12.08.2011

Attic Stairs. Check.

We've had some abnormally warm temperatures lately, but a couple days of cool weather made us realize that we needed to finish up the attic stairs project, stat. See, when S lay the floor upstairs, he built up the floor joists so that we wouldn't compress the gazillion inches of insulation our home's previous owners added just before we bought our little beehive. But, the trap door stair unit itself only came with a piece of half-in rigid foam nothingness on it to make you think it's insulated. The cold wall of air meeting us at the top of the stairs recently told a different story.

So on to finishing the project.

S and I waddled off to the big orange store for two of thickest pieces of rigid foam insulation we could find, which was about R13. While I was inside filling the gaps around the trim of the new trap door with wood filler in preparation for paint, S was outside cutting the foam into two solid pieces and piecing together the scraps to create a third layer. He used a can of liquid nails to adhere all the layers together, the two solid together and the pieced together layer on top.
S glued two lengths of string between two layers of the insulation so we can hook the insulation trap door on a couple of nails hammered into the ceiling rafters to keep the whole thing out of the way whenever we need to take several trips up and down the attic stairs.

Once the liquid nails was dry, S carefully popped the insulation trap door up the stairs and its freshly painted trim. Yes, I painted trim on the ceiling at nine months pregnant (with no-voc paint, of course). My big a*s belly hasn't changed the fact that I have the steadier hand around here ;o)

Once the trap door was in place, S marked where we needed to cut out a square of the bottom layer of foam to fit around the bottom section of stairs, which stick up a bit and don't sit flush with the door opening. Kind of a pain in the neck, but it was easier to mark with the insulation in place.
After we made the final adjustments to the insulation, we made marks on the inside of the door opening and the insulation to make it easier to properly line up the insulation trap door to sit flush with the attic floor each time we move it. We'll eventually add a little strapping so the whole thing just falls into place. Maybe this weekend.

Now everything is nice and toasty, the hall light is in its new home, the door is primed and painted and our new attic stairs look like they've always been there.
And we're absolutely in love with the extra storage our new stair have opened up...especially since we have soooo many empty boxes of baby goods up there right now!

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