Finishing attic above the tray/recessed ceiling

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Old 12-06-15, 06:45 PM
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Finishing attic above the tray/recessed ceiling

]Hi guys,

Looking for some advice on finishing an attic space that has a sloped tray ceiling sticking out in the middle. I contemplated couple of options: raising the whole attic floor to the level of the top of the tray ceiling or leaving the tray as is and have 2 floor levels and adding "wrap-around" stairs around the tray. My biggest concern is whether the tray can support a finished space on top of it. The beams are at least 8". The tray height is about 2 feet. I attached some pictures. Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-06-15, 07:16 PM
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A tray ceiling is usually designed and built to hold about 10 lbs per sq ft, like most attics are. Floors are usually rated at 40 lbs per sq ft. In short, the ceiling in your room was not built to be a floor.
 
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Old 12-07-15, 03:08 PM
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What makes it 10lbs or 40lbs ceiling? How can one tell?
 
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Old 12-07-15, 03:28 PM
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The size and span of the joists determine how much load they can take. Since attics are rarely built for future use as a room the joists are normally undersized and to covert it to living space requires adding lumber to support the floor.
 
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Old 12-09-15, 06:29 AM
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The beams are 8 or 10" high and spaced about 16" apart no different than my first story floor so doesn't that mean the ceiling is built to hold a finished space?
 
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Old 12-09-15, 06:46 AM
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Possibly, how long is the span? [how far apart is it between supports]
 
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Old 12-09-15, 06:55 AM
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I'll take a look when I get home. Would any wall underneath qualify as a support?
 
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Old 12-09-15, 07:11 AM
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so doesn't that mean the ceiling is built to hold a finished space?
That in itself? No. And interior walls are not necessarily all automatically load bearing. Load bearing walls transfer weight to the foundation via an engineered load path. You can pay a structural engineer to visit your house and make an assessment of what you can and cannot do.
 
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