Even if you don’t plan to have a finished attic soon, adding flooring to it is a great advantage because you can always store stuff on it and also, if later you plan to have a complete attic, the flooring will help greatly in this task. Before attempting to do so, you should check for any regulations in your area as making an attic may be illegal.
First of all, you must bear in mind the ventilation problem. Attics usually lack of ventilation and, if your attic isn’t complete you may not even have a window on it. If the attic is not correctly ventilated extreme cold and heat may warp the boards and you will also have moisture problems.
Choose the right flooring for your project. For easy attic flooring you may choose simple wood planks laid down. If you keep them close you will never have to worry about gaps. Another option is to use plywood sheets. This is much more stable and can even be a subfloor when you want to finish the attic off in the future. Synthetic floorings are also available and may be a good option. They are easier to install because this kind just snaps together and comes in very convenient square shapes.
A common error when laying flooring is to start in a corner and install from there. If you start in the center you will have better success and you will use your materials in a more efficient way. Draw a line with chalk in the center and then lay the first one on the edge of the drawn line, then keep working all along the room.
Screws are usually the best way to secure the flooring to the joists. This is because nailing is more dangerous and also, if you decide to change them later you will have to pry them up. Also, if you need to reach the ceiling underneath the flooring you may have to work much harder.
To finish the area,you can use trim strips to give the flooring a more finished and complete look. A well finished job doesn’t need to be re-done in the future.
Don’t forget you will have to add some way to enter the attic in the future. For now, if you don’t plan to use it straight away you can just have a hole and use a ladder to reach the attic but if you don’t leave enough room for stairs you may have to do this even when you complete the attic. Even if you aren’t going to use it now it is always a good idea to add the stairs or the definitive access to the attic. It will save you a lot of work later and will make the attic a more functional space. If you plan to use it as a place to store your stuff, a good access will make it easier for you to reach in and out of it.