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Old 01-02-2013, 02:20 PM   #1
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Comments on proposed configuration for Load Bearing Wall

Hello all, longtime lurker and first post. I realize there are a lot of load bearing wall questions, hopefully this is within the realm of sanity.

Situation: Changing floor plan to accommodate a more open area. Currently, there is a 10' opening between two rooms which I would like to expand to ~17'.

My plan was to replace an existing load bearing wall, approximately 7' wide with a 9.25"x 3" beam (double top plate included in 9.25" probably LVL if I can find appropriate size).

I would add double studs under existing beam and new beam to add additional support. The existing beam has one stud on each end for support. The new beam would be butted to existing beam with king stud between. I would use a tie plate to connect the two.

Below the main support column is the basement steel beam. There are support post for the basement steel beam to the left and right - about 2.5' from the proposed 1st floor column . The point load would be distributed down these two post in the basement.

Anyone see anything wrong with this? Thank you in advance for your comments.

IMAG0241 by dazraf80, on Flickr

header location by dazraf80, on Flickr

12-14-2012-00001 by dazraf80, on Flickr


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Old 01-02-2013, 04:54 PM   #2
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I would highly recommend contacting a local professional engineer that specializes in residential construction to review your home and your desired course of action. Even a professional engineer with all their knowledge and experience would be required to visit your site and observe all existing conditions before rendering an opinion.

It is not wise to have someone "online" attempt to review a structure they are not there to observe themselves. Easy to miss things this way, and structural issues that may arise end up costing more time and money in the long run.

If you ask long enough, and on enough sites I'm sure you'll find someone that will tell you what you proposed will work. The thing to remember is you do not know this person or their level of knowledge or experience. Just because they say it's "OK" would you? After all they have nothing to lose whereas you do.

Typically structural work in a residence requires a building permit. To place a point load onto your existing steel beam would require an evaluation by a professional engineer typically as there are no span tables for steel beams in the building codes.

It's best to have everything designed properly before you begin, and an engineer would be able to do this.

Hope this helps! Good luck!



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Old 01-02-2013, 08:50 PM   #3
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Second on an engineer. Your existing beam, a header, should have 2 jack studs. 17' span may require 3 jack studs. 17' span would be best supported by an LVL. Manufacturer's engineering department would help on the size you need. Don't forget to add lumber pieces to the floor joist bay at the load point. The floor plate where the jack/king studs sit needs direct support underneath in the joist bay.
Your problem is steel posts. 17' span load may require a direct support. Whether your I beam can carry the spread load is for the engineer to answer. Your current steel posts are spaced 5' apart, and that looks to be little close, the usual being 8 feet for 1 story house. Your house will be different, of course. But closely space posts may mean they were already carrying a required load, and you should not add more to them, again, without engineer's say. Also, the footings for the 2 posts may be inadequate. Changing the span from 10 to 17' may require bigger, deeper and/or embedded rebars.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:25 PM   #4
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Thank you for the comments. I have decided to use a structural engineer to determine the proper design for this layout. I figured I would do a follow-up once it's done just in case it helps anyone else.
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