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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to All,

We have a 2 story house [built 2004-05] and now some huge water heaters in the attic are going to soon replacing. I think I can wait until fall.

The pathway where plywood is laid down from attic door to the 2 integrated water heaters cannot be used. The heaters will not fit thru the upright rafter support beams. Therefore, I am going to have to put down some additional plywood.

The insulation in our attic is the white sprayed in type. Some has settled down below the rafter line. Before I cut and screw down some additional plywood, should I spray-in more insulation to make it flush w the rafters? Also, when laying down this additional plywood, are there any other precautionary things I should do? We could also use the extra storage and I could also free-up some critical space that is inundated w all the xxxx my wife and daughters have piled-up in the attic...it's almost impossible to get to the two AC/Heating Units bc of all the xxxx.

Thank you very much,
tstex
 

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Hi tstex,
Your description is a good illustration of one of the problems you face, if you build it, they will fill it.

My first question is, are the rafters below capable of holding all of that xxx? Sounds like trusses when you describe upright rafter supports. Hopefully, with the HVAC already up there, someone designed it to hold the load.

Along the same line, how deep are those joists that are filled with insulation. If 2x6, you need more insulation than just a fill.

Confirm trusses or other and depth of joists at the floor.

Bud
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote from Bud: "Your description is a good illustration of one of the problems you face, if you build it, they will fill it."

This is for sure one of the most profound statements of the year, every year.

Yes, the joists are 2x6's and there are enough of lower load-bearing support beams below to allow for the additional weight for sure. Most of the xxxx up there in this area are suitcases and lighter things, but they just take-up A LOT OF SPACE. I make sure that anything of real weight and mass are always placed away from the open centers and more to the edges to ensure proper wt distribution.

when I start this project, I am going to get my wife and 2 girls to take-out and stack-up all the xxxx right below in the 2nd story foyer so they can see how much xxxx is up there...hopefully we can remove X % of it while we are at it.

Finally, I would assume spaying the exact some kind of insulation that is up there, correct? Thank you, tstex
 

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Don't shoot the messenger, but you still have issues.

Still need to identify if those rafters are trusses or other. Pictures would help.

Best laid plans are easily forgotten. Building codes and permits may be required to complete your upgrade. I would assume the ceiling joists (and I'm assuming trusses) were designed for a specific load and rarely would they add an extra ounce of wood if they could get away with it. Thus, any change in the design load (storing stuff adds dead load) could require approval. And as for the good intentions of NOT putting too mush up there, never happen, it will accumulate like a magnet, it seems to be the nature of our society.

As for the 5.5" or less of insulation, I'm not sure how they got away with that in an 04 home. TX has 3 zones, hot, hotter, and hottest. The minimum code requirement is either r-30 or r-38. Even if it was for some reason less at the time of construction, renovations usually require bringing everything touched up to current codes. This link is for 09 codes but your location may have moved forward to 2012 or 2015. Your local code officials will surely know.
https://energycode.pnl.gov/EnergyCodeReqs/?state=Texas

To reach your required (and desired) minimum r-value, if approved, you can run 2x6s perpendicular to the current joists and fill with insulation then add the plywood on top. Mine is just a suggestion and the local code officials will tell you what is required.

just a personal comment as I know the mention of permits and building codes often upsets posters, but here on the forum we have to deal with both sides of this issue. People purchase a home and immediately discover work that was done without a permit or not up to codes. It can quickly become a can of worms. best advice we can give from here is to start at the permit office and become friends with the local inspector. The alternative of not being in good standing with your inspector is not good.

Follow the right path and document all steps to be sure future owners will be happy (and pay more).

Bud
 

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Late to the party, but... If you have trusses (2x6 bottom chord is standard for HVAC up there) be careful where you add the storage area- mid-span over bearing walls as you already have some heavy units now.

Don't ever add framing perpendicular to the existing as you will be adding the dead load of said framing/plywood rather than just the storage load of the new floor. Make the new floor bearing on the walls below- not on any existing framing- especially mid-span.

Gary
 
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