1. #1
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    Post Fireground Terminology Question.........

    Good Morning, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Forums...... The Question of the Week is hereby offered:

    What is the Difference between an Attic and a Cockloft???........

    Today's (Wed, 7/15/09) FH Front Page carries a news Story RE: A House Fire in Patterson, New Jersey. The photos show Fire "Thru the Roof" and the Writer refers to that area under the Roof as the "Cockloft", and I would call it the "Attic".

    My interpretation of a Cockloft is that it is the low overhead area between the ceiling and the roof of a Structure, usually a "Taxpayer" style commercial property. It is also my belief that the term "Cockloft" came from New York City, as did "Taxpayer" which is usually a single story flat roofed commercial building. This design is referred to here in my area as a "Strip Mall".

    Large, Older, Single Family Homes are abundant here in my area, and the area above the "Normal" living area, usually above the second floor, is most often unfinished and unheated, and is commonly a storage area. This part of the House has been called the "Attic" as long as I can remember.

    In the last 2-3 years, I hear the Attic called a Cockloft more and more...... Anyone want to jump in with any thoughts on this??......
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    To me...

    Cockloft is space between top floor and roof that is not usable for living/storage.

    Attic is space between top floor and roof that is usable for living/storage.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    I think it is an attic in the south and a cockloft in the north. They seem to be the same thing to me, and the only ones I hear using the term cockloft are from the northeast.

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    My understanding of a Taxpayer is that is a two story commercial structure, business on the first floor, with either offices or residential space upstairs

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    A "taxpayer" can be either a 1 story commercial occupancy (usually a building that was thrown up qucikly to generate income vfor the property owner) or two or more stories with apartments or offices over commercial property.

    The cockloft is the space between the ceiling and the roof of a taxpayer building. Sometime there is more than one ceiling, due to renovations,
    In newer strip mall constuction, where there are suspended celings, the area above can also be classified as a cockloft. Keeop in mind that the roof can be supported wither with lightweight steel or wood truss construction, and in newer construction is where one would find the HVAC units.

    Taxpayers can be limited combustible construction or ordinary construction.

    Attics are found in residential structures. In some older homes, where there is a walkup attic, one must be preapred to find living spaces; either bedrooms ior in some cases stuido apartments (usually bult without any permits and not at all to code! )
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 07-15-2009 at 01:13 PM.
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    Hmmmpf, its just grumpy old me but a taxpayer here is a poor SOB that is becoming an endangered species due to too many give aways by the Ivy Tower Elitists out of Toronto and Vancouver. Space on flat roof building between suspended ceiling and flat roof is called" Void Space"! Not to be confused with area between politicians and beureaucrats ears.

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    Basic way to remember it is: Flat roof = "Cockloft" - Peaked = "Attic" (whether it is walkable inside or not). I guess like everything else it depends on what part of the country as to how you want to categorize it.

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    Just my nickles worth, Dictionary.com refers:

    COCKLOFT: a small loft or attic above the highest finished ceiling of a building.
    2. a completely enclosed space between rafters and a suspended ceiling.
    n. A small loft, garret, or attic.

    [Probably from its use as a roosting place.]

    ATTIC: . the part of a building, esp. of a house, directly under a roof; garret.
    2. a room or rooms in an attic.
    3. a low story or decorative wall above an entablature or the main cornice of a building.
    4. Anatomy. the upper part of the tympanic cavity of the ear.
    n.
    A story or room directly below the roof of a building, especially a house.
    A low wall or story above the cornice of a classical fašade.

    attic

    "top storey under the roof of a house," 1855, shortened from attic storey (1724). The term Attic order in classical architecture meant a small, square decorative column of the type often used in a low storey above a building's main facade, a feature associated with the region around Athens (see Attic). The word then was applied to "a low decorative facade above the main story of a building" (1696), and it came to mean the space enclosed by such a structure. The modern use is via Fr. attique. "An attic is upright, a garret is in a sloping roof" [Weekley].

    About as clear as mud?

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    Malahat - That definition did clear it up (lol).

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    TAXPAYER: A one story building that usually contains occupancies of a mercantile nature (stores, resturants, bakery, etc.)

    COCKLOFT: The unoccupiable space between the ceiling and roof sheathing which is primarily of utility in nature (HVAC units, potable/DWV pipes, etc) of a building whether commercial or residential. Cocklofts over muiltiple occupanices may or may not be seperated by firewalls.

    ATTIC: Occupiable space which may or may not be finished.
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    Out here those two terms have the same meaning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    Just my nickles worth, Dictionary.com refers:

    COCKLOFT: a small loft or attic above the highest finished ceiling of a building.
    2. a completely enclosed space between rafters and a suspended ceiling.
    n. A small loft, garret, or attic.

    [Probably from its use as a roosting place.]

    ATTIC: . the part of a building, esp. of a house, directly under a roof; garret.
    2. a room or rooms in an attic.
    3. a low story or decorative wall above an entablature or the main cornice of a building.
    4. Anatomy. the upper part of the tympanic cavity of the ear.
    n.
    A story or room directly below the roof of a building, especially a house.
    A low wall or story above the cornice of a classical fašade.

    attic

    "top storey under the roof of a house," 1855, shortened from attic storey (1724). The term Attic order in classical architecture meant a small, square decorative column of the type often used in a low storey above a building's main facade, a feature associated with the region around Athens (see Attic). The word then was applied to "a low decorative facade above the main story of a building" (1696), and it came to mean the space enclosed by such a structure. The modern use is via Fr. attique. "An attic is upright, a garret is in a sloping roof" [Weekley].

    About as clear as mud?

    As MT7 said, that sums it up. That is usually how we referred to them as well.
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