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Old 08-27-2011, 08:16 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Bonita Springs, FL
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Plywood around attic access

Hello all,

The house we recently bought did not have an attic access for the main portion of the house, only one in the garage which only allows access to the attic above the garage. I added an access on the other end of the house with the help of my father while he was visiting (fairly new to this DIY stuff). What I'd like to add is some plywood around the edge of the access hole to make getting in and out of the attic easier by providing a small area to set tools and move around. I think this should be fairly easy with a few pieces of 1/2" plywood and some 2x4s for additional bracing. I just have a couple probably silly questions.

First, Would it be possible to treat the plywood with something like polyurethane finish or paint to help prevent splintering from moving in and out of the attic? Would it cause and problems or be a risk of fire due to the high temperature the attic can get to? The attic is ventilated but it still gets pretty warm up there.

Second, the way the wiring was run when the house was built means that there are two electrical cables and a coaxial cable running across where I would want to put some of the plywood. There's no slack so I can't shift them much to get them out of the way. I'd like to do something to protect the cables from any possible damage going in and out of the attic.

Thanks for any advice, sorry for the silly newbie questions!


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Old 08-27-2011, 09:18 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Long Island, NY
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Plywood around attic access

If you can find one end on each wire, you can reroute it in the middle of the joist where it belongs. If not, cut the wires away from the entrance and reroute them in the middle of the joists. With the electric, the further away the better incase you want to put a floor down later on. Just make sure the junction box is visable. The coax can be cut and a coupling put in anywhere.
Turn off the power before cutting the wires. Confirm they are off before you cut them.
These questions don't come close to silly.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
B. Franklin 1759
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:26 PM   #3
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Plywood around attic access

The wires might be stapled in place. Removing the staples might get you enough room to shift the cables.
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Old 08-29-2011, 01:03 AM   #4
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Location: Bonita Springs, FL
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Plywood around attic access

[@Master of Cold] I did some looking around the area and found a few staples that would let me shift the cables a bit. I think it will probably work out ok.

[@Ron6519] I think with the staples removed I have them re-routed well enough. I had thought about cutting them and adding a junction box there which would allow me to run a short cable up and add a light above the attic access. Decided for now a flashlight will probably do. Thanks for the suggestions though.


Because pictures are cool:
I added one square of plywood right by the entrance yesterday. I was able to just slide it under the cables that were there when I added it. One of the cables I already re-routed around to the other side of the access, the other I believe I can move toward the back.

I want to add a second piece to the side. I believe if I remove/move a staple I can re-route the one wire that still goes across along the green route. It would run then under the plywood and up by the edge then across along the back. I plan to add a couple 2x4 pieces where the yellow highlights are to help support the plywood. I believe I can make a couple notches along the top edge of the board to allow the two cables to pass through under the plywood.

The only remaining problem cable is the phone line. I may just cut that since the jack is not in use, and probably wont be.

Probably finish this up tomorrow evening. Thanks all, if anyone has any other suggestions or sees any issues with my idea let me know!

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