Designing And Constructing A Garage Loft Designing And Constructing A Garage Loft

A garage loft is easy to design and build. The height of your garage ceiling will determine the height of your garage loft. A loft can add hundreds of cubic feet of storage or studio space.

Evaluate Space

First, assess the amount of space you have to work with. Ideally, your loft will be high enough that you can walk under it and low enough that you can walk on top of it without having to stoop down. Keep these measurements in mind when creating your design.

If you have to give up a couple of feet because your garage ceiling hangs low, decide where you want to lose those feet. You can sacrifice space up top, down below or divided equally in between.

Frame

Attach a 2x6 ledger board to the rear wall of your garage using 3/8 or 1/2-inch lag bolts. Use one bolt for each stud, getting it at least 2 inches into the wall stud. Remember that over-tightening the bolt will strip the wood and result in a loose connection.

Attach the joists using standard joist hangers and heavy-duty joist hanger nails. It is very important that you use the correct nails for this job. The joists should protrude from the ledger board at a 90-degree angle. Place the joists at 16 inches on center.

Floor

Standard sub-floor plywood 3/4 of an inch thick makes a sturdy loft floor. Your floor will be secured by 4x4 posts which run from floor to ceiling.

Measure an equal distance between each post. Use metal post bases that allow you to connect the 4x4 posts to a concrete floor using an expansion anchor drilled into the floor.

Install a beam that will run from one end of the loft to the other. Use two 2x6 or 2x8 boards to construct the beam. The beam will be bolted to the posts. The beam will be used to support metal joist hangers, which in turn support the opposite ends of the floor joists.

 Tips

  • Use metal angle irons with holes to suspend a nifty pipe storage rack just beneath the loft.
  • Install a staircase with a handrail for safe access and guardrails along the loft to keep stored items from falling.
  • Throw an area rug on the loft floor and a couple of bean bags to create an extra entertainment or reading area.

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