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Old 01-03-2009, 02:12 PM   #1
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Building a Loft in an existing structure

I'm moving into an apartment that has a huge great room with a sloped ceiling, from 21 ft. to 11 ft. high. The owner has agreed to let me build it so I am looking for design ideas and construction hints. I've built decks and done a lot of framing, so I feel capable of doing this project, but would appreciate some hints, shortcuts and advice for this project.

The building is a converted resthome with concrete block walls. The room is 43 ft by 27 ft and the slope is the narrow direction. (plenty of room).

I've ordered books and checked libraries, but would like help from anyone with experience with lofts.

Thanks in advance,



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Old 01-03-2009, 03:25 PM   #2
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43x27' is a big space. You won't be able to clear span the 23' direction with anything, so a beam will definately be needed. A beam won't span 43', so it will require interior bearing support in at least one location. The beam's bearing points would of course need foundation/footing support.

You need an engineer for sure. In order to pull the permits for the work, you'll more than likely have to have engineered drawings anyhow. You can't do a job of this caliber by the seat of your pants...Especially since you don't own the building.

Code requires that 50% of the room must have at least 7' headroom. No point of the room can have less than 5' headroom.

Post some pictures of the area and we'll see what we can do for you.


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Old 01-03-2009, 04:34 PM   #3
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More infe RE: building a loft

Thanks for the reply!

We won't move in until Feb, but I will get some pictures asap.

I'm only going to use one corner of the great room, and the size will be 10'x12' or at most 12'x14'. I'm considering Stem walls from the existing walls and perhaps at the corner if not a post.

The loft level will be for a bedroom and the lower level for a sewing room, so their is a lot of flexibility including full walls for the sewing room. Then there can be a railing for the upper area. I would like to retain as much of the open area as possible.


Last edited by kelukens; 01-03-2009 at 04:36 PM.
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