This is part 3 of the prep work we did to get everything ready to blow GreenFiber cellulose insulation in our attic. At the bottom of this post we have a link to every post in this series if you want to check out the whole shebang :)
As we rummaged around our attic for hours, we noticed just how many pipes, wires, AC ducts, exhaust vents (or lack thereof… more on that later) we have hanging out up there. And neither of us felt confident enough in our memories to say we could definitely point out where every item is once we can’t see it anymore. And if we ever have any more leaks in our galvanized pipes or anything like that, we’ll need to know where this stuff is. So before we cover it all up with blown insulation, I decided to make a map.
This seemed like an easy enough task to complete on a slow work day before Evan got home (I didn’t want it to eat into our pre-planned evening attic activities… attictivities! since we had so much to do that night already). So after lunch I grabbed a clipboard, paper and pencil, and my camera, and I hopped up into the fiery heat trap above our ceilings. No seriously. I had to do it in two or three sessions with breaks in between so that I didn’t pass out- it was in the mid 90’s outside and I was DYING.
After my multiple trips and about ten gallons of sweat later, I had this beauty.
It was hard to get everything down perfectly since I was scribbling as fast as I could up there, so I took a bunch of pictures too so I could flesh things out downstairs. Of course… you guys know I’m a Photoshop and Illustrator
junkie enthusiast, so I had to whip up something prettier.
It’s the same thing as the image above but rotated upside down since I realized I think of the attic being in this orientation (with the hatch and AC unit/furnace being on the right part of the house). You’ll see dotted lines around the rooms that have lofted ceilings (aka no attic space), like the living room in the middle and part of the master bedroom on the upper right.
So to uncover all the items in the map above as best as I could, I had to lift fiberglass and trace them around until I found where they went down into the house or to the outside. The gas line and water pipes were pretty easy since we were already somewhat familiar with the pipes from our DIY plumbing, and because the gas line went into our furnace and fireplace. I couldn’t do all the wires too well because I wasn’t sure how to identify most of them, but I marked where the main wire bundles run. And I was able to locate what AC duct went to what room, note where all our pot lights are, where our exhaust vents are, etc.
And yes, we could have just used our pictures to try to remember where everything was, but since attic pictures all end up looking the same we thought having a full map would be best. So instead of just having confusing images like this:
I identified everything while I was up there:
And then put it into the map like this (this small section of attic is the highlighted part below):
I didn’t actually photoshop labels onto each picture I took, I just sorta did that part in my head and then put it into the map. But having the map really helps keep things straight in my head and now I feel confident in saying I know my attic way better than most home owners. So even though it was a sweaty sweaty attic session, it was worth it!
Psst – To see the whole process from start to finish, check out our other posts! You can see our overall plan for blowing insulation, and check out all the prep in Part 1, Part 2, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, and the actual blowing of insulation. Big project!
Note: This post contains affiliated links. Thank you for supporting our blog!