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Old 05-09-2013, 10:16 AM   #1
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Beam on top of top plate???


Iím working on plans for a small addition off the kitchen.
A little background about the project, The addition will a 12í opening and extend out 6í. It will be built on piers.
The house is a 1925 two story colonial.
The LVL beam is specíed at 3.5 x 16Ē that will support the second floor the wall and roof.
Now on to the question.
Rather than put the beam under the joists, to maximize the headspace, I want to put the beam on top of the top plate and then use hangers to attach the second floor joists. Would there be an issue with rotational forces (I think itís called moment) by installing the beam this way?
Are there any issues that I may not be thinking of?

TIA

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Old 05-09-2013, 10:43 AM   #2
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Beam on top of top plate???


Sorry, can't answer your question. But the plans you submit for the permit will be reviewed by your building department and you will be notified of anything that's wrong with them.

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Old 05-09-2013, 10:45 AM   #3
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Beam on top of top plate???


Is the LVL an engineered beam or header? Can joist hangers be attached. Not familiar with the acronym LVL. Sounds like you want the beam to replace the rim joist for the 2nd floor.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:04 AM   #4
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Beam on top of top plate???


Laminated Veneer Lumber. Hangers can be attached. A header is essentially a beam.
This house doesn’t have a rim joist, the studs go all the way to the top plate. Kind of like hybrid balloon framing.
In essence, you’re right, if it were built as platform framing, I would want to replace the rim joist with a beam.
My plan of action would be to install the beam would be:
cut the 2nd floor studs (temporarily supported) so that I can get the beam in there and then add a toe plate to the top of the beam and reattach studs.
And then, using hangers, hang the joists off the beam.

I think it would work but the beam will only be loaded on side, hence my concern.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:44 AM   #5
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Beam on top of top plate???


I have seen joists hung from both sides of a beam above with saddles, but not from one side. Using joist hangers on the side of the beam in the proper fashion will, in effect, be a moment connection to the side of the beam arresting the rotational force. I would go that way.

From a design standpoint I would go out at least 10 feet, and preferably 12.

Put a four foot card table on your 6 ft. porch, and you cant even get by it, let alone put a chair at it.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:53 AM   #6
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Beam on top of top plate???


The issue I see doing this is the loss of the tension tie over the top of the existing wall. By this I mean normally floor joist extend over the wall below and are toe-nailed into the top plate. With sufficient fasteners this creates a tension tie (to resist lateral loads). Your joist hangers are installed in withdrawl which means they can pull out under wind or seismic loading. If your wall below is 2x4 I do not think you'd be able to properly fasten the joists for lateral loads. I'm thinking the wall is 2x4 because of the 3-1/2" width of the LVL.

A lot has to do with the location of the project and the basic wind speed and wind exposure category. A check with your building department, and/or the LVL designer may provide more guidance.

if this is a two-ply LVL you'd need to make sure to follow the manufacturer's requirement for laminating side loaded LVL's. Typically nails won't get the job done.

An option (if the addition is the same width as the beam) may be to remove the rim joist and then install the beam against the end of the joists with hangers. Verify that the proper code required nailing is present for the joists. the other 2" of the LVL would be supported on the side walls of the new addition. Of course your floor joists/beam under the side walls would have to be evaluated for this load.

Just my humble opinion ....
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:16 PM   #7
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Beam on top of top plate???


Ah. Ballon framing. You are essential changing that wall area to platform framing with a beam as a rim joist for the second floor. Once the hangers are attached I don't see how the beam could twist or bow laterally. Adding an additional jack stud or cripple to support the beam may help if your concerned it may twist in that area.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:22 PM   #8
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Beam on top of top plate???


Quote:
Originally Posted by GBrackins
Your joist hangers are installed in withdrawl which means they can pull out under wind or seismic loading. If your wall below is 2x4 I do not think you'd be able to properly fasten the joists for lateral loads. I'm thinking the wall is 2x4 because of the 3-1/2" width of the LVL.
A check with your building department, and/or the LVL designer may provide more guidance.
Good points
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:48 PM   #9
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Beam on top of top plate???


Thanks some good insight here…

It’s not quite balloon framing as there is top plate between floors.

I’ve given the lateral tension some thought. My plan is to use lateral ties, the ones that are used for decks to tie the ledger to the joists. I imagine that would be more than sufficient.

It sounds like the option that you suggested puts half of the beam outside of the original wall. If that’s the case, I don’t want to do that because carrying the load down to the foundation would be problematic. I’m not putting in a full foundation. Since this is a small addition, it’s going on 3 piers.

You’re right about the fastening requirements for one sided loading of the beam. It needs to be assembled with screws on the load side.

@Jagans, could you explain this, I’m not sure I follow
“Using joist hangers on the side of the beam in the proper fashion will, in effect, be a moment connection to the side of the beam arresting the rotational force. I would go that way.”
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:54 PM   #10
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Beam on top of top plate???


Clutch, I missed the part about kinda balloon framing and joists going out to face of studs, I was thinking traditional platform with a rim joist. I would think that lateral deck connectors would work for your tension tie. you may need to use strap ties/holdowns for uplift loads of the ends of the beam. Check with the building official.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:59 PM   #11
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Beam on top of top plate???


we do similar all of the time, but we have different wind loads tan you fellows from Mass.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:01 PM   #12
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Beam on top of top plate???


Quote:
Originally Posted by Clutchcargo View Post
Thanks some good insight hereÖ

Itís not quite balloon framing as there is top plate between floors.

Iíve given the lateral tension some thought. My plan is to use lateral ties, the ones that are used for decks to tie the ledger to the joists. I imagine that would be more than sufficient.

It sounds like the option that you suggested puts half of the beam outside of the original wall. If thatís the case, I donít want to do that because carrying the load down to the foundation would be problematic. Iím not putting in a full foundation. Since this is a small addition, itís going on 3 piers.

Youíre right about the fastening requirements for one sided loading of the beam. It needs to be assembled with screws on the load side.

@Jagans, could you explain this, Iím not sure I follow
ďUsing joist hangers on the side of the beam in the proper fashion will, in effect, be a moment connection to the side of the beam arresting the rotational force. I would go that way.Ē
After reading Garys explanation, I tend to agree with him, which I usually do, anyway, as he is a bright guy. In your particular case, using screws in the flanges of the joist hangers where thy abut the side of beam should take care of the tension load, as long as they are sized correctly. This should result in a moment connection for the same reason. Im thinking like (8) 2- 5/8" No. 14 Hex washer head self tapping screws per side. Speculation of course.
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:49 PM   #13
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Beam on top of top plate???


Thanks guys for babysitting me through this. I've been procrastinating drawing up plans and submitting until I was confident that it could work as I thought.
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:38 PM   #14
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Beam on top of top plate???


we do this all the time. .its commonly done in basement windows where headroom is a concern . instead of a header you move it up into the floor system creating a flush header. .as long as an engineener does up a spec'd drawing for you the building department has little say.. inspectors arent above the knowledge level of a engineer they simply interpret the code and determine if something complies or not. engineers spec things that go above and beyond code for certain situations
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:06 AM   #15
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Beam on top of top plate???


It's me drawing up the plans. I don't think there's anything really complicated. As long as I can address moment, shear, and tension then I should be all set. I'll let you know if the building dept has any concerns with the way I'm laying this out.

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