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Old 05-21-2012, 08:07 AM   #16
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Beam for garage storage loft.


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the storage area is overhead, how many heavy items can/will a homeowner lift while going up a ladder and put up there? maybe a double 12" or 16" lvl will be better to hold the Christmas boxes.

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Old 05-21-2012, 11:40 AM   #17
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Beam for garage storage loft.


Table R301.5 of the 2009 International Residential Code requires a minimum 20 pounds per square foot live load for an attic with limited storage (without fixed stairs), and 30 pounds per square foot live load for attics served with fixed stairs. Does not matter is they want to store feathers this is the minimum. If they want to store heavier items then the heavier loads must be taken into account.

The only known fact is the garage is 23' in width. There is no dimension for the depth so as to calculate the tributary load for the beam, therefore one cannot accurately calculated the minimum size beam to provide the L/360 minimum deflection as required by Table R301.7.

Is the beam to be set under the attic floor joists (is there sufficient headroom from garage floor to bottom of beam) or must the beam be cut into the floor joists. This would require installation of joist hangers. What are the wind loads for the site? Joists connected to a beam with hangers do not provide lateral resistance for wind loads. Metal strap ties would be needed to tie the two opposing joists together. What size strap and the minimum number and size of nails must be calculated based upon the wind loads.

The beam would require support columns at each end. To properly size the columns one would need to know the size of any sill plates and wall studs. Overloading a sill plate would cause crushing of the plates.

The span of the attic floor joists (depending of the location of the beam) is unknown. The existing framing members may not adequate to carry the minimum live and dead loads for the attic storage and would need to be replaced.


In other words, design of structural elements is best performed by someone knowledgeable (like a professional engineer) that can visit the site and determine all of the factors necessary, not merely, "What size beam do I need for this span?"

Typically work of this type requires a building permit, and most inspectors would require an engineer's stamp since the IRC code is limited on prescriptive beam design.

This is the reason when someone asks, "What size beam do I need for this span?" I recommend they seek the services of a professional engineer so they get the "correct answer."
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:33 PM   #18
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Beam for garage storage loft.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hand drive
WoW
the storage area is overhead, how many heavy items can/will a homeowner lift while going up a ladder and put up there? maybe a double 12" or 16" lvl will be better to hold the Christmas boxes.
It's DIY'ers like you who want to play guessing games and think they can size beams for other DIY'ers who make this forum dangerous. Stick to building dog houses....its safer.
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Old 05-21-2012, 03:45 PM   #19
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Beam for garage storage loft.


My lumber yard provides free engineering services for projects like yours. I simply submit a drawing with dimensional specs and they will detemine the appropriate structural elements such as your beam. I assume that there may be a decent lumber yard somewhere in your area that may provide a similar service.
Asking for structural design advice on the internet is about as dangerous and tragedy prone as seeking medical advice online.

Last edited by Davejss; 05-21-2012 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:00 AM   #20
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Beam for garage storage loft.


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Originally Posted by framer52 View Post
You my friend are incorrect. 9 1/2" lvl are not enough.

4 - 91/4" lvl nailed/bolted together to make a quad beam would be extremely strong and as long as correct bearing points are established it would span a 24' distance np imho. especially with no roof, walls, or anything other then a 2x6 floor system attached to it for a storage area.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:10 AM   #21
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Beam for garage storage loft.


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Originally Posted by hand drive View Post
4 - 91/4" lvl nailed/bolted together to make a quad beam would be extremely strong and as long as correct bearing points are established it would span a 24' distance np imho. especially with no roof, walls, or anything other then a 2x6 floor system attached to it for a storage area.
Did you provide and engineering stamp with that wild ass guess? No? then it's just a wild ass guess. And why did you change your answer? Did you suddenly realize you made an error with your last wild ass guess? Just stop now please before someone gets hurt.
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:25 AM   #22
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Beam for garage storage loft.


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Originally Posted by robertcdf View Post
Did you provide and engineering stamp with that wild ass guess? No? then it's just a wild ass guess. And why did you change your answer? Did you suddenly realize you made an error with your last wild ass guess? Just stop now please before someone gets hurt.

I changed my answer because the new answer is better. hypothetically speaking do you think a 3 or 4 -91/4" lvl beam is not strong enough?
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:02 PM   #23
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Beam for garage storage loft.


What is so hard about doing the calculations, its actually pretty simple with one of common spreadsheets...no pretty gui like the pay for tools.

So if you use 10 lbs dead and 20 lbs live assuming 4ft of the deck is carried and the other 4 is on the wall.

So a single 9.25 lvl 1.75inch width give you about 3.6 inches of deflection.
a 9.25 by 6 lvl gives just over a inch

So no combination of 9.25 lvl will do it.

You only can have about 3/4 inch deflection 4 2x12 look ok or maybe 3 11-7/8 lvl. But I only did the deflection calculation there are 2 other ones you have to do. Of course you can't trust me either since I don't have a stamp and you never know if I typed in the wrong numbers.

.......Now if you ignore the codes and only look at 10lbs of dead weight 3 9.25 might do it but it is you fat ass that will be on the floor when you don't consider live load.

Like other have said the places that sell this engineer lumber will do the calculations for you as part of the purchase.

Last edited by bill01; 05-22-2012 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:06 PM   #24
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Beam for garage storage loft.


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assuming 4ft of the deck is carried and the other 4 is on the wall.
bill01

no offense intended by this comment, but you know what they say when you assume ...

the OP did not provide the depth of the garage so you cannot determine the tributary load on the beam, only that it is 23' long.

filling out cells in a spreadsheet, or punching buttons on a computer is not difficult, but having the correct answer at the end is what I strive for.
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:25 AM   #25
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I have a 23' wide garage with a 14' flat ceiling .. I would like to build a storage loft extending 8' from the back wall
You are very correct you have to be very sure you have the right number and on the forums you never really know exactly what people mean. I got the 4 ft from his comment about 8 loft. Its why people should learn to run these tools themselves.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:22 PM   #26
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Beam for garage storage loft.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bill01

You are very correct you have to be very sure you have the right number and on the forums you never really know exactly what people mean. I got the 4 ft from his comment about 8 loft. Its why people should learn to run these tools themselves.
It's just common sense.....people shouldn't be sizing beams over the internet. Case closed!
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:29 PM   #27
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Like other have said the places that sell this engineer lumber will do the calculations for you as part of the purchase.
That's OK as far as it goes but they won't be able to advise if the supporting structure is adequate.

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