The Attic

Our attic has traditionally been pretty awful.

The old coal fireplace leaked nasty sticky oily coal soot all over the place in there, so you always got filthy. It was dark. And with the joists uncovered you were always in peril of falling through the ceiling into one of the bedrooms.

Nice and clean in the attic

The new attic above the addition is pretty nice, actually. Especially with the roof not fully covered in plywood so there is still quite a bit of light in there.

Noel for scale

This weekend the workers left the attic access accessible, so getting in the attic no longer required legs about six inches longer than mine, and we spent some time up there on Friday evening, going through the structural drawings and talking about shear walls and framing. You can see here how low the ceiling is. The attic will be a great place to stow our christmas tree, and not much else.

Over the rooftops

It's almost a shame we will never have this view again, because there won't be any windows in the attic. Except, you know, not really needing any more space.

Continuous shear walls

This is what had Noel a little puzzled. The shear walls come up from the basement and are continuous to the roof. That really ties the house together so it can behave as one in any seismic activity. He was a little surprised to see walls going in in the attic.

To be honest, in a really big earthquake we are hosed. We all are. But this will be good for a pretty big earthquake and that's about as good as you can hope for. Anything else is going to be more than we can afford.

The addition from the front

For those of you who feel like we are tearing the whole house down, we are not. The back of the house needed to be structurally updated, but the entire front is intact and fine. I just generally have not been showing it to you because it has not changed.

posted by ayse on 07/24/16

8 Comments

What the hoped for completion date?

Thanks for that view from the front. From the street, it really doesn't seem too obvious that there are huge changes happening in the back. Very exciting to see walls coming up!

Thanks for the photo reminder that from the front the old girl is still the 'old girl'.

I have one question.... Are you planning on continuing the detailing at the roof line around the addition? At least the part that you would see from the street? I love your house and this blog.... and I am so excited to see this finished, as I'm sure you are too! Thanks for being you and sharing this with the world!

The detailing on the new part of the house will be a slightly different detail to differentiate it from the original house. But it will be very similar to the original to play with the same themes.

As for completion date, we expect everything to be done by next spring, but we are hoping to move in earlier than that, maybe even before Christmas if we get really lucky.

Have you considered a rooftop deck? The view from up there looks spectacular!

We pondered but ended up rejecting a rooftop deck. The winds come in pretty strong off the bay every evening, so during the only time we'd want to be up there it would be super unpleasant. We'd also have to sacrifice a lot of interior space to have a complying staircase up there. Then there were some other permitting issues--we would have had to significantly alter the rear roofline to stay under our legal height limit and have a legal guardrail--and in the end it just didn't seem worth it. The view is... just a view, really. Not anything particularly scenic. Suburban rooftops and a little bit of the Oakland hills in one direction.

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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