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Old 02-13-2011, 08:28 PM   #1
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Main structural support beam HELP!!!


Okay first thing first I have got a two story home with the 2nd floor ready for sheetrock and a full unfinished basement. The problem is I noticed that the hardwood floors in my hallway started to rise and the boards started to seperate. (first thought was water issue) I checked for water with negative results. I then went into my basement and noticed that where the floor was rising is where the structural support beam runs from one end to the other. I noticed that the support beam is 5 2x8's or 10's (havent measured) and a stripped down piece for the floor joist to sit on for support. The support beam is supported by several metal poles with a steel plate on top of the pole. I noticed that the steel plate wasnt the same width as the support beam and the beam was starting to sag on both sides where is wasnt sitting on the plate that is attatched to the pole. What I done was jacked up the beam and replaced the plate attached to the pole with 6 inch channel that supported the entire width of the beam and that seemed to level the hump out pretty well in my floor but not all the way. In between the poles it still sags a little, my question is if I was to jack up each floor joist and install joist hangers would that do the job? It seems to me that the floor joist just isnt supported enough by what appears to be a 1x1 nailed to the beam and the floor joist notched to sit on. This might be confusing but I hope someone can help me please.
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:09 PM   #2
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Main structural support beam HELP!!!


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Okay first thing first I have got a two story home with the 2nd floor ready for sheetrock and a full unfinished basement. The problem is I noticed that the hardwood floors in my hallway started to rise and the boards started to seperate. (first thought was water issue) I checked for water with negative results. I then went into my basement and noticed that where the floor was rising is where the structural support beam runs from one end to the other. I noticed that the support beam is 5 2x8's or 10's (havent measured) and a stripped down piece for the floor joist to sit on for support. The support beam is supported by several metal poles with a steel plate on top of the pole. I noticed that the steel plate wasnt the same width as the support beam and the beam was starting to sag on both sides where is wasnt sitting on the plate that is attatched to the pole. What I done was jacked up the beam and replaced the plate attached to the pole with 6 inch channel that supported the entire width of the beam and that seemed to level the hump out pretty well in my floor but not all the way. In between the poles it still sags a little, my question is if I was to jack up each floor joist and install joist hangers would that do the job? It seems to me that the floor joist just isnt supported enough by what appears to be a 1x1 nailed to the beam and the floor joist notched to sit on. This might be confusing but I hope someone can help me please.
Post pictures of the support issues.
Ron
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:33 PM   #3
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Main structural support beam HELP!!!


From your description it sounds like the house was framed by a certifiable idiot and/or lunatic.

Post pictures, as Ron said.

Andy.
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:53 PM   #4
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Main structural support beam HELP!!!


The first pic (Beam1) is the channel I was talking about to cover the entire width of the support beam.

The 2nd pic (beam2) is the 1x1 and the floor joist notched and that is what I think is not supported enough.

The 3rd pic (beam3) is just another view of the floor joist.

The 4th pic (beam4) is of the beam.

I was thinking about jacking the beam to where it is level and then drilling a hole through all the supports and getting a hardened threaded rod and bolting everything together to where it could not sag. The 3 center ones seem to be fine its only the 1x1 and the outside board the floor joist is attatched to seem to sag. Once I think about it some joist hangers would not fix anything due to the board the joist is nailed to is sagging. Somehow I need to attach everything together and pull it tight. Any ideas would help...
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Main structural support beam HELP!!!-beam1.jpg   Main structural support beam HELP!!!-beam2.jpg   Main structural support beam HELP!!!-beam3.jpg   Main structural support beam HELP!!!-beam4.jpg  
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:45 PM   #5
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Main structural support beam HELP!!!


What you have is acceptable, per code and probably passed a building inspection;

R502.6 Bearing. The ends of each joist, beam or girder shall have not less than 1.5 inches (38 mm) of bearing on wood or metal and not less than 3 inches (76 mm) on masonry or concrete except where supported on a 1-inch-by-4-inch (25.4 mm by 102 mm) ribbon strip and nailed to the adjacent stud or by the use of approved joist hangers.
From; http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...002_par022.htm

The 2x2 nailed to the built-up girder is fine if a 2x8. You are allowed to notch the ends d/4, or 7-1/4 /4 = 1-7/8” Page 2;
http://arch.umd.edu/Tech/Structural_..._Guide_A11.pdf

Are any of the joists greatly below the girder? By how much?

Gary
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Old 02-14-2011, 05:00 AM   #6
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Main structural support beam HELP!!!


None of the joist are below the gridle. The girdle, joist and the board the joist is toe nailed into are all sagging.
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:02 AM   #7
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Main structural support beam HELP!!!


the problem with built-up flush beams with that many plies is the outside boards end up bearing most of the weight. it's a load-sharing deficiency where the boards in the center hardly end up carrying as much as the outside boards....

