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Old 03-12-2009, 11:21 AM   #1
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Is this proper beam support under the house?


Hi all,

Yesterday, for the first time I went under the my first house (just purchased). I noticed that all the beams are supported the same way as shown in the picture. The perimeter of the house has a concrete foundation but the rest is supported as shown. I was surprised that this "supports" are not secured or bolted to the beam. Is this common? Is it sufficient?

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Old 03-12-2009, 11:25 AM   #2
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Is this proper beam support under the house?


that looks to me to be an 'after the fact' add-on. no inspector I know of would pass that.....
they probably had bounce or possibly broken supports?

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Old 03-12-2009, 12:48 PM   #3
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Is this proper beam support under the house?


This house was build in 1948. I am assuming this are not original supports. Would this be something to be concerned with to the extend where I would look into replacing all the supports under the house?
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:13 PM   #4
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Is this proper beam support under the house?


what's upstairs above that beam? a wall? a tile floor, perhaps?
if so, i'd leave it alone as it seems to be doing it's job? how long are the floor joists shown? maybe they were wrong sized and moved too much?


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Old 03-12-2009, 02:26 PM   #5
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Is this proper beam support under the house?


I once crawled uder a huge late 1800s brick building that actually had a few 3 ft diameter boulders sitting on top of the crawlspaces dirt floor and used as beam supports. Very similar to your concrete pillars except not nearly as flat on top or bottom. The boulders were there since the building was built and it's still standing nice and solid so I guess I can't say it wasn't good building technique.

Your supports are probably fine. If a force came along that was powerfull enough to move that beam off the piers then the house would probably be gone anyway. If you are in a hurricane or earthquake area you might want to get an expert opinion as to whether attachment between the beam and piers is needed.

Is that a crack in the pier?
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Old 03-12-2009, 02:30 PM   #6
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Is this proper beam support under the house?


My house was built in 1948 also! And its supported in a similar manner!
The piers should be sitting on footings, not just sitting on the ground!
Dig down beside the piers and see if there are, in fact concrete footing below the piers!
With an assistant, stretch a string along side the beam and check to see if its straight. If it has bowed down in the middle, its likely that the footings are inadequate!
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Old 03-12-2009, 03:16 PM   #7
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Is this proper beam support under the house?


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Originally Posted by jogr View Post
Is that a crack in the pier?

No, I saw that too. It is a string or something that does look like a crack.
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Old 03-12-2009, 03:18 PM   #8
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Is this proper beam support under the house?


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Originally Posted by Wildie View Post
My house was built in 1948 also! And its supported in a similar manner!
The piers should be sitting on footings, not just sitting on the ground!
Dig down beside the piers and see if there are, in fact concrete footing below the piers!
With an assistant, stretch a string along side the beam and check to see if its straight. If it has bowed down in the middle, its likely that the footings are inadequate!

The piers seem to be sitting on footings. I see cement footing on some where the dirt does not cover it. I would assume all of them have it. As far as the bowed beam... it does not look to me like any of the beams are bowed. This is just from looking at them.
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:04 PM   #9
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Is this proper beam support under the house?


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Originally Posted by gante View Post
The piers seem to be sitting on footings. I see cement footing on some where the dirt does not cover it. I would assume all of them have it. As far as the bowed beam... it does not look to me like any of the beams are bowed. This is just from looking at them.
In this case, I wouldn't worry about it then! The piers look as as if someone has taken care to construct them. Usually concrete blocks are used for this application!
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:51 PM   #10
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Is this proper beam support under the house?


I guess I was expecting to see a more "professional" work. Metal bracing, bolts, etc. Sometimes I am just too picky.
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:19 PM   #11
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Is this proper beam support under the house?


Quote:
Originally Posted by gante View Post
I guess I was expecting to see a more "professional" work. Metal bracing, bolts, etc. Sometimes I am just too picky.
Your photos don't give a good view of the beams. Whether the beam is sized correctly, I couldn't say.
If you measure the distance between the piers and measure the height and width of the beam, and post them here, perhaps someone will advise you if this is correct!
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:20 AM   #12
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Is this proper beam support under the house?


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Originally Posted by Wildie View Post
Your photos don't give a good view of the beams. Whether the beam is sized correctly, I couldn't say.
If you measure the distance between the piers and measure the height and width of the beam, and post them here, perhaps someone will advise you if this is correct!

Well, I am not too concern about this. The beams seem to be in good shape. The house has been standing since 1948. This might still be something to look into anyways. Thank you for the advice.
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:43 PM   #13
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Is this proper beam support under the house?


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Originally Posted by gante View Post
Well, I am not too concern about this. The beams seem to be in good shape. The house has been standing since 1948. This might still be something to look into anyways. Thank you for the advice.
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:57 PM   #14
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Is this proper beam support under the house?


My house was built in 1910, it looks almost identical (though you have twice the headroom as mine). This was the norm, for years. 2x6 joists, 24" apart, on 6x8 beams, all original, and strong. Most joists were clear of knots, a full 2" thick, and a real 6" wide. This (average, back then) wood is stronger than same size today, less knots, cracks, wains, bark, etc. My house has 3' concrete perimeter walls sitting on the dirt! As nothing has shifted in the 26 years, i know of, then I'm not too worried. I did insulate the floor and install a 6mill. vapor barrier (black), though. Then I stapled all my phone lines to the bottom of the joists as rodents like to eat the coverings (they now have their choice of packaged rodent food, poison, scattered around). Be safe, GBAR in WA

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