building a loft (14' span)

homeboundDecember 1, 2009

I would like to add a storage loft to one of those Amish garages (same folks that make the Amish sheds). Can someone give a suggestion on lumber specs and basic method of construction? This will be light, reach-up type storage above the garage door clearance. Span is 14'.

The garage interior looks similar to this (except with a garage door):

Thank you.

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Similar to balloon framing, you would simply run a ledger board each side attached to the wall studs the depth of your loft. A band attached to the back wall with joisting maximum 16" on center layed out for the plywood subfloor. You would want to use joist hangers for the joisting as well as angle brackets for the ledger to back & front band connects. You might want to consider going with 2x8's rather than 2x6's in the event that you end up storing heavier loads in the future and 3/4" sturdi-floor tongue and groove plywood for the subfloor glued and screwed. The wider your joist material, the more headroom or loft space is lost dependent on layout, but in floor framing similar to roof framing concerning loads, it's typically best to go overkill rather than code minimums.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 10:28AM
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If you have a Home Depot in your area that sells Tuff Sheds, they have a model with a loft that incorporates a pull down ladder system that is pretty nice and you might get some layout ideas from some of those units. If none on display, you might inquire at the pro desk.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 10:33AM
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Thanks much.

As for any nearby HD's, I'm in Northern Va so I'm surrounded by them! But they need to get their act together - you have to know which store is usually out of which stuff. It's Hechinger all over again.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 11:12AM
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I hear ya! H.D. is the only game in our town as they ran all the good "mom & pop's" out of dodge. I get my lumber packages from a town 60 miles from here, worth the delivery charges as it's far superior lumber. Even though we're at their mercy, they do carry products such as Tuff Sheds" that can throw a few ideas out there to folks like you & me, but overall I can speak of many horror stories dealing with the "evil orange", mainly concerning special orders. Sorry for the off topic dig on H.D. but here's a link that might interest you concerning lofts in a garage:

Here is a link that might be useful: loft

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 11:25AM
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The designer of the shed shown forgot the rafter ties. If your shed doesn't have rafter ties between the top plates every 4 ft. or less you need to find a way to add them when you add the loft. If you want to place the ties at the middle of the rafter spans, you need larger rafters.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 12:26PM
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They are terrible at special orders! Nothing like wasting 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours for them to find a door. When you think about it, they're similar to American hospitals - nobody seems to be in charge.

In the pic, one rafter tie is visible. In the actual garage I'm dealing with (friend's garage), it is similar in slope with perhaps 3 or 4 (total) over it's 20' length.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 12:40PM
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The ties should be at every 4 ft. and at the top plates for such small rafters but you'll probably be OK if it never snows and a tree doesn't fall on it.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 12:04AM
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Rafter ties,(called collar ties out here), have more to do with "racking" than load. Properly sized ridge/rafters or engineesed trusses for snow loads.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 10:15AM
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In a steep sloped roof "rafter ties" are located in the lower half of a rafter span to prevent the tops of the bearing walls from spreading. The higher they are the larger the rafters must be so they are usually at the lowest point and often serve as an attic floor.

"Collar ties" are located in the upper half of the rafter span and they primarily serve to prevent the rafters from separating from the ridge board.

Historically when there was an attic floor tying the walls together, a low collar tie was used to supplement the strength of the rafters in snow country. Such use of collar ties is not recognized by modern codes so in new work the collar ties is usually placed immediately below the ridge board.

Collar and rafter ties play no major part in the transfer of lateral (winds/earthquake) loads to the foundation; that occurs primarily through floors and walls.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 8:15AM
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