If you’re planning to use your attic as additional storage space for your belongings, the first thing you should do is make sure it’s up to the task. But while the state of your roof and the interior climate are both crucial to this process, you’ll need to calculate its weight capacity first. Above all else, your attic must be able to withstand the necessary amount of pressure to be useful to you. These are some ways to determine how much weight your attic can hold and, consequently, its storage capabilities. Our customers always comment on how detailed and complete the Versalift installation manuals are. They are 26 pages of detailed instructions, and as long as you follow them step by step, your installation will go smoothly and successfully. You can download from this websites home page or request one over the phone.
Research Your Attic’s Building Material
When it comes to the amount of weight a certain area of floor can accommodate, you’ll need to understand the capabilities of its materials. Attic spaces typically use a series of wooden boards known as joists. Wood is a very strong and durable resource, capable of withstanding a reasonable amount of weight. As such, it’s great for storing many of your possessions at once.
Analyze the Floor’s Structure
However, the material isn’t all you should be looking at. In fact, things like the thickness of the boards, their size, and the floor’s construction are often even more vital. Most homes that are built today with an attic have allowed for some things to be stored in the attic. In fact, the majority of homes that are built with attics are often floored with plywood decking to hold valuables and holiday decorations. Joists are usually framed on 12”, 16”, or 24” centers. For those that are framed on 24” centers the Versalift Model 24 will fit in between the two joists. The framing requirement is 22.5” x 46.5”, thus the lift will fit right in between the two joists. If it is on 12” centers, you will need to cut the center joist, and when you install the cross brace at the header and footer, you will be connecting the cut joist across two adjoining joists, some framers contend that you just made the opening stronger. It is important that you consult with an experienced framer, engineer or builder if you are in question. You are also able to install additional framing on the back side of the opening joists to further support the opening. For a Model 24 Versalift the framed opening is roughly 8 sq. ft. and if you are lifting 150 lbs the weight displacement is 18.75 lbs. per sq. ft. A Model 32 framed opening is 30.5” x 58.5” or 15.5 lbs. per sq. ft. Since most people are storing things in plastic tubs, most attics can handle the weight. The idea of putting motorcycles, car engines, or ammunition in the attic is ridiculous, but people have actually asked.
Inspect for Framework Damage
Another way to determine how much weight your attic can hold is to determine how much framework damage it has. Even if you seem to have a strong attic by outward appearance, unseen damage could still be weakening it just below the surface. As such, you should always have a professional inspect your attic before placing things in it. A thorough inspection will identify any problems and ensure that this space is in the most usable condition possible. If you have an older home and signs of the sheet rock ceiling cracking, or bowing are reasons to have the structure inspected by a framer, builder, or structural engineer.
At Versalift, our goal is to ensure that our customers have the knowledge and information they need to utilize their attic space to the fullest, but ultimately it is your responsibility to check with a builder, framer, or structural professional to assure your attic can handle weight. The purpose of an attic lift is to deliver your holiday decorations and keep sakes into the attic safely avoiding having to carry them up and down stairs or shoving them up attic ladders. An attic lift is not designed to ride and would not be safe to do so. With the touch of a button, our electric attic lifts will take the work out of moving your belongings from one floor to another so that you’re free to organize your home easily and safely.