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
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.
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
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.
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?
Hilary's "yes" is site specific to her garage....it was ok'd by a
The guy with the same idea may or may not have a similar situation to
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
btw taking a poll on whether this will work or not doesn't seem like
the best way for achieving a safe installation
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.
Thanks for the suggestions, and as recommended I will talk to a
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.
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
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
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
the thumping you got was to wake you up before you did something that
might cause a problem for you or others, consider yourself
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