Attic Prep Part 3- Attic Map

Avatar Katelyn | June 19, 2013 110 Views 0 Likes 0 Ratings

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.

DIYers- Make a Map of Your Attic!

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.

DIYers- Make a Map of Your Attic!

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:

DIYers- Make a Map of Your Attic!

I identified everything while I was up there:

DIYers- Make a Map of Your Attic!

And then put it into the map like this (this small section of attic is the highlighted part below):

 DIYers- Make a Map of Your Attic!

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 8Part 9, and the actual blowing of insulation. Big project!

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DIYers- Make a Map of Your Attic!


This post currently has 11 responses.

  1. John Henry

    January 16, 2014 at 12:40 am

    The source that told you making the insulation “extra fluffy” by crossing the 2×4 and stuffing more inside…was wrong…Insulation alone does not give you the R-Value. You must maintain an air gap to achieve proper R-value for a wall. Otherwise you have defeated the purpose and have no R-value. I usually staple the insulation to the 2×4 while maintaining an air gap behind. These walls also are better if you fill the gaps at the sheetrock with foam spray…

    • Katelyn

      January 16, 2014 at 8:09 am

      We unfortunately did not have the budget for foam spray, so we had to make do with what we could afford. We will definitely keep that in mind for the next job though if we can stretch our wallets a bit more, thanks!

  2. Diyer

    September 14, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Excellent idea! Every homeowner should have good documentation. I keep a binder of printed diagrams and notes for all aspects of my home (my “redbook”), and an electronic version that is backed up online. All my projects are documented as I would at work, including budgeting and After Action Review notes. You’ll find that it’s nice to be able to reference previous work.

    • Katelyn

      September 19, 2015 at 9:37 am

      Thanks! We’ve definitely had to use our map multiple times since making it. I definitely think keeping a home “redbook” is a great idea!

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