Thursday October 18, 2018
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Home Office Project - Getting Started

How We Built Our Home Office

Getting Started | Taking Shape | Finally Complete!

We needed a little more finished space to organize our office related activities. Much of our time lately has been going into web efforts and researching our genealogy, so it made sense to set aside an area to make those efforts a little easier. I also have an interest in tinkering with computers, OS's, and doing a little software development, so this space gives me some room to indulge myself without having to manage my clutter in another area of the house (as in the past). On these pages you will find a few photos of our home office project. As before, no particular expertise is claimed and all the work was done by us. Since the space used was unfinished attic space, there was no new construction required.

I started work after the coldest of the winter days were past but before the weather was too warm. I had hoped to get the area opened, floored, and enclosed before the hot days made it unbearable, but as it has been the past couple of years, we had no spring. The weather went from cold to hot almost overnight.

After cutting and framing the rough opening for the doorway, this is how the attic space looked. I have removed some of the insulation for the sub-flooring. My first observation was that the cross braces would need to raised to accommodate an 8 foot ceiling height, and more will need to be added since only third sets of rafters have braces.

Sub-flooring has been nailed down at this point and the knee walls are being built. The braces have not been raised yet.

(left) The corner behind the door had another obstacle to work around: a vent pipe. The solution was to box in the corner and leave the vent pipe in place since it is shared by two downstairs bathrooms and exits to a single roof vent. I decided to frame an opening for a cabinet just above where the pipe angles back to go out through the roof. The area will provide just enough room for an equipment cabinet. (right) This shows the detail for the knee walls. I cut the edge of a 2x6 to match the angle of the rafters to the studs and nailed it to the rafters. I then cut the upper end of the studs to match the angle of rafters and the flat surface of the 2x6, giving me a tight joint between the knee wall studs and the rafters. The bottom of the studs are nailed in conventional fashion.

(left) This is a jig I made to cut the studs for the knee walls. It is made from a short piece of 1x4 with a 1x2 glued and screwed to the edge, and cut to the angle where the knee wall meets the roof line. I measured each knee wall stud from the 2x6 (above right) to the bottom plate, marked them with the jig, then used the jig to guide the saw. Every stud had the proper angle for nailing. I expected some variation in the lengths, but there was less than 1/4" in all the studs on both sides of the room. (right) This photo shows one of the completed knee walls. I framed an opening for a door to allow attic access and storage.

(left) One of the completed knee walls with wall boxes attached. The reason there are so many wall boxes is because each pair of boxes represents one electrical outlet and one Ethernet jack. (right) This shows the progress so far. Both knee walls are in and the rafter braces have been relocated and additional braces added to allow for a full 8' ceiling height.

(left) Another view of the new ceiling framing. (right) This is one of the air baffles used to allow ventilation between the roof sheathing and ceiling insulation in the ceiling area between the knee walls and the attic area above the room. Every partition has one of these.

Getting Started | Taking Shape | Finally Complete!