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I'm moving in a new house in a week. House was built in 1953. The attic has a small walkway right down the middle with loose insulation on the left and right. I wanted to put plywood down over the installation to create a ton of storage space.

Good idea? Or will covering the insulation create a problem?

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How much insulation? What size are the framing members in the floor?

1953 house, unless it has already been updated, is probably in desperate need of more attic insulation. That will cost you money all year, every year until it's done.

Any house, plywood on top of the insulation will compress the insulation and cause it to lose effectiveness if the insulation is thicker than the framing members. And barring a few things you won't likely find in a 1953 house, the insulation probably should be thicker (potentially quite a lot thicker) than the framing members.

Finally, an attic that was built as insulation-only, no floor may not be up to carrying much, if any storage load. Your "ton" of storage may come down on your head.

  • That was the advice for my place. "Let the attic just be structural and insulation space, and put storages elsewhere, unless you want to invest in adding a third floor -- and if you were going to expand, raising the extension to match the original roofline would make more sense." Get an expert opinion before proceeding. – keshlam Aug 9 '15 at 21:26
  • Ditto both comments. At the very least you're going to have to tie the ceiling joists to the rafters to carry the additional load, assuming your roof can carry it. At the very least, hire a good contractor or structural engineer for advice. – BillDOe Aug 10 '15 at 0:02
  • I have a 1954 house and I put down ply sheeting for storage many years ago and have had no problems whatsoever. The old blown insulation performs exactly as it did before I put the wood down. Light storage will be fine (holiday decorations, old stuff you want to keep, etc) If your ceiling and roof structures could not support some light storage then your house would fall over if the wind picked up. Don't store a ton of gold or anything that can't handle heat/cold. You don't need an engineer, just common sense. Hell, I lived in a converted attic bedroom in a 50's house as a teenager. – Jimmy Fix-it Aug 10 '15 at 5:19

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