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Old 07-31-2012, 10:48 AM   #1
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Reinforcing Beam with Steel Plates


Hi,

I tried searching the forums to see if my question can be answered and didn't find anything so I apologize if I missed it.

I'm eliminating a lolly column in my basement which is supporting a center beam in my house. This beam supports a first floor, a second floor, and an attic in a colonial that I own. I live in the northeast so Snow load would be a factor.

1. The beam spans 13' 6" with 3 lolly column currently supporting it.
The center lolly will be eliminated leaving the a lolly column on each end.

This center beams is made up of (3) wood 2 x 10's that measure 9.125" to 9.25" probably due to shrinkage. It is supporting joists 16" on center with a span of 12' from front of house to beam and another 12' from beam to rear of house.

I plan on ordering (2) steel plates mesuring 3/8" thick x 9"wide x 14' long and bolting them to each side of the beam.

Can anyone tell me if I'm ok with doing this? I need to get this done as soon as posible so I can complete my house renovation and move in. I have attached picture of the attic/roof construction & the basement lolly columns.
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Reinforcing Beam with Steel Plates-attic-construction1.jpg   Reinforcing Beam with Steel Plates-basement-lolly-collumns1.jpg  


Last edited by Albertom; 07-31-2012 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:10 AM   #2
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Reinforcing Beam with Steel Plates


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I plan on ordering (2) steel plates mesuring 3/8"thick x 9"wide x 14"long and bolting them to each side of the beam.
Whereabouts on the length of the beam, and to what purpose? If it's for what I suspect, I think you are heading for trouble.

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Old 07-31-2012, 11:24 AM   #3
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Reinforcing Beam with Steel Plates


is that 14" or 14'?

this link will take you to the 2009 International Residential Code for Girder Spans http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...002_par021.htm you'd have to confirm with your local building department as your code may be different.

you have to pick out what your ground snow load is and the depth of the house. this is for a center bearing girder with load bearing walls directly above.
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Last edited by GBrackins; 07-31-2012 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:32 AM   #4
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Reinforcing Beam with Steel Plates


the typical building codes for homes today are based upon the International Residential Code, which is prescriptive in nature. In other words if you do what is described in the code then you comply. There are no span tables for the use of steel beams, or the combination of steel plates with wood members (flitch beam). Typically the use of steel plates or beams requires they be designed and signed off by a professional engineer or registered architect. You may want to contact your building department to determine this before making changes. Should you need a permit (structural changes normally do) and do the work without one this could lead to issues down the road, especially should you decide the sell the home. Just my humble opinion ....

Good luck!
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:32 AM   #5
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Reinforcing Beam with Steel Plates


Get an engineer to advise you before your house falls down. Guessing what is right and asking people thousands of miles away on the internet won't do the job.
How did you come up with the size of your plates? 14" long wouldn't do much in my uneducated opinion to spread the load along the beam.
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:45 AM   #6
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Reinforcing Beam with Steel Plates


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is that 14" or 14'?
Good point; it might not be quite so disasterous if he meant 14ft and not 14in.
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:45 AM   #7
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Reinforcing Beam with Steel Plates


The plates are 14 ft in length
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:46 AM   #8
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Reinforcing Beam with Steel Plates


bob22,

he edited his post to 14' instead of 14", I tried to explain that an engineer needs to design the flitch beam as it is not prescriptive code, hopefully he will listen and not get himself into trouble .... a professional engineer is worth the cost
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Last edited by GBrackins; 07-31-2012 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 07-31-2012, 12:04 PM   #9
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Reinforcing Beam with Steel Plates


Quote:
Originally Posted by Albertom
Hi,

I tried searching the forums to see if my question can be answered and didn't find anything so I apologize if I missed it.

I'm eliminating a lolly column in my basement which is supporting a center beam in my house. This beam supports a first floor, a second floor, and an attic in a colonial that I own. I live in the northeast so Snow load would be a factor.

1. The beam spans 13' 6" with 3 lolly column currently supporting it.
The center lolly will be eliminated leaving the a lolly column on each end.

This center beams is made up of (3) wood 2 x 10's that measure 9.125" to 9.25" probably due to shrinkage. It is supporting joists 16" on center with a span of 12' from front of house to beam and another 12' from beam to rear of house.

I plan on ordering (2) steel plates mesuring 3/8" thick x 9"wide x 14' long and bolting them to each side of the beam.

