Can my garage attic support storage?


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Old 08-18-18, 08:34 AM
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Can my garage attic support storage?

Hello. Quick question. Can my attic support weight to store all my junk? The previous owner started flooring it but never finished. I took some pictures to share. Thanks!

https://imgur.com/a/Noj9c1h

Side note, this attic space is directly above my garage. The parts of the attic above living space are insulated.

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Last edited by PJmax; 08-23-18 at 12:20 PM. Reason: added pics from link
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Old 08-18-18, 08:57 AM
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How much junk?
2x6s will support some load but a lot depends on how far the span is. Generally attics aren't designed to be floored along with accompanying load.

btw - welcome to the forums!
 
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Old 08-18-18, 09:02 AM
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Probably but you provided zero info about the size of joist or the span.
 
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Old 08-18-18, 10:43 AM
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For general storage, load it up, you will have no issues.

Ive pulled many motors out of vehicle by just spanning a half dozen rafters without any concern,

Just think, if you went up there and stood on a single rafter would it collapse, spread the load across 10 rafters there is hardly any load being applied??
 
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Old 08-18-18, 09:40 PM
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Thanks for the responses. I went up into the attic and took some measurements. I have 2x10 floor joists spaced 16 inches on center that span roughly 20 feet. There is also a beam running perpendicular to the joists halfway through (1st and 3rd pics).
 
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Old 08-19-18, 02:46 AM
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There is also a beam running perpendicular to the joists halfway through (1st and 3rd pics).
Are you sure that is a beam? a beam would support the joists, it looks more like a 1x strap that is there to prevent the joists from wobbling side to side and would be removed if you nailed down plywood.
 
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Old 08-19-18, 04:43 AM
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I would only use it for light duty storage. You have no cross supports between the joint (referring to what Marksr is mentioning). Also heat and cold will take it's toll on items stored. So with that in mind use it to store your Christmas decorations.
 
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Old 08-19-18, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post

Are you sure that is a beam? a beam would support the joists, it looks more like a 1x strap that is there to prevent the joists from wobbling side to side and would be removed if you nailed down plywood.
You're right. I used the term "beam" loosely. It's not supporting the joists.
 
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Old 08-19-18, 07:51 AM
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According to table 802.4 (1), that size joists and span is considered "uninhabitable, without storage..."

You do not need to worry if you walk around up there or are adding a few light boxes... especially if you keep them close to the walls... but adding a floor down the middle is the worst possible place for storage and would exceed the rated dead load... the added weight would eventually cause the ceiling to sag. Light storage is one thing, as is a temporary load. A floor and loading it up with permanent heavy items is a bad idea.
 
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Old 08-20-18, 09:46 AM
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I've got something similar going on in my new house, with the area accessed via closet (Narnia-style) leading over the utility room and 2-car carport. It's a 10-ft span over the utility room, but continues with a ~24-ft span over the carport. I'm going to have to submit some photos later because there's a perpendicular joist running down the center, and I don't see how the whole thing isn't sagging where they connect.

I'm going to put a couple sheets of plywood near the walls, and still only have lightweight, temperature-resilient items though.
 
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Old 08-23-18, 09:30 AM
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I figured I'd update this thread for any future searchers. I had a structural engineer take a look and tell me my attic was easily capable of doing 20lb/sqft. My house was built in 2010. He said the wood used in my region changed in 2013 and is not as strong. If it had been built after 2013 the load limit would have been 10 instead of 20.

Moral of the story: get an engineer to take a look if you're worried.
 
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Old 08-23-18, 08:29 PM
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The date story he told you is likely a load of crap. The strength of lumber is based on the grade stamp, not on a random date that he pulled out of the air. As if all framers started using different lumber on Jan 1 2013... lol!

you didn't tell us what grade the joists are, but just going by the giant knots I see in the photos, it's certainly not #1 or structural grade.

I'm not going to argue with someone who inspected it in person, but the table 802.4 (1) that I quoted is current, up to date and is not wrong assuming #2 lumber was used... and it sure looks like #2 to me. Still, I'm curious what the grade stamp on the lumber actually says.
 
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Old 08-24-18, 03:53 AM
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I also question the reliability of the floor regardless of the structural grade. With out the cross members those beams are not going to be steady from side wobble. Light storage only!
 
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