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Old 11-05-2013, 09:29 AM   #1
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opening up attic space in garage for storage


Hello everybody. I was thinking of opening up a ~4' wide by 3' long opening in my small detached garage ceiling joists so i can use the area above as storage. I was thinking the opening needs to be treated similar to framing a window where you have double headers on each side and a cripple stud going along each untouched joists. i came across this photo for adding stairs to an attic and it seems you should double up the joist and there is not cripple stud. What is the best method? The garage is framed with lumber rafters and joists; no trusses.

Also, are ceiling joists in compression or tension? I am thinking tension.


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Old 11-05-2013, 09:57 AM   #2
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I think you have your terms mixed up a bit, but the picture does show how it should be properly framed. There are rules governing whether or not the header and the trimmer joists need to be doubled up. If the header does not span more than 4', the headers can be a single member. If the headers are within 3' of the bearing point (wall or beam), then the trimmer joists do not need to be doubled up. Both the trimmers and the headers need to be doubled up if the header exceeds 4'. See R502.10 in http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/ic...?bu2=undefined

Of course, this is based on nationwide code. Local code may be more restrictive.

Joists are both in compression and tension. Depends where in the joist you're talking about.

The most important thing you should consider is whether the joists are sized and spanned to support the amount of storage you're going to put up there. You need to measure joist span, spacing and refer to the span tables in the IRC to get an idea if what you want to do is safe.

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Old 11-05-2013, 10:49 AM   #3
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opening up attic space in garage for storage


here are links to the Massachusetts Residential Building Codes which are based upon the 2009 International Residential Codes. Massachusetts modified some sections of the IRC which can be found in the Mass Amendments.

Mass Amendments http://www.mass.gov/eopss/consumer-p...tial-code.html

2009 International Residential Codes http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/ic...2009/index.htm

Post back with any questions.
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:59 AM   #4
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opening up attic space in garage for storage


The first thing to know is if the garage has a truss structure or was conventionally framed. Can you post a picture of the space?
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Live_Oak View Post
The first thing to know is if the garage has a truss structure or was conventionally framed. Can you post a picture of the space?
"The garage is framed with lumber rafters and joists; no trusses. "
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:12 AM   #6
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opening up attic space in garage for storage


Yeah, I realize that's what he said, but since there's some mixed terminology going on, I thought it prudent to see pics to be sure that he's actually saying what he means.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:51 PM   #7
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opening up attic space in garage for storage


yes my mixed terminology, still learning. they are trim or jack studs not cripple studs, i got it now. but it IS framed with 2x rafters and joists defiantly no trusses. off the top of my head i would say they are 2x6 16" oc.

so i would double up the trimmer joists and headers to be safe, its not alot of extra money vs single headers. i was just curious as to why the trimmer stud wouldn't be between the two headers like on a door to transmit the load?

as far as what is going up there... nothing heavy or large, xmas ornaments, plastics coolers etc.
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:12 PM   #8
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opening up attic space in garage for storage


No cardboard or OSB decking unless you have attic ventilation.... even then I would gap any boards/ply used to let the rising hot/moist air from the cars after driven/parked from condensing on the stuff after diffusing through the ceiling/attic hatch/ uncovered access hole. Bonus points for long sentence using one breath!lol.

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Old 11-05-2013, 01:39 PM   #9
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the garage has a continuous ridge vent; no insulation anywhere; that count? i was contemplating insulating the walls at some point because the garage is where i do my carpentry for the house in the winter. i have 250' of colonial trim to put up this month!
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:33 PM   #10
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After you park vehicle, moisture rides on warm air from brakes, engine, exhaust system to water vapor, deposits on colder surfaces in attic..... no insulation will expedite the rising moisture to the ridge vent, how much- anybody's guess.

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Old 02-17-2014, 10:58 PM   #11
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opening up attic space in garage for storage


This is a really good idea, thanks for sharing. Extra storage is always welcomed around the house and wall space is not an unlimited space that we can keep utilizing. That is when attic space comes in handy. A simple loft could provide an ample amount of storage space for those unwanted yet might be useful one fine day kind of stuff. Not only will they have a place to be kept, but they will be concealed away from sight as well keeping the place clutter free.

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