In an attic renovation, one of the most important challenges is accessibility. In this project in cambridge, we needed to get the lumber up into the existing attic space to sister the floor joists and roof rafters and start the rough framing of the interior.
Here’s what we did.
First, we roughed in the window opening in the front gable end. Then F.D. Sterritt Lumber used their Boom truck to boom all the full length lumber right into the work space. In order to do this, however, we needed to plan ahead of time to close the road for about 30 minutes and reserve the boom truck. 

All the existing attic insulation and mechanicals have been removed. Rough framing has begun; all existing floor joists  and roof rafters have been sistered.  ¾” AdvangeTech plywood has been installed over the new floor joists and interior partitions start to shaping the new space.

An electrical walk-through defines the fixture, receptacles and switch locations
locations. Any desired changes can be made before any of the electrical work is performed. This controls the cost and schedule. All doorways (door swing) and cabinetry have been located in the space to allow the client to feel the layout of the space and understand the electrical layout with respect to layout.
Most importantly,  the drop-down staircase has been removed and full staircase has been roughed in.

3 thoughts on “Cambridge Attic Renovation Update

  1. I see that BGB’s bread and butter is DER, but do you guys ever work on projects to retrofit houses. For instance, my house is a Cape Cod that has very limited space for adding insulation. I ask this question not to seek business from you, but to see if you have taken this kind of challenge on. Not every situation allows for deep renovations, what every they may be.


    • Jeff, our bread and butter is in sustainable renovations. The post you commented on is simply a renovation of an unfinished attic space and some reconfiguration of the floor below. On a project like this we would insulate, air seal and select products that are most efficient per budgeting. We will add as much insulation as possible, both in regards to budget and clearances. In Cambridge we are required to meet Stretch Energy Code which is above standard building code. But, not to the limit of DER’s. There are a ton of strategies on making a house and your Cape more efficient. We would start w/ what your objectives are and priorities. I am happy to give you our thoughts on your house and what the best route to achieve your objectives. No strings attached.

      • John, I would appreciate any advice that you could provide. My cape is two stories about 60 years old, with two dormers on the front and one on the back. We just replaced the roof about 6 months ago out of necessity. Never occurred to me at the time to remove the sheathing. At the same time we added a ridge vent to remove some of the heat, to the already existing gable vent. There are no soffit vents on the front or back. It appears that the front soffit vents may have been cut off due to rot, some time ago. However the back can have soffits retrofitted.

        My goal is to make the house more efficient in hot and cold temperatures with minimal expense. (right now my attic has less than 2″ of insulation)

        My though was to add soffits to the back of the house, install soffit baffles at the bottom of all rafters. Then install baffles behind the vaulted ceiling and back fill the area between the baffle and existing insulation with cellulose. Install batt insulation behind the kick wall and cellulose on all horizontal area to the effect of R-38. lastly, add radiant barrier to the rafters.

        With all this in mind, I have very little access to the area behind the walls. I had to cut access to these area. Due to lead dust concerns, I’m trying to not tare walls completely apart.

        When it comes time to replace windows and siding, I’d like to put the foam board on the side of the house, as you have done.

        What do you think? Any thing else I could do differently?

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