Attics are often left bare with exposed wood framing elements and insulation, creating a somewhat hostile environment. While you can navigate your way through an unfinished attic with careful steps on ceiling rafters so as not to fall through the ceiling below, a walkway composed of basic materials and minimal labor can provide a much easier and safer environment while allowing the use of the attic's abundant space for storage or other purposes.
Things You'll Need
- Circular saw with carbide blade
- Screw gun
- 2 inch wood screws
- Tape measure
- Plywood (5/8 inch)
- Chalk line
- Saw horses
Measure and mark the plywood at 24 inch spacings along either direction, then stretch and snap a chalk line across these marks to create 24 inch strips. If you mark these lines across the long side of the plywood, it will create 4 foot strips that can be easier to move around in the tight spaces in the attic than strips cut in the long direction (most sheets of plywood are 8 or 10 feet long).
Set the plywood on the saw horses and line up the circular saw with the first cut guide line; you should cut strips off the end first (if cutting 4 foot strips) and place the saw horse under the larger part of the plywood so only the strip falls to the ground.
Repeat Steps 1 and 2 as necessary for additional walkway planks.
Set the first plank on the ceiling rafters closest to the attic entry. Most ceiling rafters are going to be spaced at 24 inches on center, so your newly cut 24 by 48 inch (or 24 by 96 inch if you cut the plywood lengthwise) plywood planks can be easily mounted in either direction on the rafters.
Center the edge of the plank over the rafter and drive a screw in each corner, and repeat on the following planks in any direction.
Tips & Warnings
- For extra wide walkways, you can lay the plywood planks side by side to achieve a 4 foot wide walkway.
- "Attics & Basements;" Matthew Paymar and Phil Schmidt; 2007.
How to Build a Walk-In Shower
Changing out a tub for a walk-in shower can make a huge impact on the look and function of the bathroom. Many...
How to Insulate an Attic Ceiling
Your attic is a very important consideration in determining the energy efficiency of your home. An attic that is not insulated will...
How to Insulate Unfinished Attic Rafters
The attic's main functions are storage and insulation, two things that don't require it to be in tip-top visual shape. That's why...
How to Build a Walkway With Wood
Wooden walkways are affordable and functional, often evoking the spirit of the West. Depending on length, you can typically build one in...
How to Insulate an Attic With Blown-in Insulation
A properly insulated attic reduces energy costs by reducing the flow of air into and out of the top of a house....
How to Turn an Attic into a Room
Turning an attic into a room can add value to your home and additional living space for your family. Many older homes...
How to Use Plywood to Deck an Attic
Because builders generally regard attics as little more than structural space in a home, builders rarely complete them for use. Yet, why...