There’s nothing like crawling up into the attic, pulling out that old projector, opening that dusty trunk, and reliving the good old days, all while trying on mothball scented outfits from ages gone by.
Okay, maybe that doesn’t sound like you. It doesn’t sound like me either. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I crawled into an attic without inhaling a lungful of cellulose or fiberglass insulation.
Maybe it’s just on TV that you see attics like that. Well today’s article is all about attics and what they mean to you as resident of one of our age restricted communities.
What can I do with my attic?
Getting up inside your attic
Depending on your floorplan, your attic access may be in different spots. A quick walk around your home will reveal the access panel in your ceiling. Often they’re in a hallway or in your master closet.
There was a time when we had fold out stairs installed on these attic access’s, but the attics were more practical back then. Now you have to get the old standard ladder out and climb up there, push the sheetrock panel up and over, then play at gymnast to get yourself up.
For the most part though, there is little reason you’d ever need to access that part of your home.
Back when we used to have ladders going into our attics, we also put the mechanical rooms up there. We’ve since gone away from this, since it violated our no stairs philosophy.
Also, since we value beautiful vaulted ceilings, the space between your ceiling and roof offers little to no room for any practical storage. Therefore, we don’t design our trusses for storage. If you were to climb up there, you’d find nothing but a rolling sea of insulation, wiring, and ductwork.
I’ve always hated climbing into an attic. The insulation alone will leave me coughing and itching for hours afterward, but as long as we’re on the subject, you might be wondering: How much insulation do we put in your attic?
As per code and engineered heat loss calculations, we generally blow in enough to be at least R-38. In area’s totally inaccessible to our blown in insulation, we’ll install batt insulation before sheetrock is ever applied, but still to the same R-38 standard.
Many people opt to have extra insulation blown in. This is done after they close, and as a homeowner, there are sometimes rebates available to cover that cost from the gas company. You may need to check with whatever insulator you choose to use to see what promos might currently be available.
Most of our attics are ventilated using soffit to ridge vents. This means that under your eves, there is a perforated soffit which allows air into the attic. Then, at the peak of your roof, the shingles are elevated with a ventilating mesh that allows the air to escape.
These are a great way to vent your attic, but they don’t always take care of the full need. Thus you will often see a couple extra turtle vents, plastic or metal boxy things on your roof.
No matter how much venting we put on the attics, they still tend to get very warm, especially in the summer. This is normal, if not a little uncomfortable. Luckily you won’t be spending much time up there.
So in short, the attics in our homes serve to keep the house insulated, and they deliver the appropriate venting throughout the house. Aside from that, they are completely impractical for any other usage. I would never even try to use any of that space for storage, at least not with the floorplans we use.