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luvdairish 02-11-2011 02:28 PM

Help running a support beam down middle of house
Hi All,

Been a little while since I've checked in. Home mods are slow due to the brutal northeast winter. I am getting amped up for some more upcoming projects as weather breaks.

Project 1 - Support 2nd floor with major beam running from front to back of house. Currently the 2nd floor is supported by a load bearing wall that divides the 1st floor. I would like to open up the floor plan on the 1st floor. The house sits sideways on a narrow lot. Dimensions are 26'wideX43'deep.

Can I run 3 beams with support on the ends and support along the way matching up with the concrete footings below in the crawl space?

Any other suggestions or pointers on how to deal with this project w/o hiring it out?

bjbatlanta 02-11-2011 03:33 PM

I deal with a local lumber yard (not the big boxes) when adding support beams after removing load bearing walls. They have a computer program that will tell you the thickness of the beam (I use LVL's) needed and how much support / how far apart for a particular application. You could contact your local building dept. and ask them if necessary....

AndyGump 02-11-2011 03:52 PM


Any other suggestions or pointers on how to deal with this project w/o hiring it out?
Yeah man, get an engineer on this one. Do the work yourself thus DIY but get a pro to spec it.


Gary in WA 02-11-2011 11:55 PM

I agree, use a Structural Engineer, this is what they are for. Just sizing the beams is simple enough, it's the footing size, depth, steel, etc. that is complicated and requires a pro. Without it, you would be liable for any structural failure or drywall cracks as your H.O.Insurance carrier could pass a claim onto you without the "paper trail". The B.D. would pass inspection easily then...


troubleseeker 02-14-2011 09:48 PM

Definately heed the advice for a structural engineer to spec the job. Not something you want to design off of a generic load chart at the lumber yard. Sure they are correct for sizing a simple clear span beam, but the guy at the yard has no knowledge of any loads that are being directly, or even indireclty transferred to the wall you want to remove. Only a site visit by the engineer will verify this. No one likes the suggestion of paying an engineer to come out, but it will look like a real bargain in a few years if things begin to sag, walls develop cracks, doors begin sticking, etc.

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