Many people claim they have an attic, but what they really mean is that they have attic space. Not every attic space is properly fitted to use as storage. Simply laying down a few boards will not do, but with a few remodeling tricks the space between your ceiling and your roof can be converted to usable storage space fit to keep all your beloved mementos safe.
Assess the Space
Before anything can be done it is important to see what you have to work with. What kind of access exists to the attic space? Many homes with attic space have a piece of removable ply wood that sits in a frame in the ceiling, accessible by ladder. Some homes have a door that can be pulled open with a ladder built in to either fold or slide open. Those that have a door that opens onto a stairway leading to the attic probably already have an adequate storage space. Depending on how often you plan to access and store items, you may want to consider, which type of access would best suite your needs. An option with a build in ladder may be ideal to reduce the need for hauling in a ladder from the garage or shed every time you need to get into the attic.
Once you are in the attic, check for leaks in the roof or any rotting wood that may need replacement or repair. Check for loose wiring that may need bundling and protecting or possible plumbing to work around. Attend to these things first to make the project worth the effort. Also check to see the depth of space available. Many attics run the length of the entire house with a triangular roof. If you can stand and pace a few feet, then you have more than enough space to create storage space.
It is also a good idea to check for any signs of rodent or bird activity. Cover all vents or fans with protective screens to prevent access.
Adding a Floor
Generally speaking, many homes with attic space are not necessarily safe to use as is because other than the rafters and stud timbers there is nothing safe to hold any significant weight. The materials used to construct ceilings are not load bearing materials. You will need to lay down floor boards strong enough to bare the weight of items you intend to store. It can be a good idea to put insulation down before laying your floor board, which can then be nailed to the rafters.
Now that you have an accessible attic with a proper floor to allow for storage of trunks and boxes you may want to think about a little more. Being creative with space can allow you to add additional storage options. It may be possible to add shelving and clothing rods.
Call Home Improvements of the Carolinas at (336) 271-3323 for help with your attic remodeling project. Our professionally licensed staff can address carpentry, wiring, and plumbing issues related to remodeling projects often without resorting to third party entities. This allows us to provide personable, quality services for residential and commercial buildings, in Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, Burlington, Cary, Raleigh, Haw River, Mebane, Kernersville, Chapel Hill and in-between.