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Topic # 248409 25-Mar-2019 11:44
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Hi 

 

I am planning to use the attic space above my double garage to store general household items 

 

The previous owners have 2 sheets of MDF 1200 x 600 with strips of 2x4 wood that i am using 

 

to store light items.  

 

I know that structural engineers will cringe at the idea, as the trusses are designed to hold the roof with the occasional snow

 

Currently access is via a small trap door and I am using a ladder to carry stuff.

 

I am mindful that I cannot store all stuff that I have that I use occasionally or photo albums due to the intense heat in summer

 

 

 

1. I would like to install an  foldable attic stair case -Sellwood comes to mind.  (Any installers in CHCH and rough costs? My DIY skills are limited for a job of this nature

 

2.  Just get some 2x4 and sheets of MDF and have them installed at various areas so the load is distributed

 

3.  Instead of above, use some stilts like these from Attic Island https://atticisland.co.nz/product-category/attic-stilts/

 

4.  If this involves strengthening of the attic dont bother?

 

 

 

Please can I have some real life experiences and the pros and cons before I start to get too involved 

 

cheers

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 2204630 25-Mar-2019 11:47
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This might or might not be useful. The little access door is visible top right

 

 

 

Click to see full size


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  Reply # 2204637 25-Mar-2019 12:02
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Are you deliberately not using any of the space at the sides and end of the garage for shelves/cabinets?

Attic storage is usually like corner cupboards in kitchens, stuff goes in and never comes out.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 2204638 25-Mar-2019 12:03
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I'm keen to see what feedback you get here, as I am contemplating a similar thing in my garage...





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  Reply # 2204658 25-Mar-2019 12:40
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I am using the sides .

 

Got 4 white cupboards and also 2 tall boys with drawers.  

 

Have donated and thrown out a lot stuff as well.  

 

Its just for stuff that I dont need in a hurry. Agree that attic storage is more like out of sight out of mind! 


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  Reply # 2204695 25-Mar-2019 14:02
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We have attic access stair and it's handy for using the attic for storage as well as getting access to the top.

 

 

 

I think when we installed ours, we used Hometech. https://www.hometech.co.nz/storage-solutions/attic-stairs





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  Reply # 2204702 25-Mar-2019 14:11
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Assuming your garage ceiling isn't insulated then there's no point in using attic stilts - it's just a spacer, no structural benefit. 

 

Personally I'd just do it, but I don't think anyone here is going to recommend it without seeing the roof structure and the weight of the things you want to store. 

 

I'd fit the 4x2's perpendicular to the rafters and screw them into the rafters, then and glue/screw the ply/mdf down onto the rafters. That way, your storage floor acts as a system, so if you exceed the capacity of one rafter with a heavy item, the load can be shared somewhat across neighbouring rafters. 




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  Reply # 2204725 25-Mar-2019 15:03
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Thanks guys.

 

Chiefe:    How much was it roughly?       Breakdown for stairs and labour ?

 

 

 

Nick:   I think I will skip these stilts as the pink batts come up flush to the rafters. 

 

Should I skip the  2x4's   and just screw the boards in. Planning to use plywood 12mm rather than MDF being heavier

 

Would you bother with drilling a pilot hole or just let the wood screw do its thing using a cordless driver? 

 

 


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  Reply # 2204740 25-Mar-2019 15:29
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When we purchased our place 10 years ago it had pull down attic stairs in place. A very small area was covered over up there with 18mm MDF. I have now covered over approx. 50 sqm and all I did was screw it into the bottom 4 x 2 of the Truss. I have a lot of stuff up there, all nicely labelled in storage bins. Some of it is up to 40kg in weight. Been up there for close to 8 years without any issues. Including a lot of Earthquake aftershocks. I'm in Rolleston




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  Reply # 2204800 25-Mar-2019 16:18
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Thanks 3puttsssuck   That brings a lot of confidence for me

 

 


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  Reply # 2204803 25-Mar-2019 16:24
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qwertee:

Would you bother with drilling a pilot hole or just let the wood screw do its thing using a cordless driver? 

 

 

I'd always drill a small pilot hole, driving screws straight into pine means they'll sometimes find a knot or softer spot and go off at an angle, at which point you need to find a new spot to put the screw.

 

 

Edited to add: Mind you if you're putting down timber in an attic it shouldn't matter if the odd screw isn't quite true, I'm thinking of cabinetry where things need to look good and it's worth spending the extra time on it.

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  Reply # 2204804 25-Mar-2019 16:40
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@Qwertee I can't recall.. it's been too many years, it was done before CHC EQ.

 

We didn't do much in the attic other than some boards over the structural beams to hold boxes and such.





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  Reply # 2204829 25-Mar-2019 18:50
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We have an attack stair and store heaps up there. First thing to think is to lay your supporting boards over the areas that have walls underneath. From your pic, it looks like this is an attached/internal garage? If so, then spread your load over the surrounding area, where your passage and room walls will also support the roof more.

I have a “Golden Homes” build with their steel framing (though this is actually really thin plate, not ‘railway’ type steel) but spreading the load seems to be fine for us.

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  Reply # 2204842 25-Mar-2019 20:05
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We have an area with MDF just nailed to the rafters above out garage.  Heaps of stuff stored up there.  Would like some retractable stairs but just haven't got around to it.  It spans across the middle of the garage roof and have had no issues.  

 

Just one thing to bear in mind, in summer it absolutely cooks in the ceiling, so don't put anything up there susceptible to heat.  





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  Reply # 2204996 26-Mar-2019 08:58
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Thanks for your feedback.

 

Yes its an internal garage.

 

I am over-thinking the whole thing and with the advise from others my plan is to:

 

1.    get plywood sheets (12mm) and screw them straight to the rafters around areas where there are supporting walls and store stuff

 

2.     install attic stairs later  (when I have enough $$) using the existing trap door

 

 

 

cheers

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 2205026 26-Mar-2019 10:25
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We did this recently with our house attic. 

 

We used a builder in Christchurch to install the attic stairs, $690 inc labour (the stairs were insulated and had a handle as well). 

 

We did the flooring ourselves, we used the attic island stilts to raise above the insulation - and also because the beams in the ceiling weren't all the same height. Then we used 18mm ply for the flooring (the builder said anything over 12mm customwood/particalboard/ply would be fine). We have about 30m2 of usable floor space in the attic now, and had an LED light installed as well. 


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