What is an Attic Kneewall?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2019
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The attic kneewall is a section of the attic space that is most commonly identified with the formation of the space just below the roof in Cape Cod and bungalow style architecture. Essentially, the positioning of the vertical studs where the slope of the roof meets with the short attic wall in the space creates the attic kneewall. While attic kneewalls are often wasted space, many homeowners choose to turn the space into usable storage areas with the use of shelves and other similar devices.

Because the area of the kneewall involves less head room, one of the easiest ways to make use of the attic kneewall is to outfit the space with shelves. Spaced according to need, the shelves can run the length of the attic kneewall, and be ideal for the storage of boxes and other smaller items. The use of kneewalls in this fashion helps to free the taller attic walls for other forms of storage that can be used for taller items.


An alternative is to use the space of the attic kneewall to create an storage closet in the attic. Enclosing the attic kneewall with a retaining wall that includes a short door makes it possible to store items and close them off from view. This type of usage of the attic kneewall can help to keep the space more organized, and can also give the area more function in the event that the attic is turned into a playroom or a guest bedroom.

One factor that is often overlooked is that an attic kneewall often is not constructed with some sort of insulation. Choosing to add a layer of insulating material to the space before putting in shelves of creating a closet with the space will aid in maintaining a comfortable temperature in the attic. This will also help with keeping the rest of the home below the attic easier to heat and cool as well.


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