Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Interior Improvement Center > Basements, Attics and Crawl Spaces
Reload this Page >

Garage Ceiling Storage Load Capacity 19' Span - Help

Garage Ceiling Storage Load Capacity 19' Span - Help

Old 05-26-15, 10:26 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Garage Ceiling Storage Load Capacity 19' Span - Help

So I installed 4 x 8 storage racking in the ceiling of my garage (19"x20"). I put two above the garage door and two more in front of them to create a T.

I think I have the terminology right feel free to correct. You will see below how the garage is layed out with the storage from overhead. I tried to keep it as close to scale as possible.
- Red is the storage racks
- Green is cinderblock
- Dark red is the garage door
- Blue are the trusses with the thickness marked
- Yellow dots are the mounting points to the trusses
- Pink dots are the mounting points to the wall

Name:  garage.jpg
Views: 1846
Size:  44.1 KB

This is what it looks like in the attic
Name:  20150526_010824.jpg
Views: 5273
Size:  39.0 KB

Here is them installed
Name:  20150526_083133.jpg
Views: 1708
Size:  27.5 KB
Name:  10154255_10152522075023258_5600911095934533920_n.jpg
Views: 1765
Size:  27.3 KB

Any help or feedback would be appreciated.
The question is what kind of weight limits should I enforce. The racks weigh 75lbs each so I already have 300lbs up there. Is it safe at all,.. should I move them or take them down?

Other info,... we are in Florida so no need for snow planning,... and the roof is a tile roof.


Last edited by maxxeddiy; 05-26-15 at 10:43 AM.
Old 05-26-15, 12:44 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,495
Received 36 Votes on 28 Posts
The bottom chord (horizontal piece) of roof trusses is rarely made to take any kind of downward load beyond that of the drywall ceiling and fluffy insulation. For that reason alone I do not like suspended junk racks. I know it is hard (boy, do I know ) but the best thing you can do is be ruthless in tossing anything that you have not used in the last two years or so.
Old 05-26-15, 01:22 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 25,253
Received 896 Votes on 826 Posts
You have engineered trusses. In most cases they are not designed to support a storage load on the bottom chord unless they were specifically ordered that way. They can obviously store some amount of weight but they are not normally sized for storage loads. If you want attic storage it's specified when the trusses are ordered and they are made accordingly.

I happen to have the engineering documents for the trusses in my house. They were ordered with no provision for attic storage. The engineering case loading has zero live load and 10 lbs dead load for the bottom chord. Basically just sheetrock and insulation. I remember way back when I ordered them storage and any additional attic floor loading was discussed.

You can try to locate the engineering for your trusses. Talk to the builder or find out who made the trusses and see if they can/will locate the files. Option B is to hire a structural engineer to do the calculations for you. And finally there is plan C... put stuff up there and hope for the best. You know that it will obviously support some stuff. You just don't know how much.
Old 05-26-15, 01:40 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks Pilot and Furd,.. I figured that may be the answer.

I called around because a number of companies in the area sell and install these rack systems. I pretended to be a new customer and just asked them about storage limits and how they reinforce for the weight.

Every single one of them saw no issue. I even pushed a little "in disbelief". One of them said that he has been doing it for years, is insured and has had no issue with it. I realize they may be just be trying to make a quick buck,.. but you would think it would catch up with them sooner or later.

I called the builder and they are pretty much no help. I wonder if I can figure out who made the trusses by looking at them closer.
Old 05-26-15, 05:18 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 25,253
Received 896 Votes on 826 Posts
Are those stickers visible in your picture? Hopefully you'll find a sticker or tag with the manufacturer's name. Also, look over the trusses for some numbers. They often write job and truss numbers on them.
Old 05-26-15, 06:52 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 27,164
Received 938 Votes on 856 Posts
Totally agree with the others, and yeah it looks like you have stickers on the trusses in the bottom photos. Your best bet will be to ask the truss mfg, NOT the people who are selling the racks!

Sure the installers have no issues because the trusses would probably take years to sag or fail. When they do, it could possibly be suddenly, in the case of dramatic overloading.

The problem with things like that is that you don't really keep track of the total weight, you just keep loading them up. Before you know it you have 50 lbs per sq foot and something fails.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: