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abjkkc 09-18-2012 03:01 PM

Load bearing wall removal
As part of a pending kitchen remodel, I want to remove a 7' section of wall, that is load bearing. The 2x6 ceiling joists run perpendicular to the wall, and splice directly over the wall. The problem that I've got is that I can't easily support the posts for the beam to replace the wall at that spot (meaning support them all the way to the basement foundation). I can properly support a 10' beam about 2 1/2' over from this existing wall location, but then the beam wouldn't run directly under the joist splices.
This is a 1950's style ranch house, so there's nothing above the ceiling joists, except a stick frame roof. Nothing is stored above this area in the attic.

So, my question is, are there ways of strengthening the splice joints so that a beam wouldn't have to be placed directly under them, or is this just wishful thinking?

Below is a link to a photobucket album. There are eight (8) pictures of the layout with various notes. I can't figure out how to reorder them, so looking at them in sequence by number (layout1, layout2, etc...) will probably make the most sense. There's a pic showing the rough layout of the walls as they exist, and one with the ceiling joists overlayed, and then various others showing what I want to do.

I'm not asking for recommendations, because I know for liability reasons that won't happen. Mainly, I'm just looking for anyone who's ever seen it done, or done it themselves, where the splices have been strengthened somehow to allow an offset support. I'm going to have find an engineer to look at it, but thought maybe I could get some knowledge/thoughts from the experienced people on this forum, first.

tony.g 09-18-2012 05:34 PM

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Couldn't make out the diagrams you posted, but assume your situation is something like this sketch.
Don't know your span, or by how much the joists overlap, but if they overlap a reasonable amount, is there sufficient length to get in 2 or 3 bolts/threaded bars?
If its only a loft and not used for storage, you would not have a problem in principle with this. The right-hand joist cantilevers over the new beam and will be OK on that short length; the connection is also near the end of the lefthand joist, where the bending stress is least.
There will probably be prescriptive do's and don'ts in your Code which would prohibit this, but any decent local SE would be able to prove it would work. What would they charge, though?!

abjkkc 09-18-2012 06:10 PM

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Thanks for the reply, Tony.

The under the section of wall that I want to remove, the joists overlap about 9 - 10" (it varies). Bolting those overlaps was a thought I had, but didn't know if it was necessarily a good one. The span is about 11 feet.

As a secondary precaution, would there be any gain from sistering a 3rd 2x6 that would stretch over the splice and fasten further back on both sides of the splice (see quick drawing)? This might be overkill, and like you said, I'd have to get the local inspector to buy into the idea.

tony.g 09-19-2012 07:08 AM

You're right; 9" - 10" overlap is not much for decent fixings (you need a minimum of 2 each side of the joint),
If you did as your sketch with, say, a 4ft-long piece over the whole lot, with 2 fixings each side of the joint, I would say that would be perfectly OK structurally.
However, Building Inspectors tend to be conservative and in some instances not fully clued up on structural matters. In your case, the joist would be acting as a continuous joist over a near-central support, and in this situation, the 'hogging' of the joist over your new beam will tend to reduce the bend (and stress) in the remainder of the beam. Put this to him if he seems in doubt - its only a ceiling after all.

abjkkc 09-19-2012 10:04 AM

Thanks Tony!

Gary in WA 09-20-2012 08:14 PM

Yes, it's not like it's a floor system or anything, LOL; pp.147;


abjkkc 09-28-2012 11:07 AM

Thanks for the help. The building inspector is okay with sistering a 2x6 and bolting in the three spots we discussed. The guy at the lumber yard who sized the beam for me suggested that I run a stiffener over the splice joints to help "spread the load." We started discussing the logistics of fastening the joists to the beam, and I forgot to go back and get clarification on the stiffener. Would I run a 2x4 flat, nailed or screwed to the joists, and then a 2x6 vertical beside it, screwed/nailed to the 2x4?


abjkkc 10-01-2012 03:57 PM

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Next question:

See the attached picture. The end of the LVL beam will rest on a 2x6 joist, that runs parallel with the wall underneath that will support it. The picture isn't very accurate, because the beam will hang further over the 2x6 by at least 6". I plan to add 2x6 blocking on the top plate, next to the joist. I will also be putting a 3-ply 2x4 "post" in the wall to support the end of the beam down to the foundation.

I will be using THA-218 joist hangers to hang the joists to the LVL beam. What would you use to fasten the ends of the beam, where the end will resting on a 2x6 joist, that in turn rests on the supporting wall.

I showed the picture to an engineer and he said "provide a light gauge strap around the top connecting down into the post." Mind you, this was without actually seeing it - he only looked at this drawing, with an explanation.
Simpson makes a variety of straps that would be long enough, from 22 down to 12 gauge. What would you deem to be "light gauge"?


GBrackins 10-01-2012 04:22 PM

I would consider any of the Simpson Strong-Tie straps as being light gauge.

Not knowing the load on the end of the LVL I would recommend padding out the 2x6 joist under it until it is the same width as your wall below (3-1/2"). maybe an addition 2x6 block (12" in length) on either side of the 2x6 joist (nailed to the joist). if the point load on the lvl is too great it would crush the wood fibers in the joist.

just my thoughts ....

abjkkc 10-02-2012 01:46 PM

Thanks. I was definitely planning to add 2 x 6 blocking on either side of the joist to spread the point load. I'll take a look at some of the strong-tie straps available to see which ones will work.

When you end a beam like this, how do you provide lateral bracing for the ends?

GBrackins 10-02-2012 02:14 PM

typically I would toe nail the beam to the joist then install 2x blocking (laid flat) on top of the joists that butt up against the beam. this would provide lateral bracing (front to back). I would add a twist type strap tie on the interior side of the end of beam (wrapped over top of beam) that would be secured to the built up column below to prevent side to side movement.

abjkkc 10-02-2012 04:51 PM

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Thanks, Gary. Can you take a look at the pic below - is this how you install the 2x's for lateral support?

GBrackins 10-02-2012 05:55 PM

that would not only provide lateral bracing for the beam, but the joists suspended from the beam

abjkkc 10-02-2012 07:02 PM

Thanks Gary - great advice!

mae-ling 10-02-2012 07:35 PM

Just one note, sorry if it is in here and I did not see it.
Use hangers that also go over top of the beam, not just face nailed to it.

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