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Thread: Attic Storage

  1. #1
    Sheila Covert's Avatar
    Sheila Covert Guest

    Default Attic Storage

    I would like to use my attic space for additional light weight storage. My house is a town house, built in 1994 using an truss system for roof and floor supports. (Attic truss built using 2X4 chords and webs.) I've found a couple of different designs for shelves that are installed between the truss webs. Since the weight of stored items would be supported by the webs rather than the chords, would the structural integrity of the house be impaired by installation of this type of storage solution?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    leonardo, new jersey

    Default Re: Attic Storage


    If your codes and laws are similar to here in Jersey, you can not use that space for storage, and yes I know everyone does it. You have an access to it because its most likely over 30' inches of head room. Its a fuel load not ment to be stored up there.

    Joseph Ehrhardt
    Building Forensic Specialist LLC

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Oregon, USA

    Default Re: Attic Storage


    To be sure, you may want to do a bit of research to determine the total load (dead and live) each truss is capable of carrying. Could best do that by contacting the truss manufacturer. As standard CMA verbiage, they also will tell you "Do Not Apply Any Storage Loads To Our Trusses." But then, should you choose to ignore their advice, hire a registered Professional Engineer to crunch a few numbers for you. He/she will be able to determine any "left over" load-carrying capacity of the trusses, after factoring in the highest possible snow loads, etc., as well as analyzing any interior support walls which would reduce the effective truss span lengths. And if he/she is willing to think outside of the box, he/she could also come up with a satisfactory means of strengthening the affected trusses to accomodate your additional loading--web or bottom chord stiffening come to mind.

    And before the piling-on begins, I'm not recommending anyone make any unauthorized changes to any trusses which could possibly (negatively) affect their load-carrying ability.

    Michael Kober, P.E. (Retired)


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