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Old Yesterday, 01:39 PM
 
1,054 posts, read 757,133 times
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I have a 2-story house with a steeply-pitched roof. The 2nd floor is a box which results in large dead spaces on the 2nd floor. There are two bedrooms and a bathroom in the upstairs box. One wall of the smaller bedroom has already been opened and the dead space behind it converted into a closet. Someone screwed sheets of OSB to the floor joists and the rafters. They painted it and put down some trim to make it look decent. They also built some shelving, etc inside.
The closet is about 10' long. There's enough space to walk in along the inner wall, and still hang clothes racks or build shelving on the wall that parallels the roof.

I want to build a mega-closet for the other room in a similar fashion. The house is 35' long, and I'd like to finish pretty much the entire space as a walk-in closet. I was going to just put down OSB on the floor joists, insulate along the roof and hang drywall from the inner side of the rafters and the outer studs of the upstairs area.

Known Issues:
- Moving wiring for downstairs lighting and outlets. As in moving it out of the way so I can put down the subfloor.
- Leaving access for vents from downstairs bathrooms.
- Building around some existing HVAC ducting.
- Detecting roof leaks once the drywall is up (not like I go in the dead space all that often, anyway.) I'll probably see them sooner, actually, since I'll be in the closet more often. Before they drip all the way down and start discoloring my ground floor ceiling.

Unknown issues: (Educate me)
- If I insulate between the rafters and cut off air flow to the attic (3rd floor) is that a problem?
- Do I need to leave some space for air to flow from my vented eaves to the 3rd floor attic? How much?
- Can I avoid this by installing 3rd floor attic fans in my existing attic vents?
- The dead space is vented (passive, no fans). Can I finish the closet all the way to the vents?

See my crummy paint sketches and constructivly criticize how dumb I am.

I don't have to insulate between the closet ceiling/wall and the roof (behind the new drywall). That is currently 7" channels between rafters. I can leave it empty so air can continue to flow from the vented eaves to the attic on the 3rd floor. I just figured insulation there might keep the closet from getting too hot/cold. It currently gets blazing hot in that dead space as it has full afternoon sun, especially in summer.

Alternately, I could install vent fans in the closet as well.
Attached Thumbnails
Turning Dead Space Under Roof into Closet - Dumb Idea?-closet.jpg   Turning Dead Space Under Roof into Closet - Dumb Idea?-2nd-floor.jpg  
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Old Yesterday, 01:58 PM
 
5,987 posts, read 6,841,029 times
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When I think closet I think clothes.


In order to keep anything like that in there (clothing, linens, etc.) you will need to have the space insulated on all sides without interrupting the air flow to the underside of the roof, etc. You probably need to also think about "conditioning" (Heat/Air Conditioning) the air in the closet so as to avoid damp/heat/mold getting into the space.


If you want to keep things that are impervious to heat in there, just open it up and store away. Boxes will likely get "soft" and deteriorate over time, but things like glassware won't suffer.
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Old Yesterday, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
11,485 posts, read 20,517,283 times
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I know some of the Cape Cod houses around here have storage space there (for things like seasonal decorations, etc.) - I would never use it as a closet - the heat build up is incredible.
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Old Yesterday, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Knoxville
4,291 posts, read 21,006,028 times
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Yes you do need to keep the air flow open. There are premade channels designed for this purpose.

We have spaces like this in our house. The wall on the living space side (bedroom) is insulated. It also is paneled. I didn't bother drywalling or paneling the rafters. I store mostly boxes in there.
I have been in my house 25 years and have yet had any adverse affects with anything I have stored up there.
If you want it for clothes, it would be wise to panel it all and seal any seams.
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Old Yesterday, 03:00 PM
 
1,178 posts, read 791,922 times
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This is good usable space that's perfect for a clothes closet or storage. I've done that in a cape with a finished attic being used as a bedroom.

Install insulation baffles between the rafters wherever you add insulation that could block the air flow from the eaves to the ridge. They're cheap and just get stapled in place. That should be all the venting you need.

For clothes storage, you should provide some sort of conditioned air to keep mold and mildew from growing. If the ductwork is right there, just add a collar and some flex duct.
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Old Yesterday, 04:26 PM
 
1,054 posts, read 757,133 times
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Thanks for the heads-up on mold and mildew. I'm in a SoCal semi-arid area. My house, itself, doesn't have air conditioning at all. Our humidity is quite low year-round. I have a furnace with a dehumidifier, but that only runs occasionally in winter, which IS our rainy season...

