For the Home

Attic Antics

Not all projects are what you would call sexy. Scratch that. I have yet to run into a house project that I would classify as sexy. However, working in and around your attic is what I would classify as really not sexy.

We have chosen to prioritize each project in not what is immediately pretty, but rather what would add the most function. Our bedroom has been a semi exception of that because I believe that the place you rest at the end of a long day should be a comforting and relaxing place. Which leads us to our attic.

When we purchased our house it came with its very own bolted up whole house attic fan. What the hell is that you ask? So did I.  It is a throw back to pre air conditioning days (I can not imagine the hell of that life in South Louisiana) when you would open all the windows in your house and turn on your attic fan, which would somehow suck up the hot air and cool your house by creating some sort of breeze with the windows open. I am still a little fuzzy on the details of how this worked. To be fair, I am still fuzzy on the details of how modern day air conditioning works. All I knew is that in the blessed modern day of air conditioning I had no intention of bringing this thing back to life. Not to mention, it was bolted up with tape over the switch to turn it on. Thus confirming my belief that we did not need this in our lives.


I was content to leave this bolted up for a while, blissfully ignoring its presence, until the day we ran into the dilemma of not having attic access to our bathroom. Typically, not a huge deal. That is, unless you hired an electrician to spend a day at your house adding outlets to your bathroom, installing a vent light, and rewiring your bathroom to be on 1 circuit. A bit of bummer, you could say, to find out he could do 0 part of the job because of lack of access.

This is when we got the idea to rip out the attic fan in our hallway and turn the opening into an attic access point for the back of the house.

I have to give almost all credit to my dear husband on this project. For weeks he would come home after work and jump on this project. Trying to figure out how to remove this gigantic machinery was a bit of a head scratcher.

Over the years the bolts had rusted and were almost impossible to remove. Not to mention, the fan itself was huge. With lots of trial and error, lubricating oil, and time, David found a system that allowed him to loosen up the pieces that were holding the fan together. He also figured out how to piece by piece take the fan out and hand it down to me to remove it. A feat I was truly concerned about. I was prepared to hire a couple of burly guys to man handle that thing out.


So after a lot of patience and hard work, the attic fan is out. Yay! But now there is a huge hole in our ceiling. Boooo.


What did we do to fix this? We did what anyone with no final game plan of closure would do- we velcroed a foam poster board over the opening.


The opening was not a standard size for a pre-fabricated ladder closure. Another fun discovery found out after hiring a handyman to install this. No. This solution would have made this story way less fun. A running theme on all projects for our house, and what I can only imagine is every other renovation undertaking, is that nothing (NOTHING) goes according to plan A.

Our thought process for our quick fix closure was that the foam board was sturdy enough to act as a barrier and should have some insulating properties during our “figure it out” phase.  It removed our immediate issue of not being able to access our attic and gave us time to work out a game plan for a permanent door closure. However, I shall leave that  tale for another blog post as it is a story and experience all on its own.


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