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Old 05-15-2011, 08:53 PM   #1
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Attic Storage (What's Legal?)


Hi Guys,

I live in Los Angeles California. My attic in my house seems to have room that I suppose I could use for storage. It would be nice if I could put a few boxes (light stuff) up there. However, I was wondering what the rules and regulations are in terms of using your attic to store things. Is it legal? What may be some of the do's and don't s in storing stuff in the attic? My attic is looks like a triangle: base of the triangle being the floor of the attic. The left and right side of the triangle being the roof.

Any input would be great!

Thanks in advance,

Jason

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Old 05-15-2011, 09:05 PM   #2
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Attic Storage (What's Legal?)


I think more important than what is legal is what happens to your fire insurance if you store stuff up there. I would pull out and read your policy.

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Old 05-15-2011, 09:28 PM   #3
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Attic Storage (What's Legal?)


In some places fire codes will only allow storage in areas with drywall on the studs.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:39 PM   #4
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Attic Storage (What's Legal?)


Don't store dynamite, flares, gasoline or thermonuclear devices up there. Otherwise I put anything else I want up there, along with every other person on the planet with an attic and stuff we can't possibly throw out.
I doubt my insurance would be questioned if the He-Man castle and Skeletors Mountain caught fire and melted.
But I live on the edge. Last week, the tags on all the mattresses were removed.
Ron
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:04 PM   #5
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Attic Storage (What's Legal?)


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Don't store dynamite, flares, gasoline or thermonuclear devices up there. Otherwise I put anything else I want up there, along with every other person on the planet with an attic and stuff we can't possibly throw out.
I doubt my insurance would be questioned if the He-Man castle and Skeletors Mountain caught fire and melted.
But I live on the edge. Last week, the tags on all the mattresses were removed.
Ron
uh oh, I did not know I should not be storing my nukes in the attic... Thanks for the heads up!
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:35 PM   #6
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Attic Storage (What's Legal?)


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uh oh, I did not know I should not be storing my nukes in the attic... Thanks for the heads up!
The instructions say store in a cool, dry space.
You should really keep the paperwork.
Ron
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:57 PM   #7
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Attic Storage (What's Legal?)


Ok. So if you do store up there just make sure you build some sort of platform on the ceiling joists to support whatever. You would be surprised at how fast dead weight loads add up and you don't want them directly on your drywall or lathe and plaster ceilings between joists. Couple sheets of plywood should do the trick?
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:22 PM   #8
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Attic Storage (What's Legal?)


Keep things light and preferably spread out, not all stored on a single piece of plywood. Attics are perfect for holiday decorations BTW.
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Old 05-16-2011, 04:42 PM   #9
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Attic Storage (What's Legal?)


I would like to point out that the storage of thermonuclear devices IN THE ATTIC requires a special building permit, typically issued by the NUCLEAR UNION MASTER of BUILDINGS - NON UNIFORMED TRAINING STATUS, generally known by the abbreviation numb-nuts. Personally I have a permit for just such a device, which I have been known to show to various religious organizations when they visit my house.
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:41 PM   #10
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Attic Storage (What's Legal?)


Attics need to breath. Just make sure the air flow from your intake to exhaust vents is not obstructed.
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Old 05-22-2011, 08:46 AM   #11
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Attic Storage (What's Legal?)


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Keep things light and preferably spread out, not all stored on a single piece of plywood. Attics are perfect for holiday decorations BTW.

Have you ever seen what holiday candles look like after spending a year up in the attic? They were in some of the oddest shapes I ever saw!
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Old 05-22-2011, 03:28 PM   #12
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Attic Storage (What's Legal?)


I'm currently taking stuff -out- of my attic. The reason is to not obstruct the insulation. I had plywood sheets up there for a long time, installed over the joists. I plan to have more insulation blown in, so the plywood has to go. But if you build a raised platform say 10" over the joists, then sure you can put stuff up there without compacting the insulation.
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:33 PM   #13
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I'm currently taking stuff -out- of my attic. The reason is to not obstruct the insulation. I had plywood sheets up there for a long time, installed over the joists. I plan to have more insulation blown in, so the plywood has to go. But if you build a raised platform say 10" over the joists, then sure you can put stuff up there without compacting the insulation.
Losing you. Why would you worry about compacting insulation? I sort of think the whole idea is to get as much compacted into dead air space---potentially hot or cold---as possible?

Why would you feel the need to raise everything ten inches?. And how would you get 2x10 up in there? And decked out with plywood and with stuff stored on top. The framing below may need to be sistered.

I know this is a DIY site but if you are thinking of this kind of construction not to have to toss stuff? Would not a storage shed be cheaper?
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:44 PM   #14
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Attic Storage (What's Legal?)


Hello,

Compacting insulation tends to reduce the R-value. Where I live (Texas) it gets pretty hot, so a higher R-value is better.

I'm going to be moving the stuff that was up in the attic to above the cars in the garage, which is uninsulated.

The OP lives in SoCal so maybe he needs less insulation that I do. In that case, putting plywood over the attic joists is probably okay.

Last edited by Cakemeister; 05-22-2011 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:56 PM   #15
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Have you ever seen what holiday candles look like after spending a year up in the attic? They were in some of the oddest shapes I ever saw!
I really hate you. I tried to erase the memory of the box of Holiday candles I found in an attic built in my parents garage. But you had to stir it all up.

Imagine a moving box filled four to six inches thick with candle wax and wicks popping out of it everywhere. And the worst. The faces that may once may have looked like Santa or the Easter bunny, stuck appropriately to the side of candle were staring up at you from the ooze. Thanksgiving leaves floating around and of course wax encased glitter everywhere including over the plastic Valentine's Day flowers.

Before you think about attic storage? Think about getting rid of some stuff.

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