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Thread: Light in Attic

  1. #1
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    Default Light in Attic

    Recently inspected a home built in 2002. Home only had a hallway attic hatch for access to attic, however, current occupants installed pull-down staircase assembly over garage and floored an area about 16x20. They had a work light plugged into the outlet that was installed in garage ceiling (shared by Garage Door Opener) and ran it into attic and just hung it on a hook on a rafter. My question is NOT about that application, but instead, by creating this attic space for storage is a permanent light fixture installed in the attic required?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Light in Attic

    Requirements for lighting (and control thereof) kicked in first when the new entry scuttle was created from the the garage, and became further "enhanced" in requirements kicking in when the stair (or ladder) was installed.

    Was the floor/ceiling assembly fitted with specified materials installation, such as 5/8" drywall, blocked and stopped to protect the roof assembly previously? Is the stair a rated assembly? Was the space outfitted with floor and storage designed for the load?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Light in Attic

    Thanks for the response. As for your questions in the second paragraph, all is in compliance there. They had a contractor do it to specs......just forgot the light, I guess>


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Light in Attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Subick View Post
    Thanks for the response. As for your questions in the second paragraph, all is in compliance there. They had a contractor do it to specs......just forgot the light, I guess>
    Are you sure about the rated stairway or covering protecting the stairway?

    Most contractors do not even think of that.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Light in Attic

    Yes, he did it correctly


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Light in Attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Subick View Post
    Yes, he did it correctly
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Subick View Post
    current occupants installed pull-down staircase assembly over garage and floored an area about 16x20.
    Then I must presume that they used the proper minimum plywood thickness for the flooring and that the ceiling joists were checked for being properly sized for the additional load of the storage area, etc.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Light in Attic

    Um, the question was about a LIGHT, nothing more. Thanks for the answer I needed.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Light in Attic

    GREG

    undestand your question about light--but Jeryy is right--i always state that the garage roof structure is to hold up the roof--not for extra loads storage--and if you want to use it for that--have it evaluated for load bearing--the light is always great

    chas


  9. #9
    Phil Brody's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light in Attic

    Greg this is my only problem with this board, although tons of useful info, you asked a question and got answers to everything but.

    210.70(A)(3) Storage or Equipment Spaces. For attics, underfloor spaces, utility rooms, and basements, at least one lighting outlet containing a switch or controlled by a wall switch shall be installed where these spaces are used for storage or contain equipment requiring servicing.

    Don't think the trouble light is what was intended,but code is always a function of interpretation.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Light in Attic

    Thanks Phil, wish your's was the first (and only response) because, as usual, people have to take it way beyond the simple. If I had a question about the structure, conversion, color of curtains in the kitchen (oh, sorry, they were drapes).....I would have asked.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Light in Attic

    It is commonplace for a person to ask a question on this board but leave out details that may be pertinent to a full and complete analysis and response leaving readers to sometimes have to "assume" things and as we all know that is very bad in this business.

    If one poses a question ALL the details should be included if they do not want analysis of them as well. For instance. In the case of the original post. MY first thought was, "installed ladder in the (attached?) garage?" Huge red flag right away! Since I see so many of those installed incorrectly, even by "contractors", that are unsafe, that little detail caught my attention right off the bat even though it is NOT what the original question was about. Secondly, nearly always, the ladder installation breaches the fire protection of the garage. Again, a serious problem that precludes the light fixture question. Add to THAT the questions about proper loading of the trusses and "floor" decking and MANY safety issues arise BEFORE reaching the attic light fixture in our travels spelled out in the posters question. Suddenly there ARE many issues that need clarification.

    I believe that if the poster has been following this board for any amount of time they would have seen that ALL the facts should be included in the scenario or, of course, someone will ask about possible issues related to but not necessarily part of the initial, perceived, problem.

    All this could have been avoided if the initial post had more clearly stated things like, "yes, the attic stairs were fire rated and installed professionally and the trusses and attic floor decking had been designed and approved for the new loading"...if the poster actually knew they could be a problem in the first place. Or, if after those possible problems were pointed out, the poster could have been gracious enough to acknowledge and clarify them for the readers analysis.

    Those who take time out of their busy lives to reply to questions on this forum simply try to help cover all the bases for the inspector in order to help educate as well as protect them in case there is more to the situation than meets the eye or that the HI may be aware of. They should be applauded, not berated! In fact it is typically the poster who is guilty of not including enough information for the reader to be able to make an intelligent assessment. THEY should be chastised for wasting the readers time!

    I am guilty of that myself on occasion. It's too easy to do when you are on the inside of the scenario and have all the details.

    The solution is easy. When posing a question, re-read it thinking like the person who has to read the post. Ask YOURSELF the questions that might arise from strangers and answer them in text right out of the starting gate.

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Light in Attic

    With all due respect, it should have been a simple answer to a very simple question. I shouldn't have to re-read my question with regards to the way-too-many "intellects" on this board.


  13. #13
    Phil Brody's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light in Attic

    The poster had asked a broad question about finished attic spaces and lighting. He also stated TWICE "it was done correctly" so we move on from there. We don't all have to work for the government and create a tower of babel, some things can be kept simple and productive..


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Light in Attic

    Greg, I understand your thinking. However, we are all home inspectors here and as such finding problems all over the place is ingrained. Even if the "problem" is embedded in a portion of the post that seemingly has nothing to do with the original question. Again, perhaps an HI doesn't even realize there IS a problem lurking that he/she wasn't aware of. It would be nice for many reasons if that fact were brought to light along with answering the original question.

    And, again, anyone reading the forum for any length of time most likely has come to realize that every minutiae is scrutinized by readers be it in the text or an image. Therefore it's wise for the poster to address those items in advance before thread drift occurs as well as to be able to get a direct answer to their question to, as Phil points out, "...keep things simple and productive".

    Not directed at you but I find it fascinating how may folks post things that lack important facts for the reader to be able to analyze and formulate an answer with the least amount of "work", given that they are usually professional HI's who deal with "facts only" almost every day. Makes one wonder what their clients report looks like sometimes!

    Beacon Inspection Services
    Proudly Serving the Greater Henderson and Las Vegas Valley Area in Southern Nevada!
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