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Discussion Starter #1
Moved into a new house last summer and the attic space above the garage had some plywood laid down near the opening for storage, but now I'm wondering if I can lay down some additional sheets to get a little more room to maneuver. It's a 3 car garage and the crossbeams are 2x10s. I'm use the current space for random stuff (x-mas stuff, empty suitcases, kids scrap bins, etc) and I would do the same with the added space. Nothing too heavy, but I don't want to create any problems with the garage ceiling sagging.

The attached photo is the space I'd like to put plywood down on. I wouldn't do the whole area, just the middle section on either side of the central beam where the roof is tall enough for me to stand. FYI, this house is in N.Texas, built in 1996.

Any suggestions/advice would be appreciated.
 

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Everybody does this. Some more, some less. Our current house has a conglomeration of planks and plywood over the garage, for instance.
However I have read where this was discouraged due to the fact that truss construction does not take into account and calculate this loading.
 

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Those do not look like roof trusses from here. They look like ceiling joist and roof rafters. A roof truss would have bracing member between the ceiling joist and the roof rafter on each truss.

A 2x10 will span a little over 15" foot as a floor joist. What is the span, what is the center member and is a load bearing member? How are the ceiling joist attached to it (probably hanger brackets)?
 

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I always get a kick out of the "good intentions" people have when making changes like this. Once it is built everything will come and that includes all future owners who will be unaware of the limitations you will observe.

Is the garage attic separated from the main house or are the attics common?

Bud
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I haven't had the time to make a sketch, but the joists are 21' across. It's a 3 car garage that's 35' wide with no interior supports, so the joists are only supported at the ends. I'm no structural engineer, but seems like that's a pretty wide span to be putting any weight on.
@Bud9051: The attics are common. The opening is in the garage but you can turn left to go into the house section or right to go over the garage.
 

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When the two attic spaces are common then the ceiling of the garage becomes the firewall and it and the access opening are required to meet strict codes. A standard pull down set of access stairs would not meet codes. If it becomes an issue it might be easier to build a firewall between house attic and garage attic and install a fire door there. As in all cases local approval rules.

Bud
 

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When the two attic spaces are common then the ceiling of the garage becomes the firewall and it and the access opening are required to meet strict codes. A standard pull down set of access stairs would not meet codes. If it becomes an issue it might be easier to build a firewall between house attic and garage attic and install a fire door there. As in all cases local approval rules.

Bud
An out house can be built over the ladder with a sealed door into the attic will also work.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
After all the comments, I think it's better to not add any more floor space up there. The design was clearly not meant to support any significant weight, so best not to push it. If I really need the space at some point I guess I could look into adding some structural enhancements, but for now I'm just going to leave it. Thanks for all the info.
 

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After all the comments, I think it's better to not add any more floor space up there. The design was clearly not meant to support any significant weight, so best not to push it. If I really need the space at some point I guess I could look into adding some structural enhancements, but for now I'm just going to leave it. Thanks for all the info.
Well played.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So any suggestions on how I might reinforce the area that already has the plywood down?

In the meantime, I've moved the stuff I do have up there already to the edges as much as possible so there's less weight on the middle of those 2x10s.
 

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So any suggestions on how I might reinforce the area that already has the plywood down?

In the meantime, I've moved the stuff I do have up there already to the edges as much as possible so there's less weight on the middle of those 2x10s.
Do you have any support for the ceiling from below? if so, what and where in relation to what we see already
 

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So any suggestions on how I might reinforce the area that already has the plywood down?

In the meantime, I've moved the stuff I do have up there already to the edges as much as possible so there's less weight on the middle of those 2x10s.
Did you input the dimensional data for your ceiling joists into the link I provided? The data below is for ceiling joists. You may find it easier to understand.
 

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