I'll double-check with local contractors (I'm renovating the kitchen too--not diy), and maybe I can get an HVAC guy to install a branch and register for the closet.

Also, thanks for the word on baffles. I see I should install baffles in every rafter bay I plan to insulate from soffit at least to the 3rd floor attic. I don't need to insulate the 3rd floor attic itself--the space is too small to make into anything, but the baffles should take care of my air transport problem. I'll check behind the existing closet and see what was done there. It doesn't seem to have a temperature/humidity issue, but it's a lot smaller with an always-open archway instead of a door.

I'm also not planning on taking the closet all the way down to the bitter end corner. I'm going to frame up 2-3 feet of the back to let air circulate length-wise as well. That means I probably won't open the closet to the outside in any way.

If I can't get an furnace register installed in the closet, do you think I could get away with a vent (maybe with a fan) doing air exchange with the hallway or bedroom? Maybe one on each end? Reps for all advice!
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Old Yesterday, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
25,533 posts, read 24,427,744 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wac_432 View Post

.....

Unknown issues: (Educate me)
- If I insulate between the rafters and cut off air flow to the attic (3rd floor) is that a problem?
- Do I need to leave some space for air to flow from my vented eaves to the 3rd floor attic? How much?
- Can I avoid this by installing 3rd floor attic fans in my existing attic vents?
- The dead space is vented (passive, no fans). Can I finish the closet all the way to the vents?

See my crummy paint sketches and constructivly criticize how dumb I am.

I don't have to insulate between the closet ceiling/wall and the roof (behind the new drywall). That is currently 7" channels between rafters. I can leave it empty so air can continue to flow from the vented eaves to the attic on the 3rd floor. I just figured insulation there might keep the closet from getting too hot/cold. It currently gets blazing hot in that dead space as it has full afternoon sun, especially in summer.

Alternately, I could install vent fans in the closet as well.
Unknown issues:

- Yes; that's a problem.
- Don't cut off the air flow to the attic. Air moving through the baffles should be enough.
- Adding a roof power vent certainly wouldn't hurt. I don't like gable vents. There's no 'chimney' type venting
happening like you would get with a ridge vent. If you add gable power vent(s), I don't know if it should be
one or two. I think that one would be enough, but I no expert.
- You can finish it to the vents as long as the baffles are clear.

I'd insulate the closet walls and ceiling and not the roof.

*Power vents to the gables.

Last edited by Gerania; Yesterday at 06:29 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
12,775 posts, read 49,544,068 times
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There are a couple of diagrams here-

https://www.finehomebuilding.com/201...ttic-kneewalls

The description in the write up is a bit more detailed- it's what you should have now- I'm sure you don't. But it's what you want to do on your remodel. There are a few details that aren't mentioned. But if this is really a project you want to tackle I can fill in some gaps.

As for air circulation- don't add a vent/register off the current ducting in that area. You're just robbin' Peter to pay Paul. If you insulate and seal this new space properly you can get by with just louvered doors- it's not about an exchange of air as much as it's about maintaining a consistant temperature.
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Old Today, 08:57 AM
 
1,054 posts, read 757,133 times
Reputation: 4008
Quote:
Originally Posted by K'ledgeBldr View Post
There are a couple of diagrams here-

https://www.finehomebuilding.com/201...ttic-kneewalls

The description in the write up is a bit more detailed- it's what you should have now- I'm sure you don't. But it's what you want to do on your remodel. There are a few details that aren't mentioned. But if this is really a project you want to tackle I can fill in some gaps.

As for air circulation- don't add a vent/register off the current ducting in that area. You're just robbin' Peter to pay Paul. If you insulate and seal this new space properly you can get by with just louvered doors- it's not about an exchange of air as much as it's about maintaining a consistant temperature.
Thanks for the link! Just what I need to get started with serious planning! I'll bug you again after I've done more research.

I'm planning to start the project next summer.
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Old Today, 09:48 AM
 
Location: todo el mundo!!
1,589 posts, read 1,122,872 times
Reputation: 1194
Sounds like a great idea. I hope it works out
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