You've realized adding joist hangers won't solve your problem.

Like you suggested I think through-bolts w/ washers every so often would help. Spacing and sizing I'm not qualified to help you, i'm not an engineer, but anything would be better than nothing. But probably won't fix any sag.

If everything is sagging then it could be overloaded/overspanned?
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Last edited by fungku; 02-14-2011 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:06 PM   #8
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Another thing I have thought about doing is placing some 3 inch channel exactly like the 6 inch except without the poles. Hard to picture but the best way I know how to explain this idea is drilling holes into the channel and running lag bolts into every board and pulling everything flush. I dont know this is just a thought along with running the threaded rod and tightening everything up good. Thoughts greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:56 PM   #9
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Main structural support beam HELP!!!


You have a few issues with this construction. I think the sagging main beam doesn't have enough vertical supports holding it up.
It would help if you told us:
1. The entire span of this beam and the size of the joists that make it up?
2. Does the beam rest in a pocket(or on) in the foundation on each side?
3. The number of support poles and how far apart they are?

The other issue is that notching the floor joists effectively reduces the joist size. Making a 2x10 into a 2x8. How far do the floor joists span?
I've been informed that the notch in the joist end would have to be larger to effect it's strength so it seems it does not weaken the joist.

You could better support the floor joist with hangers, but that will not address the sagging issue.
You should definitely unitize the beam by bolting it together along the span.
Are all the splices of the multi joist beam over support poles?
Is there any indication that the present set up is a change from the original construction? Usually the floor joists sit on top of the main beam. This configuration looks like someone wanted higher clearances in the basement so they integrated to beam into the floor joist plane.
Ron

Last edited by Ron6519; 02-14-2011 at 09:43 PM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:22 PM   #10
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Main structural support beam HELP!!!


First off, as GBR pointed out, the method of attaching the joists is per code. It DOES NOT effectively reduce the 2x8 to a 2x6, because the center of the joist, which is the point of maximum moment, remains full size. The end of the joist simply supports the joist in shear, and code explicitly states that 1.5 inches is sufficient.

I am unclear why you believe the beam is sagging. Did you perform measurements with a laser, water level, carpenters level, or does it simply look like it sagged? All beams will eventually deflect, that is the nature of wood, it takes a permanent set under load over time. You may be far better off shimming the floor to make it level than getting into a complex structural fix for what may not be a structural problem at all.

Drilling holes and bolting the beam pieces together may not achieve anything if the pieces are already nailed together adequately. They certainly look like they are connected by something, they are very tight (no visible space). If properly nailed, installing bolts can cause more trouble than it cures.

As to the comments that the framing is bizarre, without detailed information about the spans and loads, I would not be so quick to condemn the framing, from the pictures it looks to be carefully done, and it looks like it meets code.
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:49 PM   #11
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Main structural support beam HELP!!!


You cannot tell alot in the pics on the saggin I'm talking about. the outside support where the joist sits sags down a good bit further than the center ones that are all in line. I didnt use a level I can visually tell they sag looking between the poles. The entire span of the beam is 50ft and it sits on top of the block foundation. The poles are 8-9 feet off the wall and 8-9 feet apart from each other. If I take a steel plate and place it against the beam the two outside supports are roughly 1/2inch lower than the 3 center. like I said in a previous post when I replaced the small steel plate with the six inch channel that covered the entire width of the beam it helped in leveling the floor.
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:51 PM   #12
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The splices in the beam are not all together they are random throughout the basement. I know this is kinda difficult without seeing it in person but please keep asking questions and I will see what I can do to provide more information. Thanks
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:58 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
First off, as GBR pointed out, the method of attaching the joists is per code. It DOES NOT effectively reduce the 2x8 to a 2x6, because the center of the joist, which is the point of maximum moment, remains full size. The end of the joist simply supports the joist in shear, and code explicitly states that 1.5 inches is sufficient.
I guess they don't see a lot of these:



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Old 02-14-2011, 06:58 PM   #14
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Main structural support beam HELP!!!


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A 7-ply built-up flush beam is ridiculous, IMO...
It's actually a 5ply per se as the outside two pieces are ledgers. If it's to code, which it may well be, then its a damn silly code!
As fungku says, it's probably improperly spaced beam supports. It could also be an undersized beam or the crown on the beams is upside down.
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:04 PM   #15
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It's actually a 5ply per se
haha right, i counted on the photo that is from directly below and was like wtf
it was 4.a.m. when i made that post... so at least I have an excuse?
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Last edited by fungku; 02-14-2011 at 07:07 PM.
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