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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all, first and foremost my apologies for my newbie lack of proper terminology, etc.

I'm weighing two options for building a small garage loft (strong enough to store 2 sets of winter tires among other smaller items). Here are some of the general details:

-Approximately 4.5' x 9.5' (width of the garage)
-Garage has drywall over 16" OC studs
-I DO NOT want to install any posts under the loft for support
-Two 2x6x4.5' rim joists lag-bolted (or structural screwed) into studs
-One 2x6x9.5' end joist lag-bolted (or structural screwed) into studs
-Three 2x6x9.5' joists to span the 9.5' width of the garage
-0.5" - 0.75" plywood platform on top

Option 1: Secure joists into rim joists with joist hangers



Option 2: Toe-nail (or hurricane tie) joists on top of rim joists



For both options, I'm also wondering if joist blocking would be necessary.

Any thoughts, comments, suggestions?

Cheers,

Dave
 

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I think either way would work, but I'd probably go with the first one and just use joist hangers. You could add the blocking in the middle, wouldn't hurt anything. When you put stuff up there, put the heavier items towards each side and the lighter stuff in the middle.
Mike Hawkins
 

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retired framer
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I would do it like with maybe 4 studs down to the floor, just in the corners for insurance
Use joist hangers and yes block between them in the middle is a good idea.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the recommendations - much appreciated!

Does anyone have any thoughts regarding which method would have a greater structural integrity under load? Or are they both relatively comparable?
 

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Naildriver
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Both methods will give needed support. You need to size the joists to compensate for the deflection.. Wider board, less deflection. 2x6 can span a little over 11', but consider the potential load that will be up there. You say tires. Next owner will say engine blocks.

I like to overbuild, and 2x8's would be my choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You might want to think about that 4.5 ft dimension in terms of plywood sheets and making sure your butt joint between sheets or cuts (running in the 9.5 direction) lands on a joist (presumably on 16 inch centers).
Very good point.

The 4.5' rim joist length was more just to ensure I easily pass the third stud (16" OC) out from the corner.

I plan to run the last spanning joist 4' out from the back wall to make things simpler with regards to conventional plywood dimensions (4' x 8'). I don't mind if a half foot of rim joist is exposed on either side.
 

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retired framer
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Very good point.

The 4.5' rim joist length was more just to ensure I easily pass the third stud (16" OC) out from the corner.

I plan to run the last spanning joist 4' out from the back wall to make things simpler with regards to conventional plywood dimensions (4' x 8'). I don't mind if a half foot of rim joist is exposed on either side.
16" on center is measure for the outside sheeting with a 2x4 wall the first one will be at 12" if they started in that corner,
 

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Just my opinion.

I would go with 2 x 10 16" OC. with joist hangers and add a ledger strip.
Then add no less then 3/4" plywood.

Doesn't cost that much more and you'll be ready for almost anything.

Things rarely end up what they start out to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks again for all of the helpful comments.

It seems like the popular vote is tilted towards option 1 (joist hangers). Given that there are no concerns regarding structural integrity and that it is a "cleaner" method which saves a bit of vertical wall space, I will give it a go.

I like the idea of overbuilding and will give some serious consideration to using 2x8s instead of 2x6s (2x10s are overkill in my opinion but I appreciate the suggestion). I'll also strongly consider blocking in the middle.

Lastly, I'll try to remember to post a picture or two upon completion!

-Dave
 

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Hammered Thumb
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Does anyone have any thoughts regarding which method would have a greater structural integrity under load? Or are they both relatively comparable?
The #1 joist hangers (would counter twisting) are better than toenailing on the ledger, but they both are fine for some steel wheels. However Chandler brings up a really good point about the future. If you have lots of ceiling height if not blocks there will be some heads, intake manifolds, a rear-end, heavier things at the very least eventually (AMHIK!!!). For only 3 joists, I might even ponder removing the drywall, extending the joists into the wall and hiding a post under each one (and then you're not limited to stud placement and can layout the plywood floor better). Also, do the 2x8s and full size blocking at midpoint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Managed to get this built yesterday before a freezing rain storm hit my city this morning.

I stuck with option #1. I ended up going with 2x8s instead of 2x6s and did one row of staggered blocking in the middle. When I was on top screwing in the plywood the loft felt rock solid.

A huge thank you to everyone for the helpful comments/insights! Attached are a few pics of the finished job.

-Dave
 

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