Installing overhead storage in garage

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Old 08-20-18, 03:37 PM
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Installing overhead storage in garage

I was planning on installing some overhead racks in my garage for storage. While figuring out where and how to install them, I began to get increasingly wary about putting that much weight on the supports. I found a picture of the garage while under construction, and instead of alleviating my concerns it just added more. So...
  • This is a newly built townhouse.
  • The red line is where I'd like to install the rack(s). In the garage, close to the wall immediately in front of me in the picture. I'm actually taking the picture from another room looking into the garage before drywall went up.
  • It looks like the ceiling supports are not 2x4s, but something smaller, with plywood sandwiched between it and another support above it (yellow arrow)? Is this a building technique for garages with rooms above them? I'm pretty sure it's fine code-wise, but will it support extra weight?
The company that built the townhouse isn't exactly known for going the extra mile to make sure things stand the test of time, so I just want to make sure I'm not about to do something that will completely mess up the structural integrity of the garage (and its resell value for the near future).

Thanks!
 
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Old 08-21-18, 05:25 AM
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What you have are similar to these:

Red-I I-Joists - Engineered wood I-joists for floors and ceilings from RedBuilt | RedBuilt LLC

Disclaimer: I am in no way connected to the above company or its products. Showing for reference only.
 
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Old 08-21-18, 06:32 AM
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I began to get increasingly wary about putting that much weight on the supports.
Those are engineered I-Beams, very strong.

What exactly are you planning to hang?

Just think about what is above, any concerns with loading up the area with a bunch of furniture and/or a small group of people for a party?

Unless you are planning to hoist your car up using them for general storage you will be fine!
 
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Old 08-21-18, 07:05 AM
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I beams are very strong, no doubt about that. But, they are strongest when the weight is on TOP, not when its hanging from the bottom. Hang too much weight from the bottom and it could separate the i joist. So you need to be careful about how you attach your racks so as not to split the wood, and reasonable about how much weight you put up there.

You also want to be sure your fasteners don't split the engineered wood. So you don't want them glancing off the side and splitting the wood. If it calls for lag bolts, you might want to predrill a pilot hole and make sure you hit the middle of the joist. If the rack partially attaches to the wall, that would help too.
 
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Old 08-22-18, 12:16 PM
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Thanks for all the tips. I'm pleasantly surprised they are I-beams of some repute. They're just going to be used for general box storage, so no more than ~150lbs per 4x8 section. Above is your typical living room, just some chairs, storage shelves, etc. So knowing that the supports themselves are serious stuff, I'm now confident weight won't be an issue.
Actual installation I'm comfortable with. Yes to lag bolts, and I always drill pilot holes for them. One cracked beam from a lack of pilot hole teaches that lesson real quick.
 
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Old 12-09-18, 01:00 PM
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I'm finally getting around to putting the racks up (4'x8' hanging rack- https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ZUI7IFM) and have two more questions. Because these are fixed width, the hanging braces must be in increments of 24"... however my I-joists are 19" apart. Wonderful. To solve this I've bought 2 - 5' angle braces I'm just going to span perpendicular across the entire 8' length, which gives me a little extra room on either end. However this should allow me to bolt into multiple joists across the 8' span, rather than just the joist on each end for a standard installation.

Question 1: I've read in multiple places that drilling into the [underside] flange of I-joists are an absolute no no. But then I've read in other places, including here, that if done carefully, kept away from edges, with pilot holes and not overloading weight (the entire rack wouldn't be holding more than 300lbs), it's a-ok. Is there any particular way I should attach these angles that allow the weight to be more evenly distributed, since the load is still carried by the 4 corner posts?

Question 2: Also in consideration is that I will likely move in the future- will this set off any red flags with an inspector?
 
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Old 12-09-18, 01:09 PM
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I would screw a 2x4 perpendicular across the bottom of your joists. Then attach your rack to that.

If you use #9x3" torx screws to screw the 2x4 up, it will leave small holes, barely noticeable and they shouldn't split the joist.
 
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Old 12-09-18, 06:38 PM
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After posting, I thought about it some more and came up with basically the same idea. If I were to just put the angle bar on the ceiling, there's nothing actually transferring force from the bolts to the other joists along the bar, since the bolt just passes through one of the notches in it. Additionally, the "back" end of the hanging rack will be wall-mounted against standard studs, so the joists shouldn't shoulder the entirety of what little weight I'll be putting on it.

So- 2x4 to the joists through the ceiling drywall, and then the rack braces (just smaller angle bars) to the 2x4s. I'm comfortable with that answer. Thanks!

Still not sure about the general OK-ness of putting screws into the bottom flanges though. Though at least a dozen of my neighbors in identical setups have done exactly that. What can I say? I've never been one for the "well everyone else is doing it" excuse.
 
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Old 12-09-18, 06:45 PM
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The screws I mentioned will be far better and less damaging than large lag bolts. One pair per joist. No predrilling needed.
 
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Old 12-09-18, 07:10 PM
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Oh, btw, since you said you are going through drywall the screws should be 3 1/2". Be darn sure you are hitting the center of each joist. And the layout is 19.2".... not 19". (It's the diamond marks on your tape measure.)
 
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Old 05-16-19, 12:27 PM
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Had an idea about this:
Expanding ceiling fan brackets.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6JJLLdyFH0
Ditch the electrical box, and attach a hanging strap to it.
Not cheap, but minimal damage to the ceiling drywall.
 
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