Saturday, February 27, 2010

Attic Catwalk System

Our roof is supported by trusses instead of rafters, and like most attics, has no floor. This makes relatively simple improvements such as adding insulation, sealing penetrations, or changing electrical fixtures much more difficult. It also makes stepping or falling through the ceiling an eventuality for someone like me who likes to do energy improvements.

I decided to upgrade my attic using 2x4 and scrap lumber to make a sturdy catwalk system. The system is simple - supports are cut, leveled, and screwed into place near the triangular junctions of the truss members. Then horizontal pieces are set in place and fastened with more screws. It is important to use deck screws on the supports, drywall screws are too brittle to safely carry the weight.

Here the 2x4's make up both the supports and the catwalk itself. An additional advantage is this catwalk distributes weight better so that the ceiling drywall finish won't crack.

I used some older lumber I had flying around instead of buying all new.

The catwalk is set approx 20" above the drywall ceiling to give plenty of room for future insulation. In some of the more cramped areas, like shown here, its around 15" above.


Patrick said...

Glenn - thanks for tip and especially the photos. I've read multiple articles describing how to construct a catwalk but not one had any accompanying photos. Your pics clarified everything.

Thanks, r/Pat P.

Ron Beaudry said...

Very informative blog. I need one in my attic. I see you used all 2 X 4 lumber. My attic is 52 feet long. About how much lumber did you use and I assume you did the full length of the attic? I have an AC air handler on the very end of my attic with the main distribution box right in the center which looks like you walkway is is not at the highest point of the roof. Pls advise. Thanks