Visions of coffered ceilings, bespoke wooden panelling, perfectly smooth flowing walls, and greatness all filled my mental space at once as I stood on a 3’x3’ plywood square left atop the kitchen ceiling joists in our unfinished attic space. I mentally breathed it all in like a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Yes…this was truly going to be the best office ever.
I did not know it at the time but I was about make the biggest mistake ever of my DYI career.
In complete disillusionment this project really seemed straightforward enough to me. Henceforth, I will admit that I am a dreamer and have often lied to myself.
There would be just a few ceiling joists needing a little height adjustment by adding some wood to raise it to the level of the adjacent rooms, plywood put down as a subfloor, put up a few walls, put a ceiling on it, drywall, paint and done.
A few thousand dollars and a beautiful new spacious home office would be mine in a few weekends time. After all, 2×4’s aren’t that expensive and that’s most of the project right?
Had it only been that simple. Of course, each task individually was of a magnitude monumentally more involved than I could could have ever imagined. Pros will let you know right away that attic additions are loaded with structural challenges and one of the worst places to start projects if you lack experience.
My disaster was about to begin.
Our home was pretty spacious to begin with. The builder had put in wide doors everywhere including the unfinished attic. So getting materials up here to get the job done was going to be a snap. In my head the job was almost already done. Just get started and the rest would come together over the next few weekends.
A quick semi-cautionary thought flitted through my brain. Maybe, just maybe…there might be a the littlest tiniest detail about how to do this project that I actually did not know. Maybe I did need a plan?
I quickly looked at our original home plans and there were some schedules and notes about potentially using the attic space as “light storage” but cautioning against “live loads greater than 20.”
Blah, blah, blah, blah.
Well, we weren’t going to put a pool table up there or use it to store a piano collection.
If the space could be used for light storage that was similar to an office right?
I looked at the house blueprints one last time. Almost the same as having a plan right?
After a full weekend of clearing out most of the blown fiberglass insulation from in between the kitchen ceiling joists, it was time to get to work. I’m red and itching everywhere. Wow! Did that take a lot longer than it should have? Well, hopefully there won’t be any more of this time consuming detail work. Let’s get on with the project.
Once again, I decided that careful planning is simply for people who have no idea what they are doing. Rubes. So scratch that. I’m going to Home Depot to get supplies before anything else slows me down.