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Old 03-08-2010, 11:41 PM   #1
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I'm Overweight and scared to get in my attic


I need to know about how much weight can an attic handle if I am crawling around in my attic. I am about 6'5" and about 450lbs. If I need to I can look and post what lumber and layout is up there but I do not want to venture around too much and fall through the ceiling.
Any ideas if I need to be worried or not????????

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Old 03-09-2010, 05:48 AM   #2
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I'm Overweight and scared to get in my attic


Most attic stairways/ladders are only rated for 250lbs. The structure would likely support you, but not sure what the floor thickness is.

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Old 03-09-2010, 05:53 AM   #3
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I'm Overweight and scared to get in my attic


This depends on the age of the home, and its overall construction design of the attic.
Most typical older homes (pre 80's), have attic joists that are only designed to be used for light storage (2x6's), ususally spanning to the edge of their strength (so to speak).

A big guy walking, or moving around up on such ceilings (attic joists), may, or may not collapse a ceiling, but, can also create cracks and sags in the ceilings.
The key would be the width of the joists, and the span that they have.

2x10's, and you may be safe (dependant on the spans).
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:05 AM   #4
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I'm Overweight and scared to get in my attic


you don't need to be up there. if you need to send someone with video or camera
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:52 AM   #5
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I'm Overweight and scared to get in my attic


Don't be selfish. Imagine you falling through and unable to get out...who's going to help you out?
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:14 AM   #6
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I'm Overweight and scared to get in my attic


I would say have a neighbor help you out.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:28 PM   #7
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I'm Overweight and scared to get in my attic


Since '73, when I started in construction, ceiling joists are required to carry only 10# per square foot. Floors are rated at 40#. 1/4 as strong...... 10' span at 24" on center = 200# max.

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Old 03-09-2010, 09:52 PM   #8
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I'm Overweight and scared to get in my attic


I'm a big guy....310 pounds and 6'7"....I've put hairline cracks in my ceiling drywall at the seams by walking on individual ceiling joists. The key is to take some plywood into the attic with you to help distribute your weight to three or four joists at once.

My suggestion would be to err on the side of caution and avoid going up there. 450 pounds is a lot of load for a ceiling joist that isn't designed to take it. Will it cave in? VERY UNLIKELY...VERY VERY VERY UNLIKELY unless the home is greatly under-designed or the joists are greatly over-spanned. But you'll cause the joists to deflect while you're up there and that'll show in the ceiling finish.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:34 AM   #9
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I'm Overweight and scared to get in my attic


I too am heavy - I stay out of my attic... For the safety of the structure and more so yourself, I would suggest to get someone lighter/spryer to do the attic work you need accomplished.
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Old 03-10-2010, 01:19 AM   #10
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I'm Overweight and scared to get in my attic


depends where you're walking too... I try not to walk on anything but the main beam, if I have to go out on the joists I lay down on plywood.

I'm 210# and my old joists are actual 2x4's, 12' spans. wouldn't take much to wreck the place.

fear is a good safety mechanism too... keeps you safe

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Old 03-10-2010, 02:53 AM   #11
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I'm Overweight and scared to get in my attic


Thanks guys.
I was definitely going to get some plywood and lay across the area to spread out the load across several beams.
I'll get some layout info and post it. Check back later for the detail.
Thanks again.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:03 PM   #12
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I'm Overweight and scared to get in my attic


this has nothing to do with the post, but kc, did you have the babies?

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