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mezzanine in commercial work

Jebadia's picture

I need a little(lotsa) help with bidding a mezzanine for someone leasing factory space. They have an existing mezzanine(not code) and he would like to add onto the existing and build a smaller one in another part of the space. He would like to have this built of wood or as inexpensive as possible of course since he is leasing the space and will have to leave it when he moves the business down the road. The issue with one is it needs to support 10000lbs in a 11 x 30 space. I don't have a code book for commercial specs is there another web based resource or do I need to purchase.

Thanks for any help,

(post #119572, reply #1 of 22)

Your liability is HUGE!  Hire an engineer and have him design it.  I've done a decent amount of this type of work and wouldn't even think of touching it without stamped drawings.



(post #119572, reply #2 of 22)

Engineer time.

They can't get your Goat if you don't tell them where it is hidden.

Life is Good

(post #119572, reply #3 of 22)

You could look into a prefab mezzanine which the maker will engineer for you.  They are bolt-together things that he could even move with him when he moves the business.  the floor loading doesn't seem too bad if it is uniform.


Hope this helps.  Rich

Hope this helps.  Rich

(post #119572, reply #4 of 22)

that sounds like red iron and concrete decking


two ways to screw up concrete 1) concrete driver 2) concrete finisher

(post #119572, reply #5 of 22)

This needs to be designed by an archy or engineered & stamped. Get the permits. Unbeliveable liability otherwise. If the customer won't pay for it RUN, not walk, away.

"this dog may be old but he ain't cold. And he still knows how to bury a bone."


(post #119572, reply #6 of 22)

I agree about the get an engineer.  You may not even be allowed wood.  Type 1 or 2 construction does not allow any combustible structural materials,  even support blocking has to be treated.  If you don't have a code book and you are going to do the job get one.  Costs less than a tank of gas.


(post #119572, reply #7 of 22)

When I need steel beams, the supplier has an engineering department. They spec out what I need free of charge. Easy enough to contact suppliers in your area. Codes vary by location and jurisdiction. The enforcement office should be able to point you in the right direction.

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match

(post #119572, reply #8 of 22)

Not to beat a dead equine, but you need more backup on this one.

You would MAYBE be okay if you were a contractor who had done this type of thing time and time again, maybe then you would be okay. I'm not knocking your skill or knowledge, but if you're asking the kind of questions you are you're not capable of doing this with no engineering or architect's stamps.

As Jason said, the type of construction will have a big effect on what you can even use. You get in to egree, ADA, sprinklers, etc. etc. etc. with commercial. A lot to know- I have all the "I" code books and I still don't feel comfortable with questions like you're asking.

Finally, 10,000 lbs. on an 11x30 space is not really that much. That's ~30 PSF- most deck are (or at least should be) built more solidly than that. Maybe an engineer or architect will be able to spec something that is still reasonably cost effective. Or go prefab, as others have suggested.

Good luck.


Jon Blakemore

Fredericksburg, VA


Jon Blakemore

Fredericksburg, VA

(post #119572, reply #9 of 22)

thanks for all the input.

I have been hashing it out in my head for well about a day and I have been coming up with the same thing.

An engineer to design.

I will have to go back to the owner today and have a talk with him.

He has an existing wooden mezzanine that was in place when he leased the space that he is afraid of the inspector catching and making him redo or improve upon.

He just doesn't want to waste a bunch of money.

I need work.

I think I need the exercise worse though.



(post #119572, reply #12 of 22)

Sounds like he is trying to keep inspectors off the site,.. to save a few bucks?

If the cuurent mezz is substandard, maybe he should talk to the building owners. He should not have to correct an existing problem for them. They will have some liability if parts of the building fail and they are aware it could. If someone is hurt, everyone involved is going to held responsible to some extent. Little words like Et Al on a law suite gets everyone.

His insurance and the owners insurance companies might even be able to wiggle out of a claim if the owner and the leasie both know the building or part of it is substandard or work was done without inspections.

You are right, about the exercise, but you still may be able to get the work, once you explain your position and give him a heads up on what his liability could become.

(post #119572, reply #13 of 22)

He is trying to avoid the inspector.

He doesn't want to get stuck paying for improvements on the existing.

