How much load can the rafters in your house support? Well maybe not your
PERSONAL rafters, but in general, if someone were to say, store their gold
bricks up there, or put a safe up there - something that isn't large but at
the same time is very heavy. I supose that it would depend on the age of
the house too, for the sake of argument let's say its a 1950's era house.
Would the rafters be able to support a 400 lb load if it were distributed
onto 2 rafter beams?
Well I wasn't thinking of my safe so much as I was thinking of me and a few
friends - doing attic work. My fear was that a bunch of big guys would get
up there and hear that <CRACK> of splintering wood. Not to mention putting
our feet through the wallboard. I of course intend to lay down some plywood
for a walking surface, but first I wanted to make sure that it would even be
reasonable for a big guy to be up there.
I know the guy who inspected the house went up in there, but I just assume
ask before falling through the ceiling.
I think there is some confusion with your use of the terminology. A
rafter is the angled structural member that supports the roof
sheathing. I don't know too many people that store anything at all on
their sloped roof.
If you're talking about the attic floor joists (aka floor below's
ceiling joists), then it's a regular joist situation and you can look
that up on any span table. You'll need to know the size of the joists
and the span. The Canadian Wood Council's web site has a design tool,
SpanCalc, that provides values for various species.
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