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Question
We are interested in converting a family room to a home library and want to build book cases around the perimeter. What factors do we need to consider to support the additional load?

Thank you.

Answer
Hi Tracy, I wouldn't suspect that you need to worry too much about the load of some book shelves but if you'd care to share with me some information about your home construction I can comment further if there are any concerns.  A 12" deep book shelf will spread any weight over one square foot per lineal foot of shelf.  You would really have to stack some books on that square foot to make a notable concentrated load in one area.  If your floor is a concrete slab it is most capably able to support at least 1800 pounds per Square inch...in a wood floor system, the weight is spread over several floor joists.  So I would venture that each joist is capable of having several hundred pounds cross it at some point without any sagging.

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Bruce E. Johnson

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I can answer any construction related question in regards to carpentry, concrete, drywall, masonry, structural elements of any type of building, residential or commercial. Interior or exterior.

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Custom Commercial and residential buildings. Churches, theaters, schools and auditoriums. Most recently I am working with the Catholic Church on several design build committees. I have a website related to scheduling and project supervision. Although my expertise is more related to multimillion dollar commercial, educational and theatrical projects my generous credentials in residential and remodelling construction make me a viable source of information regarding all forms of building questions.

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