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GrdLock 06-28-2007 07:24 AM

How much load can a 20' long 2x8 support?
We're converting our garage into an apartment. It has 5 20' long 2x8 beams going across the ceiling. We are making the ceiling have visible beams, with the sheetrock above them. On each beam, we nailed a series of 2x8 boards onto the sides of them to make the beams look thicker.

My wife is concerned that nailing those other beams up to the beams already there would make them too heavy, and that we need to put posts up in the middle of the room to support them. I don't feel these posts are necessary, and the fuill length 2x8's already there can easily support the added weight of the 2x8's we nailed onto the sides of them.

Basically I'd just like to find out exactly how much weight a 20' 2x8 board can support?

cibula11 06-28-2007 12:23 PM

google span calculators to give you a better idea.

2x8 are not used for floor systems

You will probably need a beam running perpendicular to the 20' 2x8 somewhere in the middle to seperate the span to 2 10' spans to be able to use the space above.

a 20' 2x8 will not carry very much load at all.

What have I done 06-28-2007 12:40 PM

listen to the wife
common sense tells me to listen to the wife. It's easier to put in the beams now than to listen to "I told you so's" down the road.

send_it_all 06-28-2007 12:44 PM


Originally Posted by What have I done (Post 50761)
common sense tells me to listen to the wife. It's easier to put in the beams now than to listen to "I told you so's" down the road.

But when you do have to come up with a reason other than the reason she gave. Otherwise she will have been right.

Man Law!!!

GrdLock 06-28-2007 12:52 PM

There won't be anything on the 2x8's except sheetrock. There isn't gonna be a floor above it, that's just the ceiling. We're not building an apartment ontop of the garage, we're just replacing the garage with the apartment.

cibula11 06-28-2007 01:49 PM

2x8 spaced 24" o.c. can span 14 ft. 8 inches.

spaced 16" o.c. they span a max of 16 ft. 10 in.

Do you know what your ceiling joists are spaced?

terrynistler 06-28-2007 03:21 PM

How are you going to attach the sheetrock between the spans would be my only concern with your scenario.

GrdLock 06-29-2007 07:06 AM

There's a picture of the ceiling so far.

cibula11 06-29-2007 09:24 AM

Add a closet or something if you don't want the hassle of a bunch of posts breaking up the room. Just make sure that each stud used in the closet become load bearing and supports the ceiling joists. It looks like you have a couple of posts supporting part of the ceiling. Are these just temporary. You could always keep them and then dress them up after you finish. Get some stone or just drywall them. It might look nice.

Since nothing will be put upstairs you should be okay. What size of sheetrock are you using? Since it rests on top of the joists, you could use 3/8" which weighs 20 lbs less then a 1/2" sheet.

GrdLock 06-29-2007 11:15 AM

We're gonna put a thin laminent sheet all around the beams to encase them to look like one big beam, and stain it. As for the sheetrock, ya, it's 1/2"... I dunno why we didn't think about getting a thinner sheet for the ceiling, but oh well, too late now.

We've got a wall under one of the beams, but there's still two others that remain unsupported.

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