Magazine article Sunset

Look What's in the Attic Now

Magazine article Sunset

Look What's in the Attic Now

Article excerpt

Utility and grace both received their due when the unused attic of this 65-year-old bungalow was reclaimed. The remodel almost doubled the usable floor space with the addition of a master suite, while giving the living room a dramatic new volume with a nod to an architectural classic.

It's difficult to believe that all this peaked space was hidden from view by the original 8-foot-high ceiling. With no change to its exterior roof, the living room now soars to a height of 20 feet, spanned by two graceful wood-and-metal trusses that replace the old ceiling joists. They derive their form from similar-shaped trusses in Stanford University's Memorial Church.

However, the pair shown here are not all they appear to be. Their graceful arches and massive-looking beams are in fact hollow plywood shells that serve a purely decorative role. The real work of keeping the walls from splaying outward is handled by the slender metal rods that run through the center of the hollow shells and connect beneath the arches.

In each truss, two horizontal rods tied into the side walls are welded to a vertical rod suspended from a new ridge beam. …

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