He figures worst case he would have to abandon the current mezzanine if he isn't willing to pay to have it done or fixed right.

He figures he will be able to move the business in august.

If we go steel he would like to be able to move it.


(post #119572, reply #10 of 22)

I do not know your state codes but assume they are the same as Ohio. 

For any commercial project, plans can only be drawn by an architect or engineer.... and for good reason.

This way contractors aren't asking a bunch of guys online how to build mezanines for commercial applications. <G>

Honestly, have the appropriate guy design it and then build from that.


I refuse to accept that there are limitations to what we can accomplish.        Pete Draganic

<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> 

I refuse to accept that there are limitations to what we can accomplish.        Pete Draganic


(post #119572, reply #11 of 22)

In the back of my mind I have been thinking the same thing.

I went back to the owner and discussed the talking with and having an engineer do some plans.

I simply explained to him I am not an engineer and I want to sleep at night.

He wasn't opposed he just wants done as inexpensive as possible.


(post #119572, reply #14 of 22)

There's an extensive market for used mezzanines. I have one maybe two contacts that might be able to help you out.



(post #119572, reply #15 of 22)

I'm all ears(eyes)

Thanks Jeb

(post #119572, reply #17 of 22)

I just sent you an email.

I can also add a couple of other notes. In the city I worked in, for years we were not allowed to put in a wood floor on a distribution center's steel mezzanine due to fire restrictions. I had 3 different mezzanines installed, the first two had a steel deck - not good on the feet. The third finally had a wood floor - great to walk on. It was an MDF-type material with a fire retardant impregnated into the formula (not a chemist, just read the pamphlet). We had to get special permission from the permit board to put this in. This is just for the deck material, the rest was all steel.

Under the mezzanine, which we used as work space, we had to have sprinklers in place, just like in the ceiling. This was a city requirement, which of course is dependent on the city you live in. But I have to imagine it would be true for most cities.

Lighting and egress were also discussed with the city. But with a 300 sq ft mezzanine, I wouldn't be too worried about that.



Edited 2/22/2008 8:29 pm by JMadson


(post #119572, reply #18 of 22)

J thank you for the email.

I have sent them an email and am waiting for a quote back from them.

I didn't find any pricing listed

(post #119572, reply #19 of 22)

You'll probably have to talk to someone to get pricing. There really isn't a standard way to show pricing on a website for something that has so many variables.



(post #119572, reply #20 of 22)

It is not just a  matter of the structural issues to keep the mezzanine standing up. Commercial codes have all kinds of requiriements for the maximum size of the mezzanine, percentage of coverage of the floor below, stair and railing requirements, etc. A mezzanince that would be perfectly legal in one building is illegal in the next one becasue of percentage of size, for example. The materials matter too. Wood is OK in some applications, but not others depending on the size and number of stories of the existing structure.  If you live somewhere with a nice inspector, they will review that part of the code with you, and then you will need an engineer to size the structure. If not, go to an architect first who can find out if you can even build the mezzanine you want.

(post #119572, reply #16 of 22)

You can buy pre-engineered mezzanine kits that are compliant with OSHA, BOCA, UBC, ADA, etc. from any number of sources. They are easy to set up, take down, move, etc.

Global sells them rated for either 125 or 250 lbs/sq ft.

Their catalog lists a 12 X 32 one for $3699. Add goodies and installation and he can be code compliant for not a lotta $.

As someone else said, there is a market for used takeouts. I've pulled a few out of warehouses and scrapped 'em....


Get an architect to design (post #119572, reply #21 of 22)

Get an architect to design and sort it out for you. There's no point in taking chances with something that's on as big a scale as that, because if it goes wrong, you're going to be seriously out of pocket! My sister recently bought a house herself and she hired an architect and went through with these Shameless Link Removed (recommended by her!) and everything went very smoothly. Don't think it'd be the same if you went about your own way!

action (post #119572, reply #22 of 22)

I see the link you posted is kur-put.

You should have taken a look at the date of the original post and the follow-ups-they're over 4 yrs old.


Got anything to say for yourself as a recent registered user?  Could the link have been just an honest attempt to help?  Sure would like to know.


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Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.