How to Build a Loft Inside a Barn
Creating a loft in a barn provides additional square footage for storage. It is a complex construction project that requires arduous physical labor, involving the use of heavy materials.
Determine your needs. If you are sheltering animals in the barn, it is best to leave the stable space open to the roof so that dank, humid air releases through the roof vents. For maximum storage, the loft should run the full width and depth of the barn. For an open look, build the loft on the sides, leaving the center aisle open to the roof line.
Set the support beams. Building a loft is similar to adding a deck to a house. You need beams on either side of your joists to hold the metal brackets. Determine the location of your support beams, based on the type of loft you are building, and attach a ledger board to the support beam, using eight-inch wood anchors. Pre-drill the holes every two feet, alternating top and bottom.
Attach metal joist hangars with nails. These should be set on either end to accommodate your joists, and should be 16 inches apart.
Build the Loft
Set your joists in place, dropping them into the joist hangars one at a time and fastening them in place with nails.
Add plywood on top of the joists to create the loft floor, attaching it to the joists with nails.
Build a staircase from the floor of the barn to the loft, using two 2-inch by 12-inch pieces of lumber. Mark off the staircase on these boards, using a seven-inch drop per rung, and at least eight inches deep. Use a circular saw to cut the pattern into the lumber and attach with nails at the top and bottom. Steps can be made from planks of lumber and attached with nails.
Becky Lower began writing professionally in 2004. Her work has appeared in "elan" magazine, a northern Virginia publication, "Good Old Days" magazine, the "BGSU Alumni" magazine and on the website thenovelette.com. Lower has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and English from Bowling Green State University.
- barn image by Andrew Breeden from Fotolia.com
- red barn image by Photoeyes from Fotolia.com