ladder

I'm redoing the upstairs hallway in my 1966 split level home. On the top half are the bedrooms and full bathroom. In the hall there is a 24" x 24" hatch opening to the attic. The bedroom ceiling / attic floor joists are 2" x 6", 16" OC. The longest span would be 14' over the master bedroom.

In the attic now are some 1" x 8" lumber nailed across the joists to make a floor for some storage close to the hatch opening. I'd like to frame the opening larger to accommodate a 25" x 54" pull down attic ladder. Perhaps extend the floor a bit more with 3/4" plywood to create a larger storage area. I'd also have to move some wiring/light fixture; however it won't be an issue.

My question is can the 2" x 6" joists support the ladder and storage? I'm talking Christmas decorations, off season clothes, an old PC, fans when not used in winter, etc. Not a pallet of bricks.

All comments are appreciated. Thank you for your help.
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:09 AM   #2
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Attics make for lousy storage----in order to get proper insulation --R-38 I believe---you will not have any place to put any thing----How are you planning to deal with that?


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Old 09-26-2013, 06:45 AM   #3
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:12 AM   #4
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The same way it was dealt with when the house was built, I'm not. I rolled R19 between the joists after I moved in. Along the outer perimeter I have at least 8" if not higher of insulation blown in. Just below the ventilation baffles really. My helper cut open more bags to stuff into the machine than I really needed. I'm talking about 150 square feet or so around the hatch. It will be already R19 insulated, almost R20 with the 3/4 plywood.

It's a small house, gas is cheap, and we need the storage. I'm not giving up my workbench in the garage. Never over $100 gas bill in winter.
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:19 PM   #5
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I'd suggest limiting your storage space to the 24" or so you can reach while standing on the steps.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:09 PM   #6
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i think you could do it. and i think you are going to do it. i would not further than 4' past the hallway walls with your storage flooring.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:32 PM   #7
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:24 AM   #8
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Thank you for your opinion Fix'n it. The 1x8 flooring planks up there now are span three joists from the hatch, or the 4' as you suggest. They are just on one side of the hatch, and I was going to add flooring to the other side and to the front.

Kind of still undecided though. I keep kicking around the idea of an addition off the garage, and might finally start that next summer. Just seeing what my options were to expand with what I have inside. Thanks again.
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:06 PM   #9
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when adding access and attic flooring I always recommend building up the joists to fit thick insulation under the added flooring. basically add 2x4 on top the 2x6 that go out 4' or so either side of new opening, stuff with insulation and add ply wood on top. one house we added 2x10 over the joists for storage area and stuffed 20" of insulation in.
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:08 PM   #10
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Your joists will be over-spanned by 40% if using for attic storage, per minimum code; http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/ic...002_par017.htm

Don't add more wood to the existing (4' in) unless they span full distance from bearing wall below to bearing wall- on 3/4" shims to separate joist loads. When affordable, add more insulation after air sealing the attic first as R-19 is of low density/very air permeable= very minimal choice for your location. Install plywood or boards (not OSB) with a gap every 12" or so to let moisture rising from below (diffusion/air leaks) a flow path to the roof framing for removal by attic ventilation.

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Last edited by Gary in WA; 09-27-2013 at 11:56 PM.
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