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Old 08-09-2008, 04:53 PM   #1
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Adding a 2nd story loft

I am trying to add a simple 2nd story loft above my family room (16' ceiling now) to connect to my existing upstairs level (will be about 14' x 24'). Don't need stairs/plumbing/etc... just a simple floor/ceiling.

For ease of installation and reduced cost, is it possible to build load bearing walls inside of the existing construction walls to attach the floor joists so I do not have to alter the existing wall's construction? - or is that all wrong?? I have seen some modular steel floor joist systems that are thin and easy to build if this will work... any advice or guidance here that can help?? Thanks!


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Old 08-09-2008, 06:31 PM   #2
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Post some pictures and you will get plenty of help.


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Old 08-09-2008, 08:55 PM   #3
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In order to transfer the floor's loads down to the foundation, adding an additional wall to the 1st floor walls won't really be effective. You will neet to utilize the existing walls top plates for a bearing point. The headers over doors and windows in the existing walls are probably not sized to support more than roof load, so they'd need to be upsized. If the studs are 16"oc and have two top plates, you're good with the studs in the wall and little or no modifications would be necessary besides the headers.

As for light guage steel floor joists, I wouldn't suggest them for this. There isn't really a rim joist at the plateline to attach them to, and you'll probably have to make cuts to clear the pitch of the roof...Can't do that with steel joists. Besides, there's nothing easier about them. They require different tools to cut, and the connections are all done with special screws. Floor sheathing must also be screwed down with special screws and wires must be grommeted. They can be effective in new construction, and are capable of some long spans. I don't care for them in residential because they're absolutely terrible in a fire.
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:19 PM   #4
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A little short on the information - Is this a loft with a new roof overlooking an existing space or it is an entirely new 8' above?

An 8' high 14x24' addition over a 14x24' family room with 16' high walls sounds like you need professional help to keep the cost down and have a vauable addition to your home.

It miht even be better to go fresh from the footings since the roof over the family room may not be salvagable anf the first floor walls may not be adequate or offer enough space for insulation.

Don't forget about the effects of the 350 sf additional area and volume. Some areas will suffer unless you are grossly over sized and have plenty of ducts and returns.
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Old 08-09-2008, 11:09 PM   #5
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what I'm invisisoning is a existing first floor room 14'x24' with a 16' high ceiling now. And you want to install a floor system over your existing den so the floors match up to your second floor. plus you would want to move some load bearing walls around. You could post some pictures so we can see what your interasted in doing, but the best thing to do is consult with a structuail engineer, so he can see where the new loads are going to be transmited.
As thekctermite stated above ,window headers doorway headers are more then likely undersized for the new loads, I had to change the beasement girder because of the increased loads from an added second floor. BOB
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Old 08-10-2008, 09:09 AM   #6
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Also, there's a chance that the house's footings aren't sized to take the additional floor load.

The best advice is to definately involve a design professional.


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