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Stephen Cutler
Stephen Cutler , General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 2062
Experience:  35 years of troubleshooting construction, remodel, component & material failures. What to do next
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What is the maximum span for 2x8 ceiling joists using yellow

Customer Question

What is the maximum span for 2x8 ceiling joists using yellow pine with attic space (minimal storage) overhead?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Stephen Cutler replied 7 years ago.
Hi and thanks for using JustAnswer.com.
This depends on the On Center spacing and the desired live load. Your idea of minimal storage could be one gun safe, however that would lay on 2 joists and weigh 900 pounds. The attached link lists every conceiveable combination of possibilities.
http://www.southernpine.com/spantables.shtml

I hope that this information was helpful to you. If it was please remember to click "ACCEPT" on your screen to make sure that I am paid for my efforts. By clicking ACCEPT you are not giving up your ability to ask more questions pertaining to this subject, and I will be happy to respond to these as well. Please take a moment and leave feedback, it is very important!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I'm sorry; I knew that b/c I've been looking for the answer/info online. It's on 16" centers. When I say minimal, I mean one Christmas tree. The hide-away stairs leading up there are rated at 250 lbs. so it won't be much! I want to make sure the span meets code requirements for Pasquotank County, NC. It's one of those low pitch roofs which wouldn't hold much up there anyway.
Expert:  Stephen Cutler replied 7 years ago.
I'll read the chart I gave you, for you- back in a flash
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The info I got from a chart says 17'5" but does the roof pitch matter at all? It would seem the higher the pitch, the shorter the span would be. With a 3/12 pitch, I would think the span could be longer since the storage would be minimal.......
Expert:  Stephen Cutler replied 7 years ago.
Table 1, visually graded, number 1, 2X8, 16 OC, max 14foot 5 inches.
I hope that this information was helpful to you. If it was please remember to click "ACCEPT" on your screen to make sure that I am paid for my efforts. By clicking ACCEPT you are not giving up your ability to ask more questions pertaining to this subject, and I will be happy to respond to these as well. Please take a moment and leave feedback, it is very important!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I must be reading it wrong b/c I thought it said 17'5".................

 

2x8 yellow pine (#2) on 16" centers with 20psf live load?

Expert:  Stephen Cutler replied 7 years ago.
Table 18 is what you were reading, and you are correct. However I would suggest going to Table 1, 30lb sf load so when you scamper around and pile stuff the drywall doesn't crack.
Expert:  Stephen Cutler replied 7 years ago.
I am certian that this information was helpful to you. If it was please remember to click "ACCEPT" on your screen to make sure that I am paid for my efforts. By clicking ACCEPT you are not giving up your ability to ask more questions pertaining to this subject, and I will be happy to respond to these as well. Please take a moment and leave feedback, it is very important!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I'm not scampering around in it EVER b/c I don't "do" attics, so the 20psf is more than sufficient for my needs. My concern is that it meets the minimum building code for Pasquotank County, NC. I want to use 18' joists b/c although it COULD be storage space, I won't ever use it as such; however, I don't want to have any issues with it if I ever sell the house...............................
Expert:  Stephen Cutler replied 7 years ago.
The spans in the charts are the certifications used by all codes. The new codes do not list spans; they refer to the industry certifications for rated spans. The old codes included a copy of spans, which I found most useful. The new codes simply regurgitate some other association's research; refering to it by an abbreviation. Your building inspector will be most impressed that you took the trouble to look up the industry's span tables.
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Expert:  Stephen Cutler replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for the accept. Here's a tip for beefing up the ceiling to resist deflection and also prevent ANY drywall seams from cracking for ANY reason. Add 2X8 blocking between the joists where the long side of the dry wall spans the joists. This will be 4ft on center beginning on one long side of the house. Add one eight inch to each on center. Example: wall to first OC 48 1/8. Wall to next OC 96 1/4. This gives a fudge factor for the drywall installers. The building inspector will be flabbergasted.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

THANKS SO MUCH!!! Wish I'd had you for the last 20 years or so. :-)

 

Melissa