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Old 04-10-2010, 01:11 PM   #1
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Attic Storage/Finishing Options

My wife and I are looking to make our walk-up attic better for storage. At present, the attic is uninsulated which makes it intolerable temperature wise for about 8 months a year. Obviously, adding insulation (and possibly some heat) would resolve this situation but I have several questions regarding both what will work and what would satisfy code requirements (we are in NJ where a CO is required for every house sale thus preventing us from being to lax).

For the insulation question - is there a type available that can be left uncovered that we can install in the rafters? My first thought would be to use kraft backed fiberglass but I know leaving it uncovered is a fire hazard. Can the foil backed be left uncovered and is it still available?

If we inclose a portion of the attic so as to avoid having to insulate the whole thing, does this become something that would be considered living space? What happens if we add heat to the space?

Finally, the attic floor joists are 2x6 which it is my understanding is NOT sufficient support for a living space (but is okay for a non-living storage space). What is the minimum joist size that is required and would we need to upgrade to that size given our plans for the space?

Thanks in advance,
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