They didn't reframe the attic access. They just cut a hole in the ceiling and put some trim around it. The ORIGINAL framing is sitting there with a air duct in it and no insulation in it at all. Likewise, I'm sure of the basement setup. They short cut the joist because it was aligned with a floor to ceiling support. But, I'm sure it's just standard 2x4s holding it up. The joist is about 12 or 15' long and I don't think it carries much weight. I'm going to have a piece of steel fabricated to replace the 2x4s and it will hook onto the I beam to properly support the joist from underneath. I'm not happy about it, but as I said, it contributed to my lower buying price and a complete unfinished basement that I can ensure is properly finished as I choose is a nice plus. I may PM you and email you with some drawings as things get closer for ideas. I'm still going to be on a budget, but I expect that I will do all the electrical, low voltage, and framing myself as when I control my own stupidity I can't really yell at others. Just hard to find really straight 2x4 lumber... I may build it really slowly over a couple of years and just hand pick all my 2x4s.\n\nAnyway, a bit off topic I guess.\n\nMy next project, I think, is going to be putting speakers in my kid's bedrooms and getting the DAC hooked up to my AppleTV so we can Airplay the house whenever we want.