The Attic: Phase 2

Okay, I’m sore.  Tired, weary, and sore.  But I’m thrilled at the condition of the attic!

Today I borrowed DH’s SUV to load up on the plywood at the home improvement store.  I also got a 2 x 4, some T-straps and a huge roll of insulation.  Total cost: $76.xx with tax.  I love the fact that I can get two free cuts per piece of wood where I get my supplies.  What a lifesaver!  All my cuts today were precision sliced at the store, even the 2 x 4.  And the nice lumber guy loaded it in the vehicle for me.

Once I went to execute my ridge support rework plan, I realized that the ridge beam does not line up with the support floor beam, which sits atop an I-beam six inches away. That’s why the support beam is “jury-rigged” — aarrgh! So after securing T-straps to the 2 x 4, I attached it to a rafter beam and a joist, about two inches from the offending situation.  However, I left the existing catty-wompus “support” beam (which blocks the top of the stairs) in place, but added a T-strap at the top for extra security.

Then I got to work on installing the missing insulation.  Forty-inch sections in the center of each joist span, just missing, as if they ran out of the rolls, and didn’t want to cut any to fit.  It’s not that we have to keep the attic temperature consistent, but that we need a buffer between the garage and attic.  In went the sections.

After the insulation was in, I started installing the pre-cut plywood. I decided that I could wait for a large floor space to move things around before screwing them down in more than one or two spots (plus the battery on my drill went out).  I was actually able to carry up two 2-ft x 8-ft pieces of 1/2 inch ply by myself.  It was tough!  I thought maybe DH’s offer to help lift them up was a good one.  I cut some smaller custom cuts from some leftover pieces, and screwed them down — it’s so nice to finally have a floorboard at the top of the stair!  (I kid you not!)

I ran up to the car wash to vacuum the plywood chippies out of the SUV, and then I started to fade fast, so I called it a day.  But after getting the kids from school, I did go back up just to make a template to cut some boards to accommodate the support beams and another construction glitch.  I transferred the markings and marked all the cuts for tomorrow’s work.

At this point, two days in, I am done with work for Week 1, Week 2, and half of Week 3!  Part of the reason is that I didn’t build the shelves (which also saved money).  Another part is getting the plywood pre-cut.  Planning makes a huge difference, and even though my family thinks I plan and re-plan too much, it has already paid off in preventing mis-cuts and catastrophe.

All this work, though, is taking a toll on my out-of-shape muscles.  I have to bend over unless I’m sitting on the floor.  My arms haven’t lifted this kind of weight in a long time.  I’ve bumped and bruised a good portion of my legs. With the help of ibuprofen, Icy Hot, and a nice whirlpool tub, I’m getting through it.  A little bit of chocolate doesn’t hurt, either.


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