Many people use the attic in their homes for storage of various things such as seasonal decorations or other items that don’t require immediate access. Some people even finish their attics to improve the storage space, but if you’re thinking about building a new custom home, you might want to consider finishing the attic as part of the construction so that you don’t have to do it later as an afterthought. Knowing that you want a finished attic for storage can also help you make choices that will improve its functionality as a storage space. Here are a few things to think about when you plan your attic storage:
All attics have some kind of access, but if you’re planning on using the attic space for storage, you will want to design some kind of easy access to that space. Retractable ladders are useful for this, and they can be mounted on the access panel. Some of these ladders will even have a handrail attached for added safety and comfort ascending into the attic.
Another important consideration is landing space. Wherever the ladder emerges into the attic, you will want a threshold where you can stand upright on a solid surface. So plan for the access to emerge under the roof ridge beam where the headroom is highest, and be sure to put down some kind of flooring to stand on. If it’s not in the original design, you may need to adjust a bit to make sure the floor can hold the weight you will be putting on it.
In addition to things like weight bearing and hand rails for the ladder discussed above, there are other safety concerns for any attic storage space. Many times the attic is the place where the house’s wiring or ductwork runs, so be sure to plan for safe wiring conduits and giving space for ducts or any other infrastructure the house requires. Never nail plywood down on top of wires, as this can easily cause a fire. However, if you’re going to be walking around in the attic, you will need to put down some kind of flooring so that you can move around safely without falling through the ceiling into the house below.
Another purpose to the flooring you put down for safety is to increase the storage space. If you need to stack boxes or storage bins, it’s easier to do so on a floor. However, be sure to consider the environment when deciding what to store and how to store it in the attic. Because attics are not usually air conditioned, the heat of a Florida summer can bake anything you choose to store in the attic. Things that are likely to melt in high heat, like candles, should probably not be stored in such a space. Hopefully if you build a new house, the attic will be clean and fresh, but older attics can get dirty, and depending on the way in which the attic is finished, you will want to account for weather and debris. For example, most attics are vented, and depending on how the vents are set up, sometimes leaves from nearby trees, or other debris can make its way inside. Some people prefer to store their stuff in plastic bins rather than cardboard boxes because the plastic is more resilient in such conditions. On the other hand, consider whether you want to install shelving or hanging racks depending on the kinds of things you will be storing.
The attic, although designed for temperature control within the house, has become a common storage area. If you want to build your new custom home with a sturdy and useful storage area in the attic area, be sure to consider these tips when planning it. Also be sure to consult with your custom home builders. Harden Custom Homes has been helping people build their custom homes for a long time, so be sure to contact us with any questions you may have: (239) 205-5075. Or, visit our Model Home at 2818 Tropicana Pkwy W., Cape Coral, FL 33993.