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Old 06-07-2011, 01:55 AM   #1
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Best method to support new load-bearing beam


The question: I had a structural engineer come out to the house and examine our second floor which is sagging. He determined that we need to install a load-bearing beam. He recommended the beam be composed of three 2x12s and that the beam rest on supports with a direct load path to the foundation. (The span is around 13') My question is in how to support this beam. Since the total thickness of the beam will be 4.5", what's the best practice for constructing the jack studs? If it were only two 2x12s, I'd just sandwich a piece of 1/2" plywood between them and end up with 3.5" total, which would fit perfectly on top of 2x4 jack studs. The extra 1" is throwing me... Thoughts?

Background:
Our house is balloon framed and the floor joists are notched to "hang" off ledger boards or rest on top of bearing walls. The previous owner removed one of these walls on the first floor. The joists from two adjacent second floor rooms met on top of that wall. When the wall was removed, there was nothing left to support the ends of the joists, so naturally, those ends fell downward. The guy scabbed the joists together, but didn't level the floors before doing so. The result is a sloping floor in each of the two rooms. Did I mention that there's a second floor wall sitting right on top of where the joists met? Deflection much? I've attached my wonderful drawings for clarification.
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Last edited by Pittsville; 06-07-2011 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 06-07-2011, 06:20 AM   #2
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Best method to support new load-bearing beam


If you had an engineer , why don't you heed his suggestion. The beam needs to transfer weight to the foundation. That is what all load bearing devices do. If you need vertical support, add verticle supports, but they need to go all the way to the foundation.

As for the scab job, I would jack things back into place as well as possible, then intall the beam. Maybe reinstall the scabs after jacked up. If this scab job was done a long time ago, wood members will have taken a set, and will not want to move. USE CAUTION here.

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Old 06-07-2011, 09:35 AM   #3
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Best method to support new load-bearing beam


I recently made a similar beam for a construction project at my house but my span wasn't nearly as long as your span.

I used 2x6's as the jack studs and then added two sheets of 1/2" plywood to my beam. The three 2x12's plus the two sheets of 1/2" plywood got me up to 5.5"...just right for the 2x6 jack studs.

By the way, I used two jack studs at each end of my beam. You may want to ask your engineer how many you need.
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:46 AM   #4
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Best method to support new load-bearing beam


make a post out of 3 2x4 or 6
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:35 PM   #5
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Best method to support new load-bearing beam


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pittsville View Post
The question: I had a structural engineer come out to the house and examine our second floor which is sagging. He determined that we need to install a load-bearing beam. He recommended the beam be composed of three 2x12s and that the beam rest on supports with a direct load path to the foundation. (The span is around 13') My question is in how to support this beam. Since the total thickness of the beam will be 4.5", what's the best practice for constructing the jack studs? If it were only two 2x12s, I'd just sandwich a piece of 1/2" plywood between them and end up with 3.5" total, which would fit perfectly on top of 2x4 jack studs. The extra 1" is throwing me... Thoughts?

Background:
Our house is balloon framed and the floor joists are notched to "hang" off ledger boards or rest on top of bearing walls. The previous owner removed one of these walls on the first floor. The joists from two adjacent second floor rooms met on top of that wall. When the wall was removed, there was nothing left to support the ends of the joists, so naturally, those ends fell downward. The guy scabbed the joists together, but didn't level the floors before doing so. The result is a sloping floor in each of the two rooms. Did I mention that there's a second floor wall sitting right on top of where the joists met? Deflection much? I've attached my wonderful drawings for clarification.
The engineer didn't suggest a placement or technique for constructing the load-path?

Did you pay him anything or was this a favor from a friend?

Andy.
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:41 PM   #6
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Best method to support new load-bearing beam


The jack studs do not have to be the exact thickness of the beam. We have a job now with a 4" beam that requires 5 jacks (7 1/2").
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:47 PM   #7
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Best method to support new load-bearing beam


You can also have the engineer calc out a solid beam. It is cheaper to use 3-2x, but he could also check if a solid 4x would work to match your support post.
If you are going to put in a support beam, why not shore up both sides of the floor joist and put in a new beam at where the wall used to be?
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:12 PM   #8
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Best method to support new load-bearing beam


Strange, the engineer didn't tell you anything about carrying the load down.
Without knowing the load, it could be simply 3 2X4s nailed together.
A metal pole or a paralam would work. Whatever you use, it cannot rest on the subfloor unless you put blocks of wood(same thickness of floor joists) underneath so the foundation is carrying the load.

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