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Old 08-22-2012, 04:45 PM   #1
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Above garage bonus room finishing DIY

I just purchased my first home and am excited to start improving.

Im currently drafting up plans to build a home gym in the unfinished bonus room above the garage. The only thing I seem to be having trouble researching is the appropriate truss system to support a livable space. The gym equipment and all accessories, tvs, speakers, etc should weigh in less than 1500lbs distributed. And of course plus the building materials for the floors, walls, ceilings, etc. still doesnt seem to me an excess amount of weight, but I just wanted to make sure.

The room measures 29'8"L x 10'0.5"W from exposed stud to stud. It is 7'5"H from the plywood floor to the bottom of the truss cross member. the knee wall is 6'4". The trusses are 2"x6"s 24" apart. It has an egress window at one end of the length and a door to an external stairwell at the other.

The plan is to add a high impact energy absorbing floor, like 1/2" recycled rubber, on top of the necessary layers, like the vapor barrier etc. storage areas will be finished in between studs into the knee wall spaces. standard drywall and mirrors for the walls. for the ceiling i was thinking of a drop ceiling raised 12" above the cross members of the trusses. the trusses would be painted an industrial metallic color. wiring, ducting, etc can be run through the space created between the drop ceiling and the cross members to further the industrial look while maintaing insulation properties. this will also allow room for using the exposed cross members in future additions which may be suspended from those cross members. Which also leads to me another question. Should I reinforce those cross members in the ceiling of the trusses with long screws or other means? A water fountain will be installed recessed into the knee wall, as well as a mini fridge. The attic fan will be wired to pull air from the room to outside. the intake from the room will be centered in the drop ceiling and bolstered with a secondary fan to assist in the exhaust system.

Thanks a lot for any and all response. Im glad to find a resource like this and hope Im able to find the help i need to get this project done!

- Can 2x6" trusses at 24" spacing apart support a living space in a 30'x10' above garage bonus room?

-Will cross members of the trusses need to be reinforced to support 250lb per (ie. me hanging from it) cross member in weight suspension.

-Any other advice or direction?

The bonus room;

Last edited by itsben4; 08-22-2012 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:11 PM   #2
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The truss manufacturer should be able to tell you what the floor load rating is for their trusses. If the rating is not adequate for the load you plan, the truss manufacturer may have a specification on how to improve the strength of the truss. Your alternative would be to retain a local professional structural engineer to evaluate the strength of the trusses. Trusses are often designed for the minimum allowable load, which in your case may not include floor loading, but as I say the manufacturer should be able to furnish full details of the capacity of their system.
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:13 PM   #3
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As always Daniel is spot on! Follow his advise .....

one other item to consider .... make sure the ceiling of the garage is properly sealed, carbon monoxide is one of only eight gases that are lighter than air. don't want to run the chance of carbon monoxide getting into your gym, probably good idea to install a carbon monoxide detector in the gym ....

just my humble thoughts ....

"You get what you pay for, and sometimes free costs more!"
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:17 AM   #4
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You might also have an issue getting an air tight seal with the fan in the drop ceiling. Drop ceilings are not as air tight as drywall...

What size are the joists that go along the attic floor?
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:43 PM   #5
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Thank you for all the input!

I haven't found a way to identify the manufacturer yet. the home was built in 86 and no permits are on record.

An engineer is a great idea. Im seeing if any of the guys at work would mind heading out for a few beers rather than hiring some one just yet.

As far as carbon dioxide; this was built as a bonus room truss system. the floor is insulated and it looks like it shouldnt be an issue. none the less, its a great recommendation, and I will be adding one for sure.

Ill have to research the drop ceiling system more in regards to air tightness. It made me realize a moisture issue could arise above the drop ceiling if the exhaust fans are pulling air from only the living space below. The roof is vented, but with a humid climate and adding more moisture from perspiration in the gym, im not sure how much moisture could really accumulate.

The floor is built on the 2x8 truss system. according to what ive learned so far, what i have is a 40/20 build. Yielding me 40lbs per square foot of load bearing. The heaviest any area of the room i can estimate to reach would be 1500lbs maximum ever in a 5x5 area, requiring a 60PSF support.

If a 40/20 is what I have, is everything I am saying making sense? Am i wrapping my mind around it correctly? If so, How do I increase my load capability to 60PSF?

Thanks again

(1500=2 people, squat rack, weight, flooring, wall, mirrors, lights)
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