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Old 09-10-2013, 11:18 PM   #1
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Column location for LVL Beam

I recently installed a 16 foot LVL beam on the centerline of a group of dipping floor joists to provide extra support. This beam is made up of two 9-1/2 inch by 1-1/2 inch LVL beams bolted together as recommended by the manufacturer. This beam did not replace the existing beam carrying the weight of the load bearing walls, but was installed as a supplemental support beam about half-way across the existing floor joist span. With the beam in place, and the joists jacked up, and weak joists sistered, the floor is nice and level now.

One end of this beam is supported by a foundation wall, and I have installed a temporary support near the other end until a permanent support can be set up.

I want to install a support column with proper footer at this end. Surprisingly, the building inspector said that since this was only being used as secondary flooring support and did not effect the structural integrity of the house, a permit (and his input) were not needed. As he pointed out, failure would only cause the floor to dip down again. He said I legally could get by with anything I cooked up, and said many people use jack posts placed directly on the basement floor slab in similar situations. My floor slab is between 1 and 3 inches thick with no reinforcement and I would not trust using it as a part of a permanent support system.

My question is on where to put the center line of the column, since someday I hope to extend the LVL beam to the far wall to make the rest of the floor more rigid (there is no major floor dip in this area like there was in the original repair area). There are three possible options:

1. I can center the column under the future "joint" line where the two LVL beams would meet and be ready if I add to the existing LVL beam. Initially, the load from the existing beam would be off-center and only on half the beam, but if and when the second beam is installed, the load would be more uniform.

2. I could put the column entirely under the end of the existing LVL beam, but then, I would have to come up with some method to support the end of the new LVL beam.

3. I could install an oversized footer with an extended top which would permit the installation of a second column immediately adjacent to the first one, and put the first column at the end of the existing beam. This would permit each load to be carried by an entire column, and since the future LVL beam would have it's own column, it could be made longer or shorter as needed if the LVL beam required had a different depth. The building inspector came up with this suggestion, and indicated that this is what they sometimes do in industrial or commercial buildings when they plan on adding a building addition at a later date.


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Old 09-10-2013, 11:27 PM   #2
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#3 works for me. they do make metal connectors for attaching a beam to the butt end of another.



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