DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > General Home Improvement Discussion > What's that big black pipe thingy in my attic?




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Old 11-06-2013, 06:45 AM  
bud16415
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Sorry I missed that as well. (garage) I feel these attic spaces were given access doors to service things like the Radon pump, wires etc. they didn’t lay any kind floor because in doing so the floor supporting structure wouldn’t be to code to carry the lightest loading rating. In other words it’s not a real attic. That being said it’s the homeowners option as to what he wants to do with the space. And if he is conservative with only using it for light things I’m sure it could store a few items. The problem is no one ever stops with a few light things. it’s amazing how weight adds up over time. A box of books here and there and pretty soon you have a problem. I’m as guilty as the next guy and my garage doesn’t have a celling and it’s a great place to store leftover wood and pipes and hang bikes from etc.

I might use the space myself if I had it but would have a hard time recommending how to do it because there is always that risk. Chances are the OP doesn’t want to reinforce the area to make it load carrying.



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Old 11-06-2013, 03:04 PM  
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All about liability.... the trusses are designed/warranted to carry a finished textured ceiling load with maximum amount/load of insulation per square foot, not storage loads. In 2006, truss companies were designing open spaces between web/chord members to carry a given storage load, anytime before that are risky in liability; Footnotes- "b, g"; http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/icod/irc/2006f2/icod_irc_2006f2_3_sec001_par031.htm

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Old 11-07-2013, 06:29 PM  
New2HomeRepair
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Hello Everyone. Thanks for the great replies! Yes, it is an attic above a 3 car garage that has studs and a textured ceiling on the "bottom" (the part you can see while standing in the garage, not in the attic)
We want to use it to store Holiday decor, rakes/weed whacker, etc. in the winter.
The opening is only 28X30 so there's only so much we can get through the opening.
But as one poster reminded me, several small boxes of books, etc. CAN indeed add up to a lot of weight if you add enough of them....good tip I'll keep in mind.
Thanks again.

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Old 11-07-2013, 07:06 PM  
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28 x 30 is the code, big enough for a ladder and a man to go up there not big enough to carry stuff with you. From time to time we see HVAC units installed in the trusses. But the trusses under the unit is usually a little different than the rest of the trusses, so I think they are designed to carry the extra few hundred pounds. Call a local engineered truss company and see what they think of your plan.

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Old 11-08-2013, 04:58 AM  
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Trusses are designed with a safety factor and also take into account things like snow loading and wind loading etc. Anything you put up there will just subtract from the safety factor. You may well have extra capacity no one can tell you that expect the designer of the truss or as Neil suggested someone local that designs a similar truss.

If you want to rip a sheet of 3/8 plywood lengthwise and set a few light things in there to get them out of the way I don’t think they would be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. The small hatch is a reminder it’s not intended to be more than that. Common Sense is the main thing really.



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