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  • Is Your Attic Up To The Standards?

    organize

     

    One of the least talked about rooms in your home is your attic. It's the creepy upstairs room that people don't want to go. This is probably because it is full of junk, there is only one light and spiders have it marked it as their own. Take some time and clear out your attic and have it be a place that is organized and safe. Here are some tips:

    Every attic is different, but a few established norms and practices will guide your renovation.

    Follow the "rule of 7s": Enforcement varies, but codes typically say that at least half of a finished attic must be at least 7 feet high, and that this area must be a minimum of 7 feet wide and 70 square feet. A contractor or a local building official can help you assess how the rule will apply to your attic and how modifications like dormers can resolve height shortcomings.

    Have a pro check the structure: A finished attic weighs a lot more than boxes of off-season duds. Hire an engineer to inspect your house's foundation and framing to ensure they can carry the extra load. At a minimum, you may need to strengthen the attic's floor joists, which are often too shallow or spaced too far apart for the job.

    Assess your access: If you're building a stair-case from scratch, consider a switchback layout. It needs more room than a straight run (roughly 45 to 50 square feet per floor versus 33), but its footprint is more squarish than linear, so it will often fit in spaces where a straight run can't go. Just make sure the landing is large enough to maneuver furniture upstairs.

    Pictured: A focal point at the top of an attic stairway, like this peaked bookshelf, draws people up.

    Put in a Ceiling Fan for Better Climate Control

    If you've got headroom, a fan will make a finished attic more comfortable in warmer months by giving you a cool breeze indoors. Flip the reverse switch in wintertime and it will push warmer air down to keep you cozy.

    Read more at This Old House

    Filed under: Common Household Repairs, Home Mechanic Tips
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