We desperatly need more storage space in our house. As a result, we are considering finishing part of our attic (sort of walk-out) into a large closet (about 18'x4'). I'm trying to decide if it is something that I could do myself, or if I would need to hire a contractor, or if it is even possible at all.
One of our upstairs bedrooms has a door that leads out into the space above our garage. We don't have an AC unit there, but unfortunatlly the space is a trussed system. There is about 4 feet between the door/bedroom wall and the first truss. That area is open and extends the full width of the garage (about 18'). This is where I want to put the closet. The ceiling joists in the main house run in the direction of the 4' diminstion, and the trusses in over the garage run perpendicular to that.
The floor joists in the main house are 2x10 where the ceiling joists in the garage (where the attic space is) are 2x6. The 2x6 are resting on the back wall of the garage (load bearing wall), on one end, and are conencted to the first truss with joist hangers on the other. The load bearing wall is accessable/exposed and I would be able to add a 2x10 joists resting on that wall top and attach it to the truss using joist hangers. This would bring the floor of the proposed closet up to the floor level of the house.
In order to form the back wall of the new closet I would have to put a 2x4 wall directly on top of the end (up next to the truss) of the new joists where they connect to the truss with joist hangers. My concern is 2-fold. 1) Are the joist hangers (in conjunction with nailing the joist to the truss from the backside) strong enough to support the wall? 2) The span of the truss is about 19'. Is the additional weight I am considering adding going to be a problem for that truss?
This is going to be a kids closet for toys/clothes. No furniature, etc.
You can still get a lot of weight up there. Your desription sounds like it may be ok, but you need an experienced eye. If you have a building inspector in your community, it may be worth your time to consult him, or get the opinion and/or estimate from a contractor. Knowing what he is bidding on will let you know if it will work, and also if you would rather have a professional do it, or DIY. Good luck.