strengthen loft

Discussion in 'Floors, Stairs and Lofts' started by danped, 9 Oct 2006.

  1. danped

    danped

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    I have a loft which I thought I would like strengthened. The reason for
    this is over the main bedroom there are a couple of cracks in the
    plaster where the ceiling has been flexed a little. The ceiling is
    perfectly flat though (i.e. no sag)

    What I want to use the loft for is storage. But I'd just like to have the reassurance that it is sturdy and won't come crashing down.

    So I got a (loft specialist) builder round for a quote and another is
    coming later in the week. He suggested a method of strengthening which
    was good, but I sort of got the impression he wasn't totally convinced
    it was necessary. So I'd like some opinions.

    I've posted a picture of my loft here:
    [​IMG]

    In total the length is 22 foot, it is 12'6" from the front wall to the
    inside load bearing wall and 9'6" from there to the back wall. The
    purlins running from the front are 9" x 3" and those at the back are
    slightly thinner at 7.5" x 3". the purlins are 10'6" apart.

    The beams making the ceiling / floor which run perpendicular to the
    purlins are 1.5" x 3" at 16" gaps but for each span there are two
    pieces of this each about 15" long which overlap in the middle and are
    nailed together. (These bits can't be seen in the photo for the
    insulation.) Running across the top of these is three pieces of 2 x 3
    which I think simply braces them.

    Then coming down are some thin pieces of wood from the roof which
    support the ceiling at the apex of the roof and at the purlins.

    My question is how suitable is it for boarding out at present and is
    there some easy way to make it stronger such as adding some additional
    ceiling hangars from the purlins to the beams? I'd appreciate any other
    advice or suggested reading.

    Thanks.
     
  2. noseall

    noseall

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    there is probably nothing you can do with this type of roof to stiffen the ceiling joists without undoing, and potentially harming what you've already got.

    the ceiling binders and purlins look a shade tired and slightly inadequate by todays standards but thats only a minor criticism.

    i personally don't agree with the vertical strapping as this only helps the ceiling deflect when the roof deflects. i would rather see sturdier roof members installed in the first place and do away with the vertical straps.

    if it was a clear floor space you were looking for and to rid yourself of the ceiling binders altogether, then you are treading on dangerous ground.

    if it was making the existing ceiling stiffer, then installing new sturdier thicker section ceiling binders is equally an awkward job.
     
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  4. danped

    danped

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    Thanks for the reply. I've got a few more questions...

    i personally don't agree with the vertical strapping as this only helps the ceiling deflect when the roof deflects. i would rather see sturdier roof members installed in the first place and do away with the vertical straps.

    I thought the vertical straps were holding the ceiling up, not holding the roof up?

    if it was a clear floor space you were looking for and to rid yourself of the ceiling binders altogether, then you are treading on dangerous ground.

    Thats ok, I am not after clear floorspace, just storage space :)

    if it was making the existing ceiling stiffer, then installing new sturdier thicker section ceiling binders is equally an awkward job.

    Are the ceiling binders the vertical straps? One of my thoughts was to use some 90 degree twist ties to support the joists from the purlin, then I thought I could glue and screw some more 3x1.5 on top of the current ones across their full length to stiffen them and prevent flexing.
     
  5. noseall

    noseall

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    yes the vertical straps are there to help stiffen the ceiling, but the roof will deflect slightly with wind and snow loads, this is transferred to the ceiling via the vertical strapping.

    if the roof and ceiling were built of adequate timber sections, therefore doing away with the vertical strapping altogether, then the roof and ceiling could deflect independently.

    this is just my opinion though. no doubt ^woody^ will tell you different.
     
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