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Old 03-16-2009, 07:59 PM   #1
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bigger upper floor or beam?


Hi,

we're looking at building a new house and are in the process of designing it. We can reduce a room in the upper story in size (about 60 sq ft) to reduce costs, but this will involve supporting one of the upper walls with a beam (about 20 ft. ), as it will no longer align with the wall below. Is this false economy? Would it be less fuss (and maybe cheaper) to enlarge the upper story room so the walls (top and bottom) align?

Any advice will be warmly appreciated!

Thanks

pete

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Old 03-17-2009, 06:34 AM   #2
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bigger upper floor or beam?


That is what engineers and architects are for. Support beams have a load flow which cannot be broken, from the top to earth. Putting a beam in a spot without support under, does little good.

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Old 03-17-2009, 02:40 PM   #3
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bigger upper floor or beam?


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Originally Posted by Peterr2084 View Post
Hi,

Is this false economy? Would it be less fuss (and maybe cheaper) to enlarge the upper story room so the walls (top and bottom) align?
It likely will be worthwhile to go larger because with the smaller option you will have the added beam and structure as well as a more complicated roof system of slightly larger area (same total area between the walls but extra soffit).

Sounds like you are talking about bringing a 20 ft wall in 3 ft. The likely cost increase for the larger option is parts and labor for the extra 2 sheets of subfloor and 60 sq ft of finish floor, 4 sheets of 4x8 drywall, six 2x4 studs, 18 ft of 2x4 sill plate, 2 sheets of sheathing, 48 sq ft more insulation and 48 sq ft of siding.

I doubt the electrical and HVAC system will have a noticeable change cost-wise but you could end up needing another outlet and a few more feet of duct.

You can ask the builder what the cost savings will be for the smaller option.
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:50 PM   #4
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bigger upper floor or beam?


[QUOTE=jogr;245903]It likely will be worthwhile to go larger because with the smaller option you will have the added beam and structure as well as a more complicated roof system of slightly larger area (same total area between the walls but extra soffit).

Sounds like you are talking about bringing a 20 ft wall in 3 ft. The likely cost increase for the larger option is parts and labor for the extra 2 sheets of subfloor and 60 sq ft of finish floor, 4 sheets of 4x8 drywall, six 2x4 studs, 18 ft of 2x4 sill plate, 2 sheets of sheathing, 48 sq ft more insulation and 48 sq ft of siding.

Thanks jogr - you've got it. My feelings also are that a straight and uncomplicated run would be the best. It also reduces need for stepping, weather-proofing etc. Our experience here is that the simpler something is, the better the builder will like it (and charge accordingly)

cheers

pete
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:54 PM   #5
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bigger upper floor or beam?


"That is what engineers and architects are for. Support beams have a load flow which cannot be broken, from the top to earth. Putting a beam in a spot without support under, does little good."

Thanks Bill, I took it for granted the beam would be supported. Thanks for your help.

pete
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