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In my garage I have a nearly useless room that's 6'x10' but has this ... strange shelf of sorts in there. When I went to bust up the drywall to see whats behind it I found out it's been there since the house was built in the 80s (construction adhesive I've seen before). I have NO IDEA why this would be done this way and was hoping someone could explain. Here's what I'm working with.

looking toward the front ... (drywall is sloped from stairs heading to front door) hmmmmmm why a 2x6? enter image description here

behind / under that 2x6 ... 2x4s laying flat, 2x6s vertical, heading out front enter image description here

mouse hole and 2x6 -- not connected to garage wall enter image description here

To the right is cinder block, to the left is the garage (2x4s and drywall), in front of this is the entry way (front of the house). I'm pretty sure I can't remove this, or if I wanted to, I would have to support the front steps that stick out about 5 feet before a deck starts. Is there any way I can reclaim this space and safely support the front steps? I prefer to do things overkill so if there's an option, I'd love to hear it! The steps out front are 4' off the ground, roughly.

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I can't quite tell what's going on from the pictures, but it looks like there's a joist or two hanging off of it. Is that going out to the front? Is it a cantilevered porch perhaps? –  DA01 Jul 9 '12 at 23:49
    
Where is this 2x6? –  Philip Ngai Jul 10 '12 at 0:55
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Step way back and take a picture or two that gives more of an overview. –  Kevin Reid Jul 10 '12 at 1:29
    
that first picture is about the amount of space I'm dealing with. It's maybe 5 feet wide in there and that shelf takes up about half the room ... and there's a door behind me. Moving back would give me 3-6", maybe. –  jeriley Jul 10 '12 at 13:40
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In addition to the overview pic, a floor plan/diagram that shows the joists, support structures (at least that you know about) and dimensions would be useful. –  gregmac Jul 12 '12 at 0:48
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1 Answer

Couple possibilities I can think of (hard to tell without looking at a floor plan):

  • Floor was built over a larger area and then covered over.

  • Landing or base of the stairs was moved, possibly during early construction.

  • Floor or landing was intentionally extended to provide a shelf for storage.

  • Joists are continuing to a load bearing structure (wall of the house).

Without being physically there, or reviewing a building plan, it's difficult to say how you can move/remove this structure.

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Last one. The set of steps on the other side of that wall ends where the slope meets that shelf. It continues for another 5' for an entry, kind of like a balcony, only 4 feet off the ground. –  jeriley Jul 10 '12 at 13:46
    
@jeriley The rule of thumb for an overhang is that it needs to extend 2x the overhang distance inside the structure. So if it overhangs 3 feet out, you'll have 6 feet of floor inside (give or take, structural engineers can provide exact requirements). –  BMitch Jul 10 '12 at 17:33
    
I know the shelf in the room you see above is just under 5' ... I just measured the entry way, and its around 4' 9 from the inside (so its about 1:1). Wonder if its possible the two pegs outside for the deck also hold up that entry way –  jeriley Jul 10 '12 at 21:53
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@jeriley Without seeing an overhead floor plan of this area, including the joist direction and an indication of the load bearing walls, it's really difficult for me to understand or explain what's going on. –  BMitch Jul 11 '12 at 11:39
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