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Old 03-28-2013, 05:36 PM   #1
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Finishing above garage - how to reinforce?


Hello,

I want to make storage space above my garage roof. I believe right now there are only 2x4 rafters on 24" centers but hard to tell as I didn't through the drywall yet. I'm not going to be placing a TON of weight up there, but I want to be more weight bearing for general walking around and storage.

My initial thought was to stack another 2x4 on top (essentially making a 2x8 ) and then bolting 6" squares of plywood on each side of the rafter with 4 lag bolts (2 top, 2 bottom), repeating the process every 2-3' and on each rafter. I would also replace the flimsy horizontal 2" wide board stretched across all the rafters and replace with 3/4" plywood on top throughout as a sub-floor.

Good idea - bad idea? Any other suggestions?

My access point will be through the actual garage with an attic pull-down door.

I attached a picture looking down from my house attic (my only view of the space thus far). I was only looking to finish the rear half of the garage - in between the main trusses shown.

I can't finish my actual attic because there are way diagonal trusses and HVAC return hoses up there.

Just seems like a huge waste of air space that could be put to good use.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:47 PM   #2
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Finishing above garage - how to reinforce?


That attic was not made to store anything.
And no, just trying to use a stacked 2 X 4 is not going to work.

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Old 03-28-2013, 05:55 PM   #3
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Finishing above garage - how to reinforce?


So your saying I have zero options?
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:45 PM   #4
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Finishing above garage - how to reinforce?


there are always options, but the question should be cost effective options. your attic trusses were not designed to support attic loads. simply adding a 2x4 framing member adjacent to another does not make this a 2x8. Many discussions have been held on this forum in regards to this topic.

can you lay a sheet or two of plywood up there and some boxes? you can as long as the load is light. trusses designed to carry load typically have a larger lower chord

an option would be to hire a professional engineer to evaluate your trusses and determine if they can come up with an option that would allow you to reconfigure the trusses to provide for storage loads. don' think it's looking very promising ......
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:05 PM   #5
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Finishing above garage - how to reinforce?


Can you define light? That's really all I wanted to do. Lay down a few pieces of plywood to store a few boxes of holiday decorations and such. I wasn't planning on keeping a home gym or lots of lumber up there or anything.

The only other weight would be myself going up there a few times a year to pickup and return a few boxes (I'm about 160).

Sounds like stacking would be a waste of time - I'd be just as we'll off as putting the few pieces of plywood there?

Should I add some horizontal 2x4s between the joists?
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:45 AM   #6
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Finishing above garage - how to reinforce?


I don't see insulation anywhere in your picture. Depending on where you live, that space could get very, very hot. Hot enough to ruin some things you might want to store up there.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:08 AM   #7
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Finishing above garage - how to reinforce?


Yeah the only insulation is against the rear walls that are shared with the house. I was most likely going to add insulation under the plywood and along the walls. In the summer the sun is 90% on the rear of the house and the garage stays mostly in shade.

I also recently replaced my entire roof due to Hurricane Sandy and had the contractor install an upgraded ridge vent to help as well.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:02 AM   #8
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Finishing above garage - how to reinforce?


The floor in garage attics are usually designed to handle 20 lbs per square foot, so boxes and stuff like that is generally OK, Normal floor loading is 40 lbs. per square foot. Hope this helps.

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