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sunthas 02-22-2009 03:30 PM

Attic Storage Space Above Garage
This storage area has been in my attic since I moved in. I installed an attic ladder. Due to cracking sheetrock seams in the ceiling underneath the storage area in the garage I felt that the area was not built properly. At one point I had my brother walk around this area while I watched the ceiling and there was some movement.

Ok, so I figure no reason to worry too much, I'll just make sure I don't put stuff thats too heavy up there. Since this is just trussing, this area wasn't designed to have a floor in it anyway. I finally decided to pull up one of the original OSB "floor" panels in this storage space and the picture below is what I found.

I'm thinking this isn't a good way to build this floor and I wanted to make sure my thoughts were along the right lines before I rebuilt the area. The ceiling joists are 2x4s. I believe this area was built when the house was being built originally as the picture shows no insulation in one area. This is what it looked like when I pulled up the OSB, so if they couldn't get insulation into that area the floor must have been built before the insulation was put in.

The 2x4s that were installed to put the OSB on was put on other blocking besides the joists and then toenailed in. I'm thinking of removing these 2x4s and getting 2x8s to put in and sister the new 2x8s to the entire joist. Perhaps make the 2x8 go past the end of the flooring area and bring another 2x4 up to the roof to tie it in.

Scuba_Dave 02-22-2009 03:39 PM

If the rafters are 2x4's also then this was/is a truss system
Not really made for storage
Any bigger picture showing the roof rafters?
What distance does the 2x4's span unsupported?

If they cut out any 2x4 supports to install the flooring then the roof system has been compromised

sunthas 02-22-2009 03:58 PM

This could be my attic (but its not). As far as I can tell nothing was cut to install the "flooring".

concretemasonry 02-22-2009 04:20 PM

It looks like the previous owner added the newer 2xs to increase the space for insulation without an attempt to strengthen the trusses.

You do not arbitrarily add reinforcement or sistering to a truss. It can be detrimental and redistribute the loads to other truss members that were not reinforced. Bigger or stronger is not always best unless you know the effect. It is like trying to balance something on a teeter-totter.

You are correct to diagnose that the existing trusses are not designed to carry and appreciable storage load.

It would be good if you can find out where the trusses came from. Often, there are tags or some identification that can be found with a little detective work. Then it is a simple task to figure out the best method to increase the capacity. If not an engineer could take a good look at it and come up with some methods of reinforcement to choose from.


Scuba_Dave 02-22-2009 04:25 PM

Are there any walls under this that you could use for support?
Then you could build a floor supported by the walls
Provided the walls are load bearing walls

sunthas 02-23-2009 12:18 PM

Its a 3 car garage. I could build a wall separating off one of the 3 cars if thats what I need to do.

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