Attic: non load bearing beams?

Hey Folks, I live in a townhouse with an attic. Recently, a neighbor told us the attics in these houses area not intended to bear a load, and should not be used for storage.
Has anyone heard of this before? Is it possible for me to verify this visually by looking at the beams?
Thanks, Drew
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What is the size of the beams? What spacing between them? What's the unsupported span that the beams are across?
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It all depends. If the attic does not have a floor of some sort over the beams, then all you have for support is the sheetrock ceiling below it. This will not support a lot of weight. You could make a floor out of wood that would support a heavier load. The floor could be any old scrap wood that was thick enough. I did one over a garage using the wood from a dismantled shipping crate.
Be cautious about what you store in the attic. It is not heated or cooled except by the weather. Some things don't like that kind of storage. For example, liquids (think paint) or some plastics that will get brittle.
Charlie

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A floor doesn't add support, it detracts from it. The load bearing capability is based on the beams/joist--type of wood, size, spacing, and span.
Charlie Bress wrote:

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If it is a straight beam, it will probably support small loads, but it was not designed to be a "floor". In my case, I put some OSB on the beams and put a few boxes of very light things like Christmas ornaments. It is not a place for keeping the spare barbells or the extra refrigerator. .
If it is truss contruction, they are designed to support the roof, not any load on the cross pieces. Trusses are made from multiple pieces of wood whereas most beam construction would look like an open triangle
If you can contact the builder, they could tell you better whatt he intended disign is. Ed
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Geeeeeeeeeeee Ed... I was gonna ask ya to come over and put my old fridge up in the attic for me... and of course while you were here, I was also gonna see about putting the ole barbells up there as well... :)
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