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Old 03-03-2018, 09:45 AM   #1
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Garage storage loft


Hi all, I want to make a loft to store lumber over my garage door. I have around 800lbs currently, and want to have it up in the loft so I can pick through which piece I want without digging into a stack.

My plan was to use the LVL over the 16’ garage door as a sill, and come out about 8’. The length of the loft would be 12’. One side of the 8’ run would rest on the LVL to carry the load, but tie into the existing studs for stability. The other side of the run would need to be suspended from the rafters, whish is about 3’ above the top of the LVL. I woukd run OSB or similar across to make the storage ‘floor’

I’m trying to decide the right size for the floor joists (2x12? 2x10?) and how many 8’ runs I need to make to be safe. I’m also trying to decide the best way to tie the 8’ runs into the rafters. My plan was to take a 3’ board flush against the rafter and floor joist face, and use some lag bolts, but I’m not sure if thats the best plan (especially not sure about drilling holes in my rafters

Thanks!!
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:34 PM   #2
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Re: Garage storage loft


Rafters are designed for roof material and maybe snow loads. Don't hang a heavy duty storage on the rafters. Also, it maybe impossible to pull a lumber in the middle or bottom of a stack. Good way to break legs esp trying on a ladder.
Floors are designed with live and dead loads in mind. Live load for a livingroom, example, is 40 pounds per square foot. This is translated to 2x10 joists with max span of about 13-14' and 16" oc. Beams supporting the floor joists may be triple 2x10 supported every 8'. Load for roof may be 20.
Lumber stacking. Middle maybe high and heavy, and less as the stack goes toward the ends. If you have the stack parallel to the joists, then only a few joists take the load, therefore just a few rafters, if doing it your way.
So you have to overbuild everything and that could mean double or triple lvl beam spanning 16'.
Sorry that's all the answer I have. This is something you may have to ask an engineer, but even an engineer may not be able to answer this without knowing what your "stack" means. You can find it yourself by actually making a stack of 12" width. Then weigh all lumber in the stack. Lengths will have to be 90% uniform.
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Old 03-04-2018, 07:35 AM   #3
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Re: Garage storage loft


Thanks for the help!!

Couple of FYI's, in case they make a difference:

I'd be stacking the lumber on edge in the loft, so I can sort through it for the pieces I want. Thats why I want to not put it on a shelf (like it is now). Its a pain to get to pieces I want. Its mostly a bunch of 10-12'x 12-14" oak I have right now (like 14-16 pieces), each weighing 35-45 lbs depending on which piece it is. There would also be misc other lumber but not a huge amount.

The lumber would all be stored perpendicular to the ceiling joists. The joists for the loft would run parallel, and directly underneath each truss. I'd be coming out 8' (or less) parallel to the truss, with one end of the loft joist resting on the existing LVL and the other end would use a vertical piece to the truss above. I could run a loft joist every 2' along the 12' run to match each truss and distribute the load more evenly.

I'm not sure how the math works, but as long as I keep the wood load even (or towards the LVL side) half or so of the weight (500ish lbs) would be on the LVL, and the other half would be distributed across 6 trusses, so call it 90-100 lbs per truss? I'm not an engineer of course, so I could be way off..

I think the concern I see most online is adding load to the trusses, so I left like this minimized it.
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Old 03-04-2018, 08:44 AM   #4
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Re: Garage storage loft


Err, I meant to say "I think the concern I see most online is adding load to the trusses, so I thought something like this would minimize it."
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Old 03-04-2018, 07:42 PM   #5
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Re: Garage storage loft


picture would help.?

Maybe even a scribble drawing of what you would like to do.?
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:48 PM   #6
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Re: Garage storage loft


This isn't my shop, but its a similar idea...

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Old 03-04-2018, 11:07 PM   #7
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Re: Garage storage loft


Standing them on edge is also going to give the board's a lot more chance to warp, you really want to leave them flat to minimize warpage.
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Old 03-05-2018, 05:52 AM   #8
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They’re all well seasoned already. Think warping will still be an issue?
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:26 PM   #9
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Re: Garage storage loft


Here is a picture of the actual rafters and the garage door LVL.
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Garage storage loft-img_0784.jpg  
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Old 03-05-2018, 11:01 PM   #10
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Re: Garage storage loft


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Originally Posted by Changethursday View Post
They’re all well seasoned already. Think warping will still be an issue?
Yes, even if they are well seasoned they will warp if stored on edge. Not as much as if they were green but they were still warp.
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Old 03-06-2018, 02:46 AM   #11
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Re: Garage storage loft


The beam over the door was prescribed for the loads that are there now.
Adding weight a few trusses may over load them.

The trusses do look like they may have been built for something more than just a roof.
Take a picture showing the design of the trusses and talk to a truss company for suggestions, you may find the truss builders name on the trusses.
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Old 03-06-2018, 11:07 PM   #12
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Re: Garage storage loft


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Originally Posted by Nealtw View Post
The trusses do look like they may have been built for something more than just a roof.

Take a picture showing the design of the trusses and talk to a truss company for suggestions, you may find the truss builders name on the trusses.
Since the OP didn't state where he lived I don't see how you can assume they were built for something more than just a roof. There may be significant snow load in his area or they may be very long span and span a room the other side of the garage.

Your suggestion about contacting the truss manufacturer who made them certainly the best place to start. I'm not sure if a truss manufacturer other than the one who built them would make any commitments for what could be done with them.
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Old 03-06-2018, 11:20 PM   #13
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Re: Garage storage loft


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Originally Posted by Msradell View Post
Since the OP didn't state where he lived I don't see how you can assume they were built for something more than just a roof. There may be significant snow load in his area or they may be very long span and span a room the other side of the garage.

Your suggestion about contacting the truss manufacturer who made them certainly the best place to start. I'm not sure if a truss manufacturer other than the one who built them would make any commitments for what could be done with them.
The 2x6 bottom cord in the center section is what caught my eye.
The worst that happens at the truss company is a charge for the engineers time.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:53 AM   #14
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I live in central NC. Minimal snow loads. Its a 24’ span, nothing else attched to shop (its just a 24x32 box)
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:33 AM   #15
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Re: Garage storage loft


If they are going to warp, they are going to warp, and it's better to warp in storage than after built into a project.

I still recommend stickers between them for air flow even when stored on edge.
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