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I need to have attic access in my bonus room. The space above the ceiling is very tight, but there is inadequate insulation and I need to add support for a projector. I will be crawling around up there as I'm 6' tall.

I've been nervous about cutting a hole but it is time. I wanted to get opinions on where to put the access.

  • First Choice: this is the first I chose because it's right when entering the room and will be hidden when enjoying a movie on the other side of the room. This is right in front of the stairs on the other side of the light in the picture.
  • Second Choice: I noticed this after measuring for the first choice; it's much more hidden. It might be less headroom. The third picture is the outside area.

First Choice First Choice

Second Choice Second Choice

Second Choice - Outside Second Choice - Outside

View of Attic Space Attic Space

closed as primarily opinion-based by isherwood, Tester101 Dec 14 '16 at 14:29

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    This is just to add ceiling strength to better support a hanging projector? How heavy is the projector? Is there a reason not to cut a small hole right where the projector will be, install any necessary reinforcement, and then cover the hole with the projector? – Daniel Griscom Dec 12 '16 at 2:16
  • That would be my last resort. Insulation has to be added to cool off the room during the summer. Either with me crawling around to fill the voids and air sealing the light fixtures or renting a cellulose blower. – JMooney Dec 12 '16 at 2:20
  • Could you make the hole in the closet ceiling? – mikes Dec 12 '16 at 2:32
  • Unfortunately not. The only access will have to be through the ceiling in this room. This room is the top of the house with the attic area over it being the very top of the house. – JMooney Dec 12 '16 at 2:35
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That looks to be VERY little space and a one-time need, so I'd just hack (neatly, with an eye to the repair that comes later) enough holes in the drywall to do what you need to do, (from below, standing on a ladder or platform) and then button them up. While I hate this approach IN GENERAL, for the specific case of a TINY attic space that will end up pretty well full of insulation (hopefully with vent channels along the roof deck) there is no conceivable need for a permanent access hatch, and drywall repair is going to be a lot cheaper than a virtually useless attic hatch/ladder. It's pretty obvious from the first picture that there's hardly room to crawl up there (and probably not really enough room for a good insulation job, at a guess.)

Alternate approach judging by the doorway/frame height would be to run new ceiling joists below the current ceiling, move the light fixture(s) down to that, build in the projector reinforcement of the your dreams, and insulate the newly gained "attic" space between it and the old ceiling. You probably can't do anything useful to the sloped sections unless you are willing to lay foam sheets and more drywall over them, losing a bit more space in the room. You could still open up the original ceiling and do what you can do for the insulation above it, but rather than repairing its drywall, you'd just do the new drywall on the new, lower ceiling.

Unload the room and cover the floor before you start cutting - it will be messy.

  • I forgot I have a small window view into this space, I added the picture to my question. Your first paragraph is my best option. Cut a hole in the center of the room that way I can cover every spot in the attic easily. – JMooney Dec 12 '16 at 20:08

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