RELOCATING THE ATTIC ACCESS

Everyone aboard the time machine!
Buried in the land of pre-baby draft posts, I found this little gem of dust and debris and necessary roughness. There was no text, only these before and during photos. No after photos either, so I’ll have to run and take those. But it’s all coming back to me, like the foggy nightmare that it was…
The attic access panel used to be located in the kitchen, specifically in the odd little laundry/office nook. We knew once we removed that wall, the panel would have to go somewhere else. It’s not exactly ideal to have a huge hole in your brand new kitchen ceiling. And might I add, once we removed the plaster and lathe from the ceiling, because it sagged just so, we discovered the original panel was done all wrong. Certainly not to code size-wise and I highly doubt the City of Oakland is okay with cut rafters. So we had the rafters replaced and determined a new locale. The hallway made the most sense to me.

 

Before we drywalled the kitchen ceiling, we took quick advantage of the easy access. Mike crawled around up there and I yelled from below and together we figured the perfect spot. The furnace sits up here too (my dad can NOT figure out why our furnace is in the attic and all our returns in the ceilings. I tend to agree. It must be a California thing?) and we needed to work around it.
I did some research about code and what size the final opening needs to be. Happily we discovered our opening fit perfectly between two beams and because the ceiling is supported by two walls on either side, we would not have to compromise it in any way. Hooray!

Draw it out and git to cuttin.’ I think that says “Boats & Hoes”? Step Brothers must’ve been on.

This part was all Mike. I was hugely pregnant so I just tried to stay out of the way of the falling dust and cussing husband. It was not easy, for anyone. But the general idea, cut a hole, frame it with 2x4s, trim it out and add a door.
That piece of wood in the front is part of the board that the furnace sits on. It cuts into the space a person needs to fit through the hole, but there is really no way around it. I figure if and when we need to replace the furnace, we can scoot it over a bit.
Like I said, messy.
But looking good!
Now here is where I might lose you because I have no images of the framing. But trust, we wrapped it in 2x4s and Mike called it a day.
I was happy to trim it out and make the door. See? Happy. (I debated whether I should post this horribly flattering photo, the belly hanging out under my shirt is a nice touch, then thought, heck with it. Pregnant Renovation Ladies Unite!) And yeah, Trams Am tee.
The trim is set in an 1/8″ if I remember right to support the door. I added a knob because I can not stand dirty handprints. No excuses contractors of the future! I also added a strip of window insulation along the seam to keep drafts out. Seems to work just fine. It’s painted the same as all of our trim, Benjamin Moore’s Aura Satin in Simply White.
And there you have it. Our new attic access tucked discreetly in the hallway and in no way threatening the stability of our home. Pat on the back to us!


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