Attic Storage Concepts, Optimize Attic Storage
The style and year of a house often determine the extent to which an attic can be used Attic storage. Victorians and colonial masters prior to the 1970s offer the best space on the third floor due to the steeper roof pitch. Newer two-story houses, ranches, and elevated ranches have the least amount of storage space in the attic, mainly because the technical roof trusses used in the new build greatly affect the roof pitch. Indeed, newer homes often allow little more than crawl space.
Even without traditional storage space in the attic, Cape Cods and bungalow-style homes offer creative second-floor storage options. Shed dormers are found or created where the roof extends beyond the dominant roofline. These rooms can provide storage units the size of a large closet or a small room. Storage aisles are often found in homes of this style. Known as knee walls, they run along the outside wall, under the dormer window, or perpendicular to it and are accessible through doors cut into the wall. However, due to the angled ceiling, these aisles offer little or no headroom, but are ideal for shelving and stacking storage. Shed dormers can also be built to decrease the slope of a ceiling and expand the storage capacity of a guest room or attic on the third floor.
No full attic is completely safe for storage if not properly ventilated and insulated. Ventilation and insulation work hand in hand to reduce humidity and avoid drastic temperature fluctuations in the summer and winter months.
While goods unaffected by temperature can be stored in an uninsulated attic, all storage areas in the attic should be properly ventilated. Ventilation prevents excessive heat and moisture from building up. This can of course be done, provided the necessary ventilation openings are available. In this case, cooler air enters the attic through vents near the eaves. By convection with warm air, the hotter air escapes through ventilation slots in or around the roof.
With mechanical ventilation, an electric fan is used to suck in fresh air and suck out the old. The fan works automatically when the heat in an attic reaches 100 degrees. Before installing an attic fan, make sure it has a fire status or an automatic shut-off function. Because they cause increased air flows that can cause house fires, roof fans need shut-off sensors that turn on when temperatures rise dramatically. Some attic fans are even equipped with a humidity regulator that is activated whenever the humidity rises above 70 percent.
The insulation acts as a buffer by slowing the transfer of heat between the second floor living space and the attic. Most attics have insulation between the floor joists. However, additional insulation is recommended if you plan to use the attic for long-term storage. The insulation is rated according to the efficiency, known as the R value, and can be tailored to the insulation standards that are optimal for your region. Except in the driest climates, moisture build-up is a problem in insulated attics. Vapor barriers, headspace, and venting offer possible solutions to the problem. However, it is best to consider your options before attempting an isolation installation.
Of course, no attic is fully functional as storage space if the ceiling joists above your second floor cannot support a load-bearing floor. A floor can be installed, but not without first reinforcing the joists. If the only access is through a hatch in a bedroom closet, you can also build fixed stairs or install a fold-down ladder.
Efficient use of space
The attic architecture offers interesting options for wall storage. The gable walls offer the largest surface area and are perfect for shelving or custom cabinets. The space under the eaves can be changed by building a knee wall. The knee wall removed from the outer wall cuts off the angular slope of the eaves at its lowest point. A four foot knee wall can provide level shelf space for support boxes, while doors cut into the wall provide access to storage space under the eaves. The shelves can be attached to the outside wall behind the new knee wall for easy organization. A sturdy garment bag can hang from the collar beam, which is perpendicular to the rafters, while the space between the collar beams is used to support a platform for easy storage. Hanging shelves can be hung on the rafters to store smaller goods by department.
When organizing an attic, avoid the temptation to stack heavy boxes on furniture so as not to weaken the furniture joints. Stacked boxes make it difficult to find any pests or hidden damage to your structure or wiring. Take the time to create an inventory map, whether your storage space is loft, dormer, crawl space, or alley. Also, keep a schedule for regular furniture, boxes, and infrastructure inspections to keep your valuable possessions in good working order.