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Old 04-16-2013, 10:17 PM   #1
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Notch in Girder


I am looking for some help solving a problem I created. I installed central vac and without thinking notched a girder. The Girder holds up the floor of the entry level of the house. The house is a bi-level so there is not much on this level, just a closet. The stairs upstairs are attached to the girder. There are no load bearing walls attached to the girder. At the time I installed the central vac I didn't think it was a big deal, but after watching some Holmes on Homes episodes I realize I have screwed up. I would like to fix this and am thinking of laying a 16" 2x8 on the floor below the notch and aligning 2 4x4 posts on either side of the notch. What do you guys think, will this work?

From the pictures you can see Teleposts on either end of the girder and the size of the notch I made. From the front (under stairs) not too bad, but from behind I realize I may have notched too much.
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Notch in Girder-dscf2003.jpg   Notch in Girder-dscf1999.jpg   Notch in Girder-dscf2001.jpg   Notch in Girder-dscf2002.jpg  

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Old 04-16-2013, 11:06 PM   #2
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Notch in Girder


Its really hard for me to figure out what is going on from your pictures. Is that a major girder you cut, or just a support for the landing?

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Old 04-16-2013, 11:10 PM   #3
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Notch in Girder


Just a support for the landing. The joists from the landing hang on this girder and the stairs are attached to it as well.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:28 PM   #4
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Notch in Girder


can you replace the girder?
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:36 PM   #5
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Notch in Girder


The fact that it is a triple 2x I would say that is more than just a support for the stairs.
A post with a proper footing installed directly under that cut would probably be best solution.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:45 AM   #6
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Notch in Girder


Oh boy. What is the span of the Girder? Could you sketch a floor framing plan of the affected area on piece of 8x11 paper? Take pic for us to see. Add in measurements. If you can, show the point load locations for the girder.

I hate to say this but I hesitate to give any advice (as well as others) without a number of disclaimers.

Your pictures are good but they cut off important details. It's hard to make out what's going on for potential new point loads(ie footings)

Is there any deflection of the girder? Possibly not yet but over time it may settle or worse.

I would temporarily add support post (3x 2x4") on both sides of the stair to support the girder for that span.

Without replacing the girder (which may not be practical) you may need to create footings under new post(s) to support the girder. This would essentially leave a small span (approx. 4') for what's left of the girder which is now simply 3x 2x6". That's all I can say for now. I struggle to give any more "non-advice".
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:23 AM   #7
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Notch in Girder


Attached is the picture I drew to start planning the finishing of the basement. The large notch out area is 45" high and is the entry way to the house. The basement is approx 8' high and has a steel I beam with one Telepost in the middle. What I am worried about right now is the impact of notching the girder that is right at the bottom of the staircase. So far there are no cracks where I have notched it, but my fear is it is just a matter of time.

In response to GBrackins, I likely can replace the girder. I imagine this would involve building a false wall close to the girder but not so close I can't play with the girder and remove the old and slide in a new and re-attache the joists. Though not ideal, it is possible. I would prefer not to go this route if there is another fix (such as bracing on either side of notch). But I suppose going to the trouble to replace the joist would be an acceptable consequence for the mistake I made in the first place :S

Any ideas on what suitable footings would be?
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:44 AM   #8
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Notch in Girder


An 8' girder.
That ain't so bad. Replacing the girder would be the best solution. Like you said, support the joist with a temp wall or temp post while you remove and replace the girder.
I think this method is better than new footings.
It will look as though nothing happened if done properly.

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Old 04-18-2013, 12:45 AM   #9
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Notch in Girder


I'd add a double 2x6 as a post next to the end of the wall, on a p.t. plate. The 2 side stringers are probably nailed to the wall studs, either toe-nailed from the studs, or face nailed through the stringers, easy to check. That would reduce the span to 3' supporting only the center stair stringer with a 4x4 left-over from the notching, plenty-IMO.

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Old 04-18-2013, 07:33 AM   #10
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Notch in Girder


I suspect the OPs best course long-term might be to replace the girder. My concern would be that including a post or posts might serve to increase the bending and shear stress at the notch because the girder is then a continuous beam over 2 spans.
Also, if he sells the house, some surveyor will pick up on the notch.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:46 AM   #11
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Notch in Girder


If I was you, I would put a 4 x 4 Pressure treated post just to the left of the pipe. Cut it nice and square, and set it on a one foot square by 1/4 inch steel plate on the basement floor. Prefasten the plate to the post, then fasten the plate to the floor with zamac hit anchors. Fasten the top with a post bracket or fish plate.

It will be fine, dont worry about it.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:21 AM   #12
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Notch in Girder


Tony-g and Jargans both have good points and good solutions. The Girder is a 3x (2"x8") so I would use three 2x4" as each post rather than a 4x4. If you choose that route.

Replacing the girder is a challenge but is the best solution for the long term. If the girder was much longer than 8' or a high difficulty level to replace, I would go with plan B. Becuase I'm so anal, I would go with plan A and replace it.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:49 AM   #13
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Notch in Girder


Thanks for all the great ideas. I like the simple solution of adding posts on steel plates, but also think replacement is best in case I ever go to sell and the purchaser gets a home inspection. I've priced it out and to replace will be approx $30. $15 for the three 2x8x8's and $15 for the materials to build a temporary wall (16" on centre) to support the joists while I replace the girder. Plus ill pick up a tube of caulking for the top of the girder where it meets the subfloor.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:03 AM   #14
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Notch in Girder


Good call jonmurray. And good luck.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:16 AM   #15
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Notch in Girder


One final question, when I replace the girder, should I lower the teleposts to give me room to work, or leave them as is so I don't inflict any cracking or shifting at the entry way?

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