How to Make a Truss Attic Suitable for Storage

Additional storage space where you can put away things you don’t need regularly can be a boon for many homeowners. A truss attic can be made suitable for storage with a few simple changes as long as you are careful about certain structural considerations.

A regular truss is different from a truss attic which should be built in such a way that there is some access to it. In a truss attic, the beams are arranged in such a way that there is some free space in the center of the structure.

Thus, a truss attic provides some additional space above the ceiling of the house which can be used for different purposes depending on the structure of the truss.

The truss can often take up a lot of space that does not leave much room for storage but you can still find ways to make space.

To convert a truss attic into a space suitable for storage, you can add shelving or flooring. You need to keep in mind a few things before making any changes to your truss attic.

Truss Damage

The chances are that your attic truss is a small space that you don’t frequent very often. As a result, there can be damage from rain and snow in the truss or roof structure that may have slipped your notice.

Often, the damage is not noticed until it significantly affects the structure of the truss attic. Before any changes or construction takes place, it is crucial to check for signs of damage as it may threaten the strength and structural integrity of the truss attic.

Flooring

If your attic truss is very small, one way to convert the truss attic into storage space is to install flooring. You may see that there is enough space to install some flooring on your own.

However, installing flooring in the truss attic can be risky as it might affect the insulation of the house by compressing it.

Professionals will be able to tell you whether your truss attic is suitable for installing new flooring.

Humidity and Temperature

Truss attics can have significantly different conditions from the rest of the house. The humidity and temperature conditions will influence what you can and cannot store in the truss attic or whether it can be converted at all.

Thus, it is best to check the humidity and temperature before converting the truss attic into storage.

Shelving

The most suitable way to make your truss attic suitable for storage is to install shelving. You can create shelves across the attic between the trusses on each side or utilize the space between the trusses.

You can buy premade shelving units, ask a professional to construct the shelves or construct them yourself. To build shelves, you need to follow the following steps.

Step 1

First, measure the space available in the truss attic. Measure the distance horizontally between the truss beams on each side to see how big your shelf racks can be.

Next, measure the vertical space available in the truss attic and the space between each truss beam. This will help you plan how many shelves you can have since there might be other fixtures between the beams, such as pipes and ducts.

Step 2

Mark out the spaces where you can install your shelves and start by putting the backboard of the shelving in place. This will make it easier to figure out where to place your shelves and also provide support as you work.

To install the support racks for the shelves, use a drill to screw wooden planks in place instead of a hammer. This will help you work even in a small and uncomfortable position.

Step 3

Depending on how deep you want your shelves to be, you will need to place the sideboards of the shelves on the truss rafters on each side.

You will also need to consider what you want to store on these shelves. If your storage items are going to be very heavy, you will need to choose boards of appropriate thickness for added support.

Step 4

Finally, you will need to add the base surface of the shelves. Take the wooden plyboards and measure them according to the spacing you have decided.

Place them on each shelf you want to create and screw them with the other pieces with your drill.

Step 5

After creating the shelves, you will need to test them out for the items you want to store. Keep in mind that though the truss can take some amount of additional weight for the shelves, it is not meant to take too much weight.

Hence, how you decide to place the items on the shelves is also essential. Take care to choose things that are not too heavy and space them out on the shelves.

Flooring

Adding flooring to the truss attic is another way to make it suitable for storage. To install flooring, first, you need to consult a professional to ascertain whether the attic is suitable for additional flooring as it may affect the insulation.

Plywood boards can be used as flooring. There are also truss attic floor panels available in the market that are convenient to install.

If the flooring will compress the insulation, one solution is to use loft legs or stilts. These provide a raised platform to install flooring on the attic so that it does not put pressure on the insulation.

The height of the loft legs or stilts would depend on the height of the existing truss.

Bottom Line

A truss attic can easily be converted into a space suitable for storage with a few considerations in mind.

As long as the truss attic has not sustained any structural damage and the humidity and temperature inside the attic are suitable, there is no reason why it cannot be used for storage.

You can make your truss attic suitable for storage by installing shelves or by adding flooring. While adding flooring, take care not to compress the insulation.