I'd like to be able to use the light-duty ceiling above my 3-car garage to store some fairly heavy items. And, I'd like to do this: a) without putting up vertical posts that would reduce garage workspace/flexibility; b) without adding some very heavy/massive sort of wooden beam to be placed under the ceiling (attic floor) joists (i.e. I'd like to be able to hoist this into place by myself, if at all possible, with jack poles). The garage is approximately 22 ft. deep/long and 30 feet wide. The 2 x 10 joists run in the 22 ft. direction and are spaced at 4 ft. intervals. Another 2 X 10 joist runs across these joists-- perpendicular to them and on top of them -- about midway in the garage. The (hip roof) rafters go upward from three directions (from the 2 side walls and front'garage door wall) and 2 x 4's 'tie' the roof rafters to the joists (the joists that run in both directions, as described above). Therefore -- unfortunately --the weight of heavy items placed in the attic currently would transfer the load to the roof rafters and I'm concerned about the roof sagging.
Is there a way I can reinforce this 30 foot wide span, horizontally from below, with a (relatively) lightweight welded pipe or angle iron sort of strut beam? (I could put a vertical post on the wall at each end, if necessary, or try to attach this beam in some fashion to the double 2 x 4's at the top of each side wall; putting posts up against 2 walls would not impact use of the space as would posts in the central area of the garage).
Can you suggest how the above objectives might be accomplished? A better way? Are strut-like steel beams commerically available for garage ceiling spans like this without having something custom-fabricated? How would such a beam be best attached ? (As to identifying potential supplier(s) of such a beam, I live in the Sacramento, Calif. area).
Thanks very much,
Ted S. March 3, 2001