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Old 09-09-2014, 12:45 AM   #1
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Extending a loft, gen contractor or engineer?


I am in a commercial building with 17ft tall ceilings. Half of the warehouse space is dedicated to an office with loft space above it. There is about 5 ft of space between floor above office and the rafters with the roof on top. This does not extend the full length of the warehouse. I would like to extend it all the way into the back of my warehouse, which is triangular in shape so not square (just mentioning this because of the extra complication in my mind). Who should I talk to first about getting this work done?

Would a general contractor be able to do it or should I talk to an engineer or architect first? I feel like it is very basic work(ive seen the existing structure open framed with no drywall at all so I understand how its built) compared to a lot of stuff but at the same time it has to hold people/weight and Im not experienced enough to know how to do this particular job safely/properly.

One added thing... looking at replacing an exhaust vent with a centralized AC system where none currently exists. I can handle the electrical. Just not sure on whether the building can hold the weight in that spot where an AC does not exist currently. Not sure if that requires extra bracing or what.
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:22 AM   #2
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:13 AM   #3
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You need to get a structural engineer to sign off on some plans to get a permit.Did not say where you are located but in all of the areas I know of you will need to get an electrical inspection and would not be allowed to do the electrical yourself.Need to hire a licensed electrician.Things are a lot stricter with commercial buildings than your own home.
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Old 09-11-2014, 03:55 PM   #4
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Ok. Yeah, I have an interesting situation here then. Basically none of the work in my building is permitted. Ive gotten the permit history and there is permit for the original construction in the 70s, an extension in the 80s, and then nothing since but there is more work in there then the original scope of work on any of the permits. Ive been in my place for 5 years now and am about to resign lease for 3 more years.

Considering the above responses and my situation, I think I am going to scale back my desires. Instead just remove one wall to open a space up and link two seperated rooms and then also move another wall 3 feet to expand a storage space. Nothing requiring structural integrity.
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