Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Laundry room/Attic access

Our laundry room is going to be in the attic space above the dining room and kitchen. The only access to this area was in the bathroom but the shower will be covering it up so I needed to make a new entryway into the area.

The new entryway will be from the back spare bedroom. Here is the corner of the room where the new doorway will be.

Here is the rough opening for the doorway.

Since the dining room/kitchen ceiling is a foot higher (11 feet) there will have to be a step up to get in to the laundry room. Here's the view from inside the attic.

Next I started cleaning out in between the joists, there's over 100 years of dust, coal soot, knob & tube wiring, and old bits of cedar roofing shingles everywhere.

I stopped at this point for a few reasons, first I had stepped on a 3" long nail earlier in the day and my foot was starting to swell up pretty bad, but mainly because I need to get a few things before I can lay the rest of the sub floor down. I need to get some R-30 insulation, and I need to get the sub-panel and install it first.

The sub-panel will be installed here in the laundry room and control the entire upstairs and a few of the overhead lights downstairs. I also have to wire up the overhead lights before the sub-floor can go down.


Jason said...

Can the ceiling joists really hold a washer and dryer safely? Filled with water and clothes, I imagine a washing machine weighs north of 300 lbs. Will you need to beef them up somehow?

Todd - Home Construction Improvement said...

I'm with Jason. Current building codes will require larger floor joists. The "joists" in that photo are really only ceiling joists and "collar" ties for the raftered roof.

Vibrations will also be a major problem.

Anonymous said...

I will see Jason and raise Todd, a ceiling problem and a real water disaster.

Vibration alone will loosen the plaster, overflow issues will soak the plaster and lath, leading to a mess you don't want to think about.

As far as the structure is concerned, depending on having a bearing wall somewhere below that you can spread the load, at the very minimum you need to sister those ceiling joists.

If you are really serious about hauling laundry up 2+ floors, that is the mimimum that I would build.
I would place at least the washer in a square shower pan with its own drain.

Jason and Heather said...

Ok let's clear some of this up. The joists will hold up just fine. They have held up for over 100 years with a heavy wood ceiling hanging from them without any deflection at all.

The old wall I tore down and moved between the kitchen and dining room was also hanging from this ceiling. The bottom of the studs had rotted and weren't even touching the floor so the entire wall was actually hanging from the ceiling. The joists did not bow at all from this.

This is not cheap white pine that you buy at Home Depot here, it is petrified 120 year old southern yellow heart pine. I weigh 230 and I can jump up and down on them and they barely move.

The ceiling beneath the joists are wood, not plaster, and yes of course I am installing a pan in case the washer overflows.

Also, I'm not going to be hauling laundry up any stairs, that is the point of putting the laundry room up there, it's right next to the bedrooms.