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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    45

    Default Structurally sound for attic remodel?

    I am wondering how I can know if my house has the right structure to add a living space to our 100 year old attic.

    Here is the information on my attic. Something to note is that the roof not only pitches from the sides but also from the front and back, not sure how that affects our structure but I have included these measurements below.

    The main section of the house has rafters at 16" on center. The front and back, where the roof is pitched is set at 24" on center. The main section of the roof is 15' long, the front and back sections are 10'
    on either end (all measured at the floor)

    Regarding the pitch, the floor is 239" wide and 114" tall. The floor is made up of ruff cut 2x6" all spaced at 16" on center.

    We are looking to add a bedroom and bath (shower not tub)

    What surprises me is that the center load wall is the same in the basement and main floor. when you go upstairs, there is a hallway right above the load wall and the walls on either side do not line up with the wall on the main floor. So, I am concern that this may affect the load if I add a bunch of weight to the attic.

    Either way,please let me know your thoughts. I will bring someone in to evaluate if you are not able to make an accurate analysis if my house can handle this extra load.

    Thanks a lot!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,081

    Default Re: Structurally sound for attic remodel?

    This kind of question should be directed to an engineer/architect, who will be able to inspect the property, do the right calculations and give you a plan. There could be some new posts required.

    After you have a plan, you can estimate your costs, proceed with a permit from your building department and start construction.

    During the construction of such an addition, the weather is a serious consideration, so plan accordingly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Structurally sound for attic remodel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lots-o-work View Post
    I am wondering how I can know if my house has the right structure to add a living space to our 100 year old attic.

    Here is the information on my attic. Something to note is that the roof not only pitches from the sides but also from the front and back, not sure how that affects our structure but I have included these measurements below.

    The main section of the house has rafters at 16" on center. The front and back, where the roof is pitched is set at 24" on center. The main section of the roof is 15' long, the front and back sections are 10'
    on either end (all measured at the floor)

    Regarding the pitch, the floor is 239" wide and 114" tall. The floor is made up of ruff cut 2x6" all spaced at 16" on center.

    We are looking to add a bedroom and bath (shower not tub)

    What surprises me is that the center load wall is the same in the basement and main floor. when you go upstairs, there is a hallway right above the load wall and the walls on either side do not line up with the wall on the main floor. So, I am concern that this may affect the load if I add a bunch of weight to the attic.

    Either way,please let me know your thoughts. I will bring someone in to evaluate if you are not able to make an accurate analysis if my house can handle this extra load.

    Thanks a lot!
    Yep -- you'll need to enlist the services of an enginner or architect. Besides they will have to provide you with stamped drawings for you to submit to your local municipal builing department for approval and permits.

    It's very rare any * attic * is properly structured and configured for living space.
    In your situation things that comes to mind are --2X6 joists will not be acceptable for floor joists ( grossly undersized ) --- you'll need an appropriate staircase ( at least 36 inches wide ) to this space --- you will need the appropriate sized egress windows in this space -- to name a few.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    nova scotia, canada
    Posts
    1,522

    Default Re: Structurally sound for attic remodel?

    very true sprucey, you may need to go to a larger joist in order to turn this into a living space. ive done 2nd story additions to houses which had nothing more than 2x4 ceiling joists. to properly frame the 2nd storey we had to install 11 1/4" engineered joists which clear spanned teh entire house in order to do such a addition on these houses. once this was complete the 2x4 ceiling joists acted as nothing more than a nailer for the strapping on the main floor
    fire up the saw and make some dust

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