Can anyone tell me if I'm ok with doing this? I need to get this done as soon as posible so I can complete my house renovation and move in. I have attached picture of the attic/roof construction & the basement lolly columns.
Did an architect or engineer give you the information on doing all this?

If so....ask them. If not where did you get the information from? Did you present plans to the town for permits and inspections?
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Old 07-31-2012, 12:36 PM   #10
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Reinforcing Beam with Steel Plates


A flitch beam usually has one steel plate sandwiched between two timber beams, the three components then being bolted together. The idea is that the (relatively) thin steel plate takes a large proportion of the bending stress, the steel typically being 30x stronger than the timber.
The timber beams on the outside of the 'sandwich' stop the thin steel plate from buckling, so that it can develop its full strength.
If the plates are on the outside of the assembly, then extra fixings will be needed to ensure that they do not buckle, and the drilling required may weaken the beam as a whole.
To get it right, this is certainly engineer's territory.
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:00 PM   #11
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Reinforcing Beam with Steel Plates


Thanks for the responses.
The plates are 14ft long. I have not seen an engineer. I called a few and they wanted between $500-$800 just to tell me if I can do this. I know some would say money well spent but $ is a factor.

It appears to me, which can be referenced by the picture of my attic, that most of the snow/roof weight is to the outside walls except at 4 different locations where 2x4's come down from the center of the peak/roof to a different joist of the attic floor(2nd floor ceiling). Attic joists lay from front to back of house. Not sure if I'm correct in this thought.

The 1st floor: I opened up the wall above this basement beam about 10ft 8in. So the point of weight transfer to the basement beam is just above the basement lolly column on the end by my stairs and the other point of weight transfer is on the other end 36 inches before the small basement lolly column. Pictures attached of the first floor wall above the basement beam.

Flitch plates I have been told get sandwich between lumber to help against the possibility of the steel buckling out under load. I have seen plates placed on beams on the outside with no lumber on the outsides. Just bolts holding them. Is it right I don't know but does it hold the weight with no problems? I would hope so.
If I were to place the metal plates on each side of my beam and bolt a piece of 2x10 the length of the steel on each side of the steel, the 2x10's will not be transfering any weight to the lolly column due to sitting outside the lolly column plate. Plate not being wide enough but would it serve the purpose of holding the 14 ft steel plates in place from buckling? Do I even need to do this?
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Reinforcing Beam with Steel Plates-diy-basement-lolly-columns.jpg   Reinforcing Beam with Steel Plates-diy-wall-1st-floor-before-demo.jpg   Reinforcing Beam with Steel Plates-diy-after-wall-opened-up-1st-floor.jpg   Reinforcing Beam with Steel Plates-diy-after-wall-opened-up-1st-floor..jpg  
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:08 PM   #12
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Reinforcing Beam with Steel Plates


You said:
"Not sure if I'm correct in this thought."
" Is it right I don't know but does it hold the weight with no problems? I would hope so"
" Plate not being wide enough but would it serve the purpose of holding the 14 ft steel plates in place from buckling? Do I even need to do this?"
Unfortunately, the answer still is you need to get someone on-site with the education and experience to answer these questions. Internet won't work IMO.
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:14 PM   #13
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Reinforcing Beam with Steel Plates


will you need a permit to perform a structural alteration in your town? have you called the building department to inquire? as I've stated this is a type of construction that requires a professional engineer or registered architect to perform, unless your building official is willing to take on the liability because it is not prescriptive construction

not trying to give you a hard time over this, honestly I am not. if a permit is required and you do not obtain it then it may lead to issues should you want to sell your home in the future. When the buyer's agent finds out that a permit was not pulled (and not inspected or approved by the building department) this can cause many buyers to walk about because they may have to perform repairs to fix this issue. If nothing else, this gives them something to negotiate a lower selling price with.

if a permit is required and not obtained and the building department finds out, well that's a whole can of worms you don't want to open ..... you'd be surprised how quickly people will call the building department if they don't see a permit in the window .....

just trying to keep you safe physically as well as fiscally .....
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:14 PM   #14
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and as tony said, the steel is normally sandwiched in between the wood plies, and just because you've seen something doesn't make it correct or long lasting
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:26 PM   #15
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Ok, I understand and truely appreciate the in put. I just didn't want to put the engineers kids through college. I have to support my own.
I was hoping that someone that has a similar type of situation could provide some insight but do realize it is difficult not being on location.

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