13'x6' Loft, Clear Span On One 13' Side, Long Or Short Joists? - Building & Construction - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:04 PM   #1
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13'x6' loft, clear span on one 13' side, long or short joists?


I am building a sleeping loft in a small apartment. The loft will be 13' long and 6' wide. It will be well supported on one 13' side and both 6' sides, but one 13' side will be a clear span. I would like to keep the construction as thin as possible to maximize head-space below and above. The clear span could be a taller construction extending above the platform, if necessary (but not preferred).

Should the joists run the long way or the short way? Any plans or suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 05-18-2015, 04:21 PM   #2
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#1, Do you own this building?
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Old 05-18-2015, 05:59 PM   #3
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No. I own the apartment. It's a large co-op building in New York City. I've gotten permission to build a free-standing loft, as long as it doesn't bear on the walls or otherwise alter the structure of the apartment.
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:28 PM   #4
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To have smallest floor thickness possible probably best to go metal. I do not know what specs you would need though.
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Old 05-18-2015, 08:34 PM   #5
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Opening a whole can of worms in NY.
There going to require permits, engineered drawings.
If you can not attach to the walls then somehow the loads need to be transfured down all the way to basement.
Really need someone that knows what there talking about on site not relying on guesses on the net to do this right.
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:29 PM   #6
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I don't think the OP is suggesting a permanently affixed structure. I think he is suggesting an extra long bunk bed. I've inspected many, many co-ops in Manhattan, and I see these all the time. They are either home made, or a contractor builds them. You won't find a kit anywhere. Your best bet is to look in a span table in a current code book, or even the prescriptive deck guidelines. It will be conservative, but after all this is basically furniture. You might need to incorporate a supporting bookshelf on one end or something of that nature to cut down the span. Joists should run the 6 foot way.
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:41 AM   #7
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Sounds like college.. 15 sharing an apartment..
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Old 05-19-2015, 05:52 PM   #8
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ron45: Ha, close. Less than 500 sqft / (2 parents + 4 kids (1 to 11 y/o) + 1 cat). Possible, thanks to 11'8" ceiling height and some imagination.

Aggie67: Right, you are! It's like an up-sized dorm room sleep loft.

If the joists run the 6' direction, then the 13' clear span beam is supporting close to half the load right? Is this the right way to calculate for the load tables:
(10psf dead load + 40psf live load) * (6' / 2) * 13' = 50*3*13 = 1950 lbs

Any suggestions on reinforced beams, engineered wood I-joists, using a glued-and-screwed pair of 2x10's, trusses, etc?
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:18 PM   #9
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I don't have span tables in front of me..... but spanning the 13' with tight OC spacing, might save headroom clearance below....

I'm not sure that traditional 6' joists into a beam will maximize clearances.
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