With the ladder permanently installed, it is now time to start the finishing work.  First up, drywall.  If you look at the previous posts, you can see the state the drywall is in.  The first step is to square up the areas that need to be patched.

Squaring up one short end Squaring up and adding 2x4 scrap for places to attach drywall
Squaring up one short end         Adding 2×4 scrap for attaching drywall

With the openings square, I can cut and install drywall.  T-Square, utility knife, drywall saw, and drywall rasp are the tools needed to shape the patches.

Patch on short edge 2x4 in the way, but we can mud over it
Drywall installed on short edge       Drywall that looks like 2×4??

49in x 1.5in - requires precision Rasped corner to take out high spot
49in x 1.5 in – precision required         High spot gone via rasp

Overview with all drywall in place
Overview – all drywall installed

With the drywall up, it is time to mud and tape.  Slowly the project is starting to take shape. (Lets not forget we will still need to deck the entire attic :)  )  I could only find an 8in putty knife lying around, so the mud is a little messy.  No worries, a little sanding and everything will look nice.

Mudded short edge 49in x 1.5 in - taped, mudded
Mudded short edge                        Mudded the 49.5in x 1.5in strip

Overview 1 Overview 2

Two overview shots – Starting to look like I know what I’m doing!

Well, a new day, a new begining.  Trying to manhandle the ladder turned out to be troublesome.  Today we made rope handles.  I got into the attic while Josh lifted below.  I was able to assist lifting by using the rope handles from inside the attic.  I was then able to temporarily mount the ladder with the metal straps supplied.

Ladder installed with temporary metal straps
Ladder installed with temporary straps

With the ladder up, I was able to adjust the metal straps to get the ladder flush with the drywall.  Next it is time to start shimming up, and permanentally installing the ladder.

Flush starting point for install Closing up the rough opening to fit long side of ladder
Starting with one good edge      Closing up extra space with 2×4 scrap

Closing gap with a piece of 1x4 Shimming hinge side of ladder
Using 1×4 on short side                       Shimming hinge side

The permanent mounting may look less than desirable, but trust me, this is par for the course.  We are dealing with trusses that are no where near evenly spaced.  The alternative would have been to buy a smaller ladder, such as a 25.5in model.  This would have allowed us to essentially frame our own opening, then install our frame between the two trusses.  But, I really wanted the 30in model.  The install may be ugly now, but it is sturdy, and soon no one will know what it looks like!

The rough opening is now rough, and opened ;)  It is time to remove the truss.  Hopefully it has been properly braced.  Time to climb into the attic with the reciprocating saw, and do the dirty work!

In the attic with reciprocating saw The piece of truss that was removed
The one foot wonder                    Piece of truss that was removed

Now that the truss is removed, it is time to block it off.  This will help add support, and it will complete the rough opening required for the ladder.

View of blocking Blocking and vertical truss support
Blocking on both ends of truss     Blocking and vertical support view

Now we can try and get the ladder temporarily mounted.  Also, I want to sneak in a small drywall patch.  There will be more drywall work later.

Getting ladder ready to mount Quick drywall patch where moulding will run
Preparing ladder for mounting              Quick drywall patch

The instructions stated that installation required two people.  One to lift from the bottom, and one to pull it into place in the attic while fastening the temporary mounts.  The Incredible Hulk must have written the instructions.  We almost died trying with two people.

We decided to quit for the night, and get a fresh start in the morning.  We will make large rope handles to help lift it into place.

Leaving the ladder for the night Done for the night
The ladder will rest over night        Josh has retired for the night

First lets take a look at the current state of things. Half the garage is cluttered, the other half is for my fiancee’s car. My clutter is only a small portion of what will eventually be in the garage. My half will become a workshop with things like table saw, band saw, workbench, etc.

yard working and unopened boxes from moving shelves that need to be used, bricks in the way
Yard equipment and junk             Unused shelves and extra bricks

Ok, so now the problem is evident.  First thing first, we must choose a location for the attic ladder.  We climbed into the attic, chose the best location, and poked holes through the drywall to roughly mark the 4 corners of the required rough opening.

chosen location right tool for the right job?
Poke holes for rough opening          Ready to cut with the RotoZip

Now the time has come to start cutting.  We inspected the area in the attic to make sure there would be no surprises, such as electrical wires or pipes.  The cutting began with a combination of a hand drywall saw, and the RotoZip.  The RotoZip was not so great, but part of that blame falls on me.  I was using a wood bit, and one that was a little worn too.

Cutting with the RotoZip More cutting with the RotoZip
Some rough cutting complete             Triming against the truss

Before the truss can be cut out and blocked off, we need to brace it in some way shape or fashion.  We ran vertical braces, basically pieces of 2×4 running from the truss to a roof rafter.  These were held in place with 4″ screws.  These will most likely be left in permanently, and I will add a few other forms of support to help hold the load where we removed a big section of one truss.

2x4 connected to truss 2x4 connected to roof rafter
2×4 connected to truss                      2×4 connected to rafter

With the truss now vertically braced, it is time to cut it out.  Hope the house doesn’t fall down!

Of course there is always a project before the project!

This is the case here.  The goal is to complete a built in media center in my new home.

Media nook we are dealing with Inspiration for my built-in.
Media nook we are dealing with.      Inspiration for my built-in.

But of course, before I build the media center, I must organize the garage and get ready for construction.

Hmm!  I think I have too much stuff, so organizing will be tough.  What better way to organize than to cut out a truss, re-engineer the support of the garage, and install a nice 30″ x 60″ set of attic stairs.  This will require decking out the garage attic as well.

Attic Ladder Used
Ladder we chose to use.

We would not be ourselves if we did not mention that my house already contains three access points to attic space, but we made the decision that one needs to be in the garage.  Why drag stuff through a nice new house?

Let the games begin!