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Old 11-02-2009, 10:47 AM   #1
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Storage in trusses above garage

I have a 24' by 24' garage that was recently built and I'd like to be able to store some items in the truss space above it. It is constructed with 2x4 W trusses and spans the entire 24' length. Would it be safe to put in an access ladder, lay some 1/2" plywood down and store items like Xmas lights and stuff up there? Also I plan to store the stuff toward the outside edges and not in the center of the span.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:07 AM   #2
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It depends on who you ask. When trusses are built, the buyer designates whether or not to add stiffness to the bottom chord. When they are designed as such, you normally see a 2x6 bottom chord. If they aren't designed for attic storage, then the sheet set that comes with them includes a placard for the builder to nail to every other truss stating that they aren't designed for storage. If those placards are installed, liability is no longer on the manufacturer or the builder. That being said, as the trusses are installed, I have come across situations where three carpenters are standing on the same bottom chord, jumping up and down, to get it to go into place. You also see people storing things in garage rafters all the time, without a problem. My intuition is that christmas lights and the like would be no problem. Any more than that, I would ask the manufacturer for reccomendations for strengtening them. They will probably tell you to sister each bottom chord, and add plywood gussets to each gusseted intersection. Sometimes they even want you to carriage bolt everything in addition to nails. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:39 AM   #3
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Christmas lights can actually be quite heavy
Depending upon how many & what they are stored in
So just be careful not to put too many in one tote or box

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Old 11-02-2009, 11:49 AM   #4
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As Custom Build said, look on your truss spec's. Truss manufacturers are building their products stronger now, because of the code, for just that application.

It may not have filtered down to your locale yet......
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