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Old 04-13-2011, 10:55 AM   #1
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Lifting a beam into place in a low basement


Looking for recommendations of lifting a beam into place in a low (6'4") basement. The beam is tripled 2x6, ~24' long. 32" doorway into the basement, which limits options somewhat.

I'm familliar with Genie lifts but I couldn't get one into the basement, and I believe they're minimum 7' tall.

Bonus points for rental options in east Toronto/Scarborough!

Thanks all!

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Old 04-13-2011, 11:24 AM   #2
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Lifting a beam into place in a low basement


Rent some beer for some friends? Bonus points if they are rugby forwards! Lift it one end at a time and then rest the ends on increasingly higher stands (saw horses, etc.)

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Old 04-13-2011, 12:44 PM   #3
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Lifting a beam into place in a low basement


agreed...should only weigh 150# or so. 2x6 is about 2#/ft.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:53 PM   #4
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Lifting a beam into place in a low basement


User name comes back to haunt me again No rugby team to help out, alas. Friends + beer sounds like a plan. If it's only going to be about 150lbs, I might be even able to misuse a rented drywall jack, they're rated for 150lbs.

Thanks!
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:33 PM   #5
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Lifting a beam into place in a low basement


When I was faced with this problem, I laminated the 2X12's in position, because I was by myself and had no help.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:55 PM   #6
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Lifting a beam into place in a low basement


If you have no one to help, you can do this with a car floor jack. Jack one end of the beam up 8 inches or so, support on temporary blocks, jack the other side, support, place supports under jack, repeat process. You can also lift into position using a come-a-long from the ceiling if there is a support point.
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:41 PM   #7
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Lifting a beam into place in a low basement


Well, how did that work out for you? Get the beam up?

Curious as to the application..... 3/2x6 at 17' carry 765# or only 45# per lineal foot, not a clue as to 24' span. Was it for a point load with no posts for that whole length?
Hope it installed safely.


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Old 04-19-2011, 05:38 PM   #8
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Lifting a beam into place in a low basement


Beam hasn't gone up yet, footers are dug but still have to pour. 4 posts, Supported every 8'4", to support some of the weight of new subfloor/hardwood/countertops going in above. The house should be able to support it as is, but the (100 year old) joists sag over an inch in the middle (15' span) and I'm paranoid. If I can take a bit of the sag out of the joists in the process, all the better.

I was hoping to get away with a 5x5 or so beam (anything better than nothing) but it looks like LVL only comes in 7 1/4" and up. With a 6'4" ceiling that's a bit low for my liking, but I'd rather over- than under-engineer. Any thought on LVL vs. building up a beam out of tripled 2x6s? I thought for a moment of ripping a 12" LVL down the middle to make a 6" out of it, but I figure I'd go through quite a few blades.

Thanks for the responses thus far

Last edited by rugby style; 04-19-2011 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:42 PM   #9
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Lifting a beam into place in a low basement


I'm in a similar situation. I poured two footers 6 feet apart and I have an 8 foot 4x8 beam that I"m going to support on 4x4 posts. The space is only about 3 feet tall, so it's not that bad, but I have to figure away to lift the beam (by myself, there is no way that my wife will go down to the crawlspace!). Then install the posts and wedge them tight.

I was thinking, since my beam is smaller to simply stack up scrap wood to support each end to get the beam up as close to the joists as I can. Maybe then use a floor jack of some sort to push the center up against the joists and then shim the temporary supports. Then measure, cut and install the posts. I'm not sure how to get the posts "tight" in there except to just brute force it in there. The floor is loaded, but not with the load that the new beam is being installed for (a 2000lb aquarium setup). I'm sure there will be a bit of settling.

I'm not sure if I should set everything up, but not permanently secure the post to the pier just yet and after some settling period, see if there is any sag and if there is, force some shims under the posts, and THEN nail the post to the metal brace that is embeded in the concrete.

How do you get it tight otherwise?

I had thought of using those "screw jacks" (or whatever they are called) but my application is too short to use them.
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:57 PM   #10
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Lifting a beam into place in a low basement


You can get short screw jacks that might suit your needs, you can't find them at the big box stores (around me, at least). They're the kind that accept a 4x4 post:

http://www.ellisforms.com/scaled_ima...ck-4x4copy.png
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:22 PM   #11
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Lifting a beam into place in a low basement


I had thought of using those "screw jacks" (or whatever they are called) but my application is too short to use them.[/quote]


...how about a bottle jack rated for the load and a short section of 4x4.

Bottle jacks are available at harbor freight ...cheap.
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:43 PM   #12
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Lifting a beam into place in a low basement


Do you have to lift the beam in as a single unit?? can you build it in place??

can you build a temporary wall and jack it up to lift your floor (a little, then higher then finished height) build your beam in place, lower the floor on to the beam.

where in Scarborough are you??? I grew up there..

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Old 04-20-2011, 04:26 PM   #13
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Lifting a beam into place in a low basement


Why would you need a 24’ long one piece beam if you have post breaking up the span?
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Old 05-03-2011, 10:09 PM   #14
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Lifting a beam into place in a low basement


Good question.

I thought of using separate pieces for each 8' span, but worried having breaks in the beam, even at the support points, would decrease the strength of the beam - the post plates are only 5" wide, and the posts aren't being built into a wall, so I didn't want to decrease the height of an already low basement by having another piece of lumber bridging the gap.

Building the beam in place wasn't really an option, because the joists aren't level with one another and will need to be shimmed above the beam here and there, and if I built it piece by piece in place, I'd have a pretty wavy beam to start with. Building it true on the ground at least will let me see which joists are higher than others once it's up.
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Old 05-03-2011, 10:43 PM   #15
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Lifting a beam into place in a low basement


If you are worried about vertical clearance, look into steel beams.

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