I'm in the process of converting our attic into a useable storage space. We have no basement and a small garage so it'll have to be our main storage area, so I'm hoping to make it user-friendly and as easy as possible to move around in.
There is blown-in insulation, and there is conflicting information out there about how to add flooring of some kind without compressing the insulation. The joists are about 30' long and span the entire house, so I'm not 100% sure they are "load bearing", but I don't intend on storing too many heavy things, and if I do to keep them toward the sides of attic where there is more (I think) support.
So my questions are:
- Can I lay plywood directly on the joists without losing some of the "R-value" of the blown in insulation?
- Is it safe to use this space as a main storage area since I'm not sure the joists are load bearing?
- Can I add new "support beams" (the existing beams that span the attic are very flimsy and low and make it difficult to move around)?
The house was built in 1952 and it doesn't seem like anyone else has attempted to store anything up there or use the space.