By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Before You Begin
Most houses with attic space that has been floored over is designed to carry the weight of items stored there. Since this project is adding new flooring to the attic you should check that the attic floor joists or more importantly, the ceilings of the rooms below, to be sure they are strong enough to support the extra weight you plan to put up there. Generally if the ceiling joists are at least 2x6 boards spaced on 16-inch centers they will support a 4-by-8 foot storage pad. Ceiling joists of 2-by-8 or more will support larger storage pads. Two-by-four ceiling joists are too small to support attic storage.
Step 1 : Measure and layout the space
Determine how much storage area you can create in the attic based on what's most easily accessible from the stairs. Measure the floor space and figure the new storage area will be covered in 2-by-4-foot panels. If needed, you can cut them to fit using a hand saw.
Step 2 : Clear the space
Remove all boxes and items from the area so everything is cleared off the ceiling joists. Use one of the panels to kneel on and be careful not to put your foot through the ceiling below. The panels are small enough to fit easily through typical pull-down stairways leading to attic space.
Step 3 : Install the panels
Lay down the panels and fit them together by installing them perpendicular to the floor with adjacent rows staggered. Use a mallet to gently push the tongue-and-groove edges together.
Step 4 : Fasten with nails
Fasten the panels to the joists using 8D ring shank nails or 1 5/8-inch screws per joist. Sink the nail head below the surface with a nail set. The new area is ready for boxes and storage items.
Illlustrations courtesy of Isobord Storage Bords
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