Reinforce garage ceiling for garage lift

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gottodo1

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Hey Guys,
I'm moving into a new (10 yr old) house with a 30' wide garage where the truss system spans the 30'. The bottom chords are 2x4 and is R30-38 insulated with drywall already on them. I've read and figure I have about 2-3lb/sqft of storage capacity left in the bottom chord but that's not very much. For a truss, is there a good way to increase the vertical holding capacity (I know it's not inherently designed for that) so I can store quite a bit from the bottom chord down above the garage floor?
So to elaborate on why I want to do this. I've got an idea that sounds like fun to build 2 platforms above the dual garage door on either side of the opener (not direct drive) that I could raise/lower with a hoist/pully system. My guess is both platforms would be less than 1500lbs max, but probably only 900lbs normally. Unfortunately I really don't have any idea how to reinforce the attic to support that in a reasonable way so... I called & e-mailed some structural engineers and they all just said no... Probably rightfully so maybe it's just a no go and there's not a way to do this.
Here's a video of a guy who did a smaller platform system that was actually kinda close to what I was thinkin and even a couple good improvements... Though his didn't hold the weight permanently. Even figured out some improvements for some more safety with an otis safety brake like safety for the hoist line or maybe just a fall arrester or 2.
 

Sparky617

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I doubt you could hang this off the ceiling/roof truss system. Even creating a beam under the ceiling with supports down to the floor to span a double door would be a pretty tall order. If you had single doors you could drop a post between the doors to support the beam, impossible with a double wide door. What are you planning on storing up there that would equal 900 or 1500 lbs? Engine blocks? I store camping gear, Christmas decorations, coolers, Costco bundles of paper towels, etc. I'd bet in 40 feet of 2' wide shelving I don't have 1500 lbs of stuff.

I have big shelves I've built around the perimeter of my garage. These depend on the walls to support them. I think your lift method is going to overly complicate the project and while cool isn't worth the extra cost over just grabbing a ladder to climb up to fixed shelves attached to the walls.
 

bud16415

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I agree it is tempting to look into any attic area and see the space and want to use it, but it really wasn’t intended to hold anything other than itself and the ceiling and if in snow country some snow and wind. Unless it was designed for loading and I don’t think yours was.



I stopped at a garage sale once and the guy had a two story garage with an elevator he made from a fork truck mast. It was sunk into the floor and the forks cantilevered out with a big steel plate attached and he would drive his Harley or snowmobile or 4 wheeler on it and run them up and store them on the second floor. It was a really slick setup and he gave me a ride on it. all the way up the wall he had pull out bins for small parts and he would ride up and down and pick parts he needed at just the right height.



I like @Sparky617 idea of shelves along the side keep the lighter stuff on the shelves and the heavy stuff on the floor under them.

I did like a million others have done. We ripped out the old metal kitchen cabinets and I put them up in the garage and filled them up with stuff I don’t really need.
 

gottodo1

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Well, just an update, I gave up on that idea :). I figured if I had that much stuff I needed to just quit life. SO I just put up pulley systems for ladder and 3 kayaks. What's sad is the ladder pulley system is 2x as good as the kayaks and cost less.
 
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