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Old 06-04-2012, 11:47 AM   #1
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How to build a beam?


We are building a new home that is 32' by 76'. We need to build the main support beam to go the entire length of the house. We were thinking that staggering 2X12 boards would work, but we do not know what would be a good length to use and how short is too short of a span. Also is three 2x12's enough support with support posts in place every 16 feet?

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Old 06-04-2012, 11:56 AM   #2
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How to build a beam?


You need an engineered beam. The length and what you use to make the beam is dependent on the span between supports.
You could probably get a one piece paralam or LVL or some other brand name. Talk to your lumber supplier.

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Old 06-04-2012, 11:57 AM   #3
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How to build a beam?


Is there an architect involved here?

The size and span depends on the load that the house puts on the beam--how heavy is the house?

How many stories?

Have you got a general design drawn up?
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:02 PM   #4
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How to build a beam?


It must be engineered if you want stick built-up beam over multiple supports. I am sure an engineer would look at both steel and wood beam construction.

When you go to post location, have some idea of how you want to cut up the basement area, so the posts can be located for the future and not force you to relocate them later - big $$$ to put in posts at a different location.

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Old 06-04-2012, 01:42 PM   #5
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How to build a beam?


My 30'x30' basement has a hefty I-beam and a single 4" dia. post in the center. Consult a civil or mechanical engineer or an architect; you don't want to have to do this over.

Also, Lindeburg publishes books (possibly available in your local library) on studying for the PE exam for civil and mech. engineering. This solved problem might be in one of them.

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Old 06-04-2012, 02:20 PM   #6
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How to build a beam?


Quote:
Originally Posted by akmills
We are building a new home that is 32' by 76'. We need to build the main support beam to go the entire length of the house. We were thinking that staggering 2X12 boards would work, but we do not know what would be a good length to use and how short is too short of a span. Also is three 2x12's enough support with support posts in place every 16 feet?
You need an architect or engineer to figure thus out for you. You cannot get this information on a DIY'er forum.

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