Above Garage Attic Storage

The Roof Trusses above my garage are 2x4 construction (home built 5 years ago. The span is approaximately 25 feet and are on 24" Centers (multiple V's in the truss, and it is an extremly high pitch, 10 feet plus height at the center). Additionally as the home is in NY State the fire code necessitated double layer 5/8" fire retardant drywall. I only want to store lawn furniture (light weight aluminum and seat cushions), but to do that I would want to lay down plywood, aproximately 8 feet wide better the V's of the truss in the center where I would have the plywood floor. Will this be safe?
Thank you in advance for any answers or sugesstions to make it usable storage.
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waynesho wrote:

I certainly hope so, since I have my commercial workspace located in exactly the same type of setup. The detached garage is about 7 years old. My actual walking space is 24X12 (minus stairs), and I use the lower, slanted ceiling floor space between the rafters for storage. I have a LOT of weight up there (industrial machines, fabric, etc.) and the building inspector signed off with no problem. We didn't put in any drywall at all though, although there's no plumbing, heat, nor AC. I'm in NY, too.
Hilary
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I have a similar space which I plan on using in similar fashion- lot of wiring I'd have to move/ protect first, though. If you have wiring there, be sure to properly protect with plates if it isn't sufficiently recessed to avoid putting screw/ nail through it when you lay down plywood.
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waynesho wrote:

Roof Trusses are just that..... roof trusses for supporting the roof & garage ceiling.
that said often times the trusses are very deep because the chosen roof / ceiling geometry
so the truss design is driven by geometry considerations (not load or deflection) so there can be lots of excess capacity
in any case I would put much up there until I calc'd it or had someone else do it.
cheers Bob
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Ok, I have one yes! Thanks Hilary. One with the same idea, and one maybe/no (thanks Bob). I will be insulating tomorrow. Have not purchased the plywood yet. Again, very light storage ... but how about plywood? I would hate to put down plywood and exceed the 2x4 capacity and sag the ceiling in the garage. Any professionals out there that say OK or absolutely NOT?
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waynesho wrote:

Wayne-
Hilary's "yes" is site specific to her garage....it was ok'd by a permitted installation.
The guy with the same idea may or may not have a similar situation to yours.
My "maybe" is based on the fact that I cannot see your garage from my keyboard plus if it was mine I'd have an engineer familiar with roof trusses take a look & do some calc's.
I'm contemplating a tile re-roof....instead of doing the calcs myself I had an engineer who does roofing calcs all the time take a look. Better to have a guy who knows what he's doing (experience) do it than me do something I seldom do......money well spent.
The fact that you're asking if the plywood (~2 to 3 psf) might sag the trusses tells me you don't really know what's going on.
No pro is going to give you the ok site unseen. They're going to want to see the installation; a drawing or pictures w/o a site visit probably won't do. The professional liability for a CE/SE is just to great.
btw taking a poll on whether this will work or not doesn't seem like the best way for achieving a safe installation
cheers Bob
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BobK207 wrote:

Agreed. In fact, when I was designing the garage I went to the building department first, told them what I needed to put in the garage, and THEY were the ones who suggested using the rafters as the floor joists for the second story. I would NEVER have thought of that on my own, and was designing something with nowhere near as steep a pitch to the roof. Given how my business has grown in the past few years I should have made the garage two full stories with attic storage. Maybe it's just time for a bigger house :)
To the OP - Why don't you just go to the building department and ask? The plans/permits for your garage should still be on file from 5 years ago, and they should be able to give you specs/weights of how much stuff you can put up there. Here's a tip-build wide, sturdy stairs if you'll be putting heavy or bulky stuff upstairs. The first set of stairs I had built were narrow and wobbly and scared me to death when I carried 50 pound bolts of fabric. The new stairs are wide, beefy, and attached to the back wall. There is NO movement at all, even when a 150 lb machine is being moved.
Hilary
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Thanks for the suggestions, and as recommended I will talk to a professional.
One clarification comment ... the note about worry about the weight of the plywood and not knowing what is going on, was why I asked in the first place. It is better to ask professionals than guess on your own. My concern here is that the span is 24 feet, with double 5/8" fire rated drywall ... I did not want to put plywood down and add even more weight. I am done thanks ... but in the future keep it constructive ... the site is intended to ask questions not be critizied.
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waynesho wrote:

Wayne-
If you're going to use the ng's get a tougher skin & do a little homework in advance.....
like how much does the current drywall weigh? how much would the plywood add? How much would your stored items add? Even a novice with a little effort could find this stuff out.
But being a sensitive & reasonable guy, I'll discount the cost of my advice by 50% on account of you feeling criticized.....
oh, wait.....that's right, the advice was free, my bad
I just paid $400 for a site visit, calcs, retrofit sketch & report for a re-roof; that's what it usually takes to get real advice / hard numbers.....

yup, that's what I said, really hard to see your garage from here
btw re-read your second post with a open critical mind.....you didn't get thumped on until after that one because it looked to me like you were:
answer shopping, talking a poll to arrive at a design solution you were going ahead with your plan without getting things checked out,
you were trying to get an ok or not ok over the internet to very site specific question
the thumping you got was to wake you up before you did something that might cause a problem for you or others, consider yourself helped.........
cheers Bob
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