What are these thin wood beams in m attic?
January 10, 2009 1:07 PM   Subscribe

What are these thin wood beams in m attic and why are they there?

I have an unfinished attic. It's all framed out (I bought it like that). Along the ceiling there are thin strips of wood nailed perpendicular to the actual beams. What are they and why are they there?

Picture here
posted by bingwah to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
I think those are just keeping the insulation bats in place. If you decide to hang sheetrock, you can take them down (unless I'm mistaken, in which case your house will explode).
posted by adamrice at 1:11 PM on January 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

I agree with adamrice. They're battens holding the insulation onto the main beams. And I also think you should be able to replace them with sheetrock.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:15 PM on January 10, 2009

My home-improvement inclined husband says, "To hold up the insulation. It tends to sag." I asked him if he thought maybe they were also for drywall, but he says no, because whoever did it didn't bother to line up the ends of the wood strips.
posted by cooker girl at 1:15 PM on January 10, 2009

The above answers are right, but it may also be useful to realize that the insulation in your photo is a) not attached to anything and b) not particularly rigid. So if you took the wood strips out... it would fall out.
posted by smackfu at 1:21 PM on January 10, 2009

Jeez, is that my house? My attic looked almost exactly like that before it was remodelled into living space. nthing that they are just holding the bats in place.
posted by fixedgear at 1:23 PM on January 10, 2009

I am indeed going to finish the attic. Now I know I can remove the battens. The insulation is actually stapled to the ceiling beams but it has to be replaced anyway. It's not up to code in my town. FYI fixedgear my house is a cape cod.
posted by bingwah at 1:29 PM on January 10, 2009

Yeah, so is/was ours. They called it 'one and a half stories' but we built a big shed dormer across the back.
posted by fixedgear at 1:36 PM on January 10, 2009

When you're removing the insulation, wear a face mask. That's glass wool, and it'll toss off all kinds of glass dust which you don't want to inhale. (Also wear gloves; it itches like hell if you get it in your skin.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:31 PM on January 10, 2009 [3 favorites]

it looks like strapping, which you could screw the drywall to if you were drywalling the walls/ceilings.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:08 PM on January 10, 2009

no need to take them out.. just screw the drywall into them
posted by geos at 3:45 PM on January 10, 2009

Geos, the OP has to remove it because it doesn't meet code.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:58 PM on January 10, 2009

Do not take them out. It is strapping, as noted already, attached to rafters (no beams in your picture) and the advantage of strapping is that they provide a layer which eases the difference across rafters plus allows for fishing wire perpendicular to the rafters after drywall is in place.
posted by Dick Paris at 7:22 PM on January 10, 2009

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