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Do It Yourself or Not: Install an attic floor

Gene and Katie Hamilton, Tribune Content Agency on

The selling feature in many homes is the attic, an ideal space for not often-used but keeper-worthy stuff we accumulate. In many new homes there’s access to an attic, but it’s useless without a floor; the same is true in some older homes. To take advantage of the untapped storage space in the attic, you can add flooring and make it useful to stash your stuff in a safe place. One solution is to use 4-foot-by-5-foot OSB panels or 4-foot-by-8-foot plywood sheeting, readily available at lumberyards.

A carpenter will charge $576 to lay a 23/32-inch (approximately 3/4-inch) thick floor panels in an area approximately 10 square feet. That includes labor and material. If you have carpentry experience and tools, you can do the job for $250, the cost of the plywood and screws, and save 57%. For tools you’ll need a circular saw, a carpenter's square and measuring tape. You can cut full 4-foot-by-8-foot panels of plywood into 2-by-4 sections so they can be easily moved up an attic stair and into place. OSB tongue and groove panels are more expensive, but don’t require cutting.

The real work of the project has two parts. First, remove or relocate stuff that may be up there. The strenuous work is muscling the plywood panels up the ladder and getting it through the opening. Best advice is to enlist the help of a friend who can hoist and maneuver them up to you. To fasten the panels to the floor joists, you'll be working on your knees, so wear kneepads to protect your shins.

Prepare the attic space by opening a window or vent so there's good airflow and ventilation. If it’s dark, use work lights so you can see what you're doing.

Pro Cost: $576 — DIY Cost: $250
Pro time: 5.5 — DIY Time: 8.5
DIY Savings: $326 — Percent Saved: 57%

 

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To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit www.diyornot.com and m.diyornot.com on smartphones.

©2022 Gene and Katie Hamilton. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

 

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