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Old 11-13-2009, 01:40 PM   #1
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header for a loft


I am building a loft in my shop for storage. It will be used to store rarely used items. I don't see how the dead load will be more than 10-15psi.

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total measurement will be 8'x30.' The floor joists will run the 8' width (cantilevered at 7') and be 2x8 doug fir 16" o.c. with 3/4" sheeting.

One edge of the 30' run will be attached to a ledger on an existing wall and the other edge will be supported by a header. The header will span 10' sections and be supported by posts at the breaks.

My question is will a 4x8 doug fir header be sufficient to span the 10' sections? I know the common rule of thumb is 1" per foot of run, but I was told for this application an 8" header is more than sufficient.

Thank you very much for the help.

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Old 11-13-2009, 02:20 PM   #2
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header for a loft


does this help?Name:  beam-span-table.jpg
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Size:  25.4 KB

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Old 11-13-2009, 04:36 PM   #3
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header for a loft


Stay with rule of thumb. My father so overloaded his attic, 4' center headroom, that he broke 2 trusses. Stuff that you store can be quite heavy even though you put it up there witout much effort.
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Old 11-13-2009, 05:53 PM   #4
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header for a loft


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Originally Posted by CustomBuild View Post
does this help?Attachment 14805
I have seen that table before , but I have a little trouble deciphering what the numbers mean exactly. I known the left column is the dimension and what type of wood it is and the top row is how far the beam will span between support. However, what do the corresponding numbers to the right of the beam size and species mean? (I.E. what is the significance of the numbers 10-9-8-7-7-6-6-6 mean to the right of 4x8 doug fir?)

Thank you very much.
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:38 AM   #5
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header for a loft


A search of douglas fir span tables reveals a wealth of information if you are a practicing engineer. I found that table, and referred back to the website it came fromhttp://www.ideas-for-deck-designs.com/deck_beam.html, and couldn't come up with an answer to your question.
I wouldn't use this design for habitable spaces, but here's something I have used in barns before, just to make sure the span is acceptable.header for a loft-knee-braces.jpg
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:12 PM   #6
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header for a loft


With 2x8x8' @16"o.c.--------- 15# max.load. 16/12 =1.34 x 8' = 10.72 x 15#live load + 10# dead load = 268# per square foot x 10' span = 2680# A 4x8 doug-fir with a 1350fb, either d/f north or south, has a load limit of 2759#. Yes, it will work if you do not exceed the 15# live load per square foot on it.
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Old 11-16-2009, 12:50 AM   #7
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Thank you very much for the information.

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