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Old 09-25-2009, 02:37 PM   #1
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wiring code w.r.t. NEW folding stairs in garage attic


I have recently been looking for some storage area and decided to install a folding stair into the attic area in my garage.

I am starting to get code nightmares though based on some of the comments I have read in other areas of this forum.

Do I need to now redo ALL the wiring in this attic since the builder of the house lay the romex on top of the rafters instead of boring holes? I have seen many posts on this subject that say that new wiring would need to be 7ft off the ground in the entire space because of the stairs. What about a new perm stair system to that space?

Y'all are making me think I should take the stairs back out?

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Old 09-25-2009, 02:48 PM   #2
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wiring code w.r.t. NEW folding stairs in garage attic


Is your framing suitable for the additional load from the stored materials? Do you have trusses?

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Old 09-25-2009, 02:59 PM   #3
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wiring code w.r.t. NEW folding stairs in garage attic


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Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Is your framing suitable for the additional load from the stored materials? Do you have trusses?
Yes there trusses, w'ish, since it is above the side of the house. The floor is only 2x4's so storage is not possible on the floor. 1 side of area meets up with a 2x10's floor and I have placed a shelf system on that interior wall that sits on 2x10's this shelf will have 95% of 'stuff'. Probably xmas stuff and the like.
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Old 09-25-2009, 03:09 PM   #4
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wiring code w.r.t. NEW folding stairs in garage attic


Do you have a pic of the area?
Wiring should be protected & you should have some sort of floor to walk on
If the area you are using has 2x10's you shoud be OK

I think I would cut some scrap wood/plywood to put on top of the 2x10's
Allowing the wires to go thru gaps in this scrap
Then cut plywood & put on top of the scraps for a floor

Trusses are not made to carry any real weight
I have Christmas items that are very light that I store on 2x4 joists spanning 10' in my cabana
But these items arevery light - plastic - just bulky



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Old 09-26-2009, 12:05 AM   #5
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wiring code w.r.t. NEW folding stairs in garage attic


Dave, looks like somebody spent too much time on Christmas decorating and not enough time on siding.

Fredsterl, it is pretty common for the wires in an attic to be ran on top of the trusses' bottom chords. Drilling the trusses is never a good idea and can cause some real headaches.

As far as code goes, the wires have to be protected from physical damage within 6' of an attic access if my memory serves me correctly. "Protection from physical damage" is a gray area in the code and gets interpreted a lot of ways. If you plan to put plywood on part of the trusses' chords then you need to make darn sure they're designed to take it. Assuming they can take the load it is easy enough to nail some 1x2's to the top of the chord to allow the wires to remain and not have to be re-routed. The thickness of a 1x2 will allow you to raise your deck up over your wires. You'd need to be really careful with nailing/screwing though.
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