Reply by dryhter

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Posted on post /removal

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74 posts in 3632 days

#1 posted 02-10-2010 10:14 PM

’’just wondering what type beam would I need to put in to take its place?’‘ Listen to what others have said get the advice of an architect or structural engineer

But you are just wondering,and you need to know something about what you are going to be asking about. Your post is already supporting a beam, and only by calculating the various loads and stress upon this beam can any changes be made. But in the simplest scenario, after calculations have been made, a steel beam will be selected and installed. A steel beam is designated by widthXheightXLbs. per foot. The Lbs.per foot =/or relates to the thickness of the webs making up the beam (ie. 1/4 in., 3/IN., 1/2in., etc,etc,). The strength (not sagging)of the beams comes from it’s height, but in most cases a heavier web can make up for less height(sometimes).

Next comes the install, beams are heavy, keep that in mind, if you are lucky enough to have the headroom you might be able just to install the new beam under the old beam, but probably not, so you will have to take out the old beam first. Temporary walls will need to be built, about two feet out along each side of the beam to support the load of the beam being removed, and check to see if additional temp. support walls are to be built on other floors above this temp. wall. Now you can cut out the mid-span support(lolly column) and start cutting out the end supports. If the existing beam is wood just cut it up into pieces, taking care not to destroy the joists (cut the nails don’t even try to pull them,the old dry wood will splinter).

If you are able, cut a hole in the side of the building, at the bottom as close to the floor as possible, and slide the beam in to place underneath where the old beam was. If you can’t do this then you have to get the beam into place preceding building of the temp. walls. I believe the beam must bear a minimum of 1 3/4 in.(you should check on that),( I usually have the beam cut 11/2in. smaller than what the actual measurement was). Nail a plate(2X materialX the size of the flange of the beam) across the underside of the joists where the beam will finally rest. Get the beam into the pocket where the beam supports will be, now all you have to do is somehow get the beam lifted up into place and temporarily supported (securely temporarily supported), you still need to get the beam into perfect place and jacked up tight to the plate that was installed on the joists.

Once the beam is in place and is jacked up into place and taking weight up off the temporary walls, cut 2X supports for the beam support pockets,fill as required so that the supports end at the beam flange edge. Fill behind the beam and run the next supports on each side of the beam up to the plate and then in-fill to the next stud on each side (supposedly to keep the beam from tipping).

Don’t be surprised if the new beam does not jack up tight when in place. almost all beams settle or sag over time , especially wood. Use metal shims(that can be purchased where ever the beam is bought, of course you don’t know how many you will need), in a pinch you can use hardwood end grain shims cut to fit, or just jack that beam into place where you want it and deal with the cracked drywall and disturbed door openings.

Slowly remove the jacks and then remove the temp. walls should take a day, good luck!

-- Chips and Shavings/ see you at

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