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Old 12-03-2011, 06:53 PM   #16
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[QUOTE=GBR in WA;785194]A stressed truss would be designed for storage when they meet the minimum strut (open-space) placement; they don’t necessarily come that way. They are designed for roof/ceiling loads only. To suggest building one (or part of) with existing rafter/ceiling joists without engineering would not be recommended by me. The lumber grade/species, gussets, connections, and fasteners need to be approved by a local AHJ. Let alone the camber required to lift the ceiling off the walls below – now acting as load-bearing with storage materials that shouldn’t be there.

Many homeowners load storage material on existing over-spanned ceiling joists that do not meet today’s minimum safety codes. The problems seen have prompted the 2009 IRC to now include minimum load ratings for attic storage joists; h

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With a partial truss, the now-bearing wall needs a double joist under it or sufficient bearing to the earth to transmit loads to below.
Safety is my #1 concern……
Without knowing hire much the stuff weighs, it probably should be cleared out of there, and the joists stiffened up as I suggest to prevent further cracking of the plaster. I do agree.


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Old 12-04-2011, 12:36 AM   #17
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How is it so many DIY's imagine they are structural or design experts? They expect some Mickey-Mouse solutions would work and also expect the job to cost nothing to do. The questions that motivated you (lack of space, volumes of rubbish that should go to the poor or the tip, no money for structural designs etc.,) just have no meaning when you look at your particular attic. What are you hoarding anyway?

The previous owner did exactly what you you are attempting to do, but less impressively; you are just hoping beefing up the woodwork will provide a solution. Unless you take into account all the structural loads impacting, both new and existing, there is no hope to build a stable platform that will not show up as a failure, that is, cracked lathe and plaster, or even severe joist cracking and bulging ceilings.

The frame of your house is already underspec, 2''x4'' joists & rafters at 24'' centres , probably wouldn't pass code, and if you check your frame would also find it underspec (why would the same builder build the frame any different or stronger than the roof).

It most likely can't support your existing ceiling loads properly as it is, and I would seriously suggest you cannot make band-aid corrections. To carry the loads properly may mean rebuilding parts of your house from ground up, something I'm sure you didn't have in mind. Heaven forbid if a hurricane hits the house. You might be lucky and still have a basement.

The prognosis is not good! Cheers from Oz.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:34 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by JoJo-Arch View Post
How is it so many DIY's imagine they are structural or design experts?
Because they are delusional and ignorant. They think that they can learn overnight and come to the internet for free advice and expect to get the right answers. When they don't...whatever they have in their mind will work and do it anyway. They also think that ANY project is for a DIY'er and it is NOT.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:36 PM   #19
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re" Ideas on reinforcing attic joists.

hi Travis, I'm not going to get into the specs/spans/ need for professionals stuff. just what I did to my own garage in the house I'd built in 1977 30 feet wide by 28 feet deep. no trusses, stick built, 2x6 rafters spaces 24"OC, ceiling joists 2x6 24" OC. garage drywalled and finishes 5/8 drywall throughout, absolutely no interior bearing walls at all. I tinkered with cars, built a couple drag race cars.

I built a 2x8 box beam across entire 30 feet in center of garage ceiling drilling and lag bolting 2x8's together, hung hangers from ridge pole from every rafter to ceiling joist, all drilled and screwed or lag bolted no nails, installed collar ties to each rafter 16 inches down from ridge pole. drilled up through drywall, installed 3 hooks for block and tackles to pull motors, screwed 3/4" plywood to top of joists for decking for storage. have had 3 entire motors hanging from ceiling all at once including transmissions, stored heads,intake manifolds and other car parts up there. now almost 35 years later the finished drywall ceiling in garage has no nail/screw pops no tape has cracked anywhere closer than 3 feet from center. roof ridge is still straight ( roof can't sag! unless exterior walls move out?)

maybe you can build beams like this to support your storage area? use the longest pieces of lumber you can. stagger all joints to center if possible.

I like you am no expert, dimply a DIYer, trying to use the existing space available for the purpose I'd like it to serve for the time I was there, not in same house any longer ended up giving that house to my son as his wedding gift.

if this wont work for your purpose? you might
want to build some block pillars and set steel beams.

I did the same thing in an 18x20' shed with 2x4 floor joists to park a car in. the floor has yet to sage to my knowledge?

good luck

PS. you don't want to be driving nails! drill and screw or lag bolt everything as nailing will only cause more cracking in plaster
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:52 PM   #20
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DIY dosen't mean just because your a novice, you can flout codes or even cause a building collapse with serious injury resulting. When we, (the ignorant idiot holes you spoke of) see possible danger, we cannot be complacent and not warn people.

Nor do we condone bad building practice. Something we know will collapse and cause damage even if not dangerous, doesn't make sense, so why wouldn't we tell a DIY person of the likely outcome. Isn't that why he/she raised the issue in the first place?

So you can be aware why we bother to assist DIY people with their questions here are a few reasons:
  • The project will finish up attractive, strong and code compliant
  • The project will be the easiest and cheapest to do
  • The project will use the appropriate materials and last the required time
  • The project will be done once and done properly, and if a repair, better than the original.
  • The project will enhance the existing design and add value to the house.
You can take our free advice for what it's worth, but let us know you don't agree with the advice so we can stop wasting our valuable time assisting you. By the way, there are others out there who value our advice and most don't have your attitude so it's for them we keep responding.

One final point, America, in fact the world, was built only by DIY's- right?

Cheers, from Oz.
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:17 PM   #21
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Thanks Ron!. I knew exactly what Coupe meant! I admire his pluck and initiative, at least he had the gumption to react and make a comment. I don't take things personally any more, and I forgive him for the insults.

Let's hope one day as he matures and calms down, he will realise the chip on his shoulder is a myth, and he might listen to someone with a little bit more experience than he. As we say down under, "That's a bloody fact"

Cheers from Oz.
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:05 PM   #22
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MY sincere apolgy to Coupe! Please diregard what I said about the insults, it was intended for Bluewhale32.

As an aside, I was very interested in what you said about your garage. Again I see a potential for disaster. You seem to think a couple of 2x8's would span 30'0'' without deflection, and support the ceiling loads plus, roof loads, plus 3 engines, and the whole thing hasn't collapsed in 35 years?. Have you been gifted and spared a serious injury all those years?

Wow!, if I was your son I wouldn't even park my car there, let alone walk into the garage. If wood breaks, it breaks suddenly, with no warning. You have gifted your son and family a potential death trap. That's exactly what I was trying to tell the guy about the attic problem, though his problem wasn't life threatening, yours will be.

I have measured and noted in my garage, when lifting a complete drive train for a Nissan Patrol 4WD enine and gearbox plus transmission, from a 350mm (16'') deep steel flanged "I" beam spanning 20'0'', the deflection was 1/4''.

This beam is 20 times stronger than your timber beam, 2/3 the span, carrying 1/3 the weight or less, and still deflects. Just how much deflection did your beam actually move. What is it now? if it's more than 1/360th of the span (that is 1'') put a temporary steel prop IMMEDIATELY in the centre and put warning tape acrooss all doors not to enter the garage.

Get a structural engineer to check it (if he's game) and recommend alterations.

Please don't quote such experiences if you have no idea about structural engineering, you could inadvertently cause a serious injury or death to someone else.

I'll say it over and over again, DIY dosen't mean DBD, (Death by design)

For what it's worth, from an old architect in Oz.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:41 PM   #23
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That pretty well covers this topic, thread closed before any more clean-up is needed. Thanks, Gary


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