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Old 08-05-2019, 03:31 AM   #1
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Attic Apartment


Here's what I am looking to do; When I had the "Shop" built on my property in Montana I had the General Contractor use an Attic Truss w/living area. the trusses span 30' and the area created by the trusses is 18' x 60'. Now it's time to build the apartment, however, the cost may exceed my expectations. I'll be working with the GC to see what I can do to keep the costs down. But in the meantime I wanted to ask a few of questions:

If the floor joists are 24 on center an I want to put a couple of walls running parallel to the joists, do they have to be directly above the joists or can they be roughly 12" away from them? If they can be between the joists I believe I would have to install "blocking" on both the floor joists and the rafters. Is this true? Also, would the blocking allow me to nail the top and bottom plates for the wall? Otherwise what would I nail the top and bottom plates to? I hope this makes sense. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I'll do my best to respond.
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Old 08-05-2019, 04:45 AM   #2
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Re: Attic Apartment


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Originally Posted by Red747 View Post
Here's what I am looking to do; When I had the "Shop" built on my property in Montana I had the General Contractor use an Attic Truss w/living area. the trusses span 30' and the area created by the trusses is 18' x 60'. Now it's time to build the apartment, however, the cost may exceed my expectations. I'll be working with the GC to see what I can do to keep the costs down. But in the meantime I wanted to ask a few of questions:

If the floor joists are 24 on center an I want to put a couple of walls running parallel to the joists, do they have to be directly above the joists or can they be roughly 12" away from them? If they can be between the joists I believe I would have to install "blocking" on both the floor joists and the rafters. Is this true? Also, would the blocking allow me to nail the top and bottom plates for the wall? Otherwise what would I nail the top and bottom plates to? I hope this makes sense. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I'll do my best to respond.

The first step is getting the floor ready for sheeting. The floor will want to be 3/4" or more Not sure if blocking below the floor for the walls is code but it sure would be plus. And not a lot of work.
You have much blocking to do.

The edge of the floor needs solid blocking that will also stop attic air from getting under floor. A 2x6 behind that that extend up flush with the face of the studs. the is like the bottom plate of the wall for drywall and seals the attic air from the room.
The rafter sloped section should be 10 to 12 inches deep for insulation and venting and then a 2x4 at the top of the wall will be like the top plate of the wall.



All these blocks will or should be 22 7/16" long if everything was done right but keep an eye on the layout measurements and adjust as needed.

And yes blocking is needed for the top of the wall for support and drywall backing 24" on centre,
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Old 08-05-2019, 03:42 PM   #3
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Re: Attic Apartment


I should have probably mentioned that I have on the ground floor radiant heat (outside wood boiler) that heats the upstairs area(heat rises). Typically the temps upstairs are about 1 degree difference. Once the apartment is done I might have to put a couple of zones up there to supply heat. More than likely in the form of radiators.

The area upstairs already has sheeting on the floor and as you can see from the pictures.

My thoughts are that every location that I place the bottom or top plate of the walls and nail, I will have to place blocking. With that in mind, how far apart should I be nailing the bottom or top plates?
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Old 08-05-2019, 03:58 PM   #4
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Re: Attic Apartment


For the interior walls put blocks 2 ft on centre up the walls and on the ceiling, I am not sure what they would ask for under the floor.
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Old 08-05-2019, 05:34 PM   #5
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Re: Attic Apartment


That seems like you should ask the person who designed it. Metal stud wall could keep the weight down. Can you move the wall within the truss? I'm wondering if wall framing can be designed to be like the webs rather than additional dead weight?
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Old 08-06-2019, 04:03 AM   #6
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Re: Attic Apartment


That's a great idea, however, as I have noted: the cost may exceed my expectations. I'll be working with the GC to see what I can do to keep the costs down.

Steel versus wood? Steel costs more.

Furthermore, I was the one that designed it, he the General Contractor, was the one that built it. He also knew at that time that it would eventually be an apartment but we had not determined a foot print at that time when he built it. He does do great work and currently his bid is 83k for a 2 bedroom 1 bath apartment. But if I can do some of the work myself, I'm sure it will lower the costs.
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