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Old 03-03-2012, 04:59 PM   #1
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removing a load bearing interior wall


Here is a pic of the stupid divider walls between living room and family room. Would like to knock it out for one big room. This is a two story house. The distance is 15 feet. What size laminate beam would do the job?



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Old 03-03-2012, 05:07 PM   #2
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removing a load bearing interior wall


I doubt you will find anyone here will to stick there neck out and try to spec. this out over the net. That wall is supporting the whole middle of your house, it would be best to get an on site engineer to look it over. Done wrong and and anything above that wall will suffer.

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Old 03-03-2012, 07:57 PM   #3
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just as joe states, hire a engineer to come to your house and size up the beam.. no one can size it over a website..

this question gets asked probably two or three times a day on here and its always the same answer
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:29 PM   #4
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removing a load bearing interior wall


If you want by some ones advice here your whole house could come down in your head! Spend some money and hire a Structural engineer and do it right.
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:43 PM   #5
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People are scared, I get that. I am not. There are simple heuristics in place for these kinds of things called load span charts. A live load of 800 square feet of bedroom above, no real attic, and a roof. The span is 15 feet, I don't mind over engineering, things are not complicated, it is just physics. A beam will work, and the house will not fall down.

All I want is help finding a beam size load chart, because ultimately that's all these engineers do is look at that.
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jace781
People are scared, I get that. I am not. There are simple heuristics in place for these kinds of things called load span charts. A live load of 800 square feet of bedroom above, no real attic, and a roof. The span is 15 feet, I don't mind over engineering, things are not complicated, it is just physics. A beam will work, and the house will not fall down.

All I want is help finding a beam size load chart, because ultimately that's all these engineers do is look at that.
That's not what you want. You want the size of the beam....like you asked in your first post. Scared has nothing to do with it. It's using common sense and being smart. You're not doing either by asking what size bean to use.

Keep looking for a chart and stop being lazy and wanting everyone else to do it for you...you'll eventually find it.
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:58 PM   #7
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by doing this the lazy way your taking easy way out.. if something structurally fails you have no excuse but you screwed up and were neglegent if your insurance company wants to know where the engineers stamp is and where the permits are. engineers calculate the correct beam size so its guarenteed to perform.. if it does structurally fail they take the heat for it not you unless you didnt build it exactly as drawn

i dont know how many old homes ive renovated where once we open things up we find that load bearing walls were removed some 20,30,40 years before and proper structural alterations werent made.. now floors above have 2-3 " sags in them. joists have cracked under loads.

i feel sorry for the next person that buys your home and decideds to renovate only to find out from the contractor that it was improperly renovated so many years before and now its going to cost an extra $5000 to fix
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:23 PM   #8
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removing a load bearing interior wall


I agree to get someone in that's a pro to look at it.

But, this document might have what you need, pages 4 and 5 I think are what you want.

Good luck. Not a project I would tackle, and if something does fail, I imagine your insurance won't help...

http://www.woodbywy.com/literature/TJ-4000.pdf
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jace781
People are scared, I get that. I am not. There are simple heuristics in place for these kinds of things called load span charts. A live load of 800 square feet of bedroom above, no real attic, and a roof. The span is 15 feet, I don't mind over engineering, things are not complicated, it is just physics. A beam will work, and the house will not fall down.

All I want is help finding a beam size load chart, because ultimately that's all these engineers do is look at that.
Are you planning on getting permits and inspections?
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:57 PM   #10
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removing a load bearing interior wall


To the OPS. You are correct, it is not particularly complex to size a beam correctly. I have posted several times about the procedure, I will not repeat here, you can do a search on this forum and find it.

As to the scared part. Here is the deal. I am a registered professional engineer. As such, I am legally liable for my opinion, possibly even if I offer my opinion at no charge, even if I have no contract. Obviously I have not personally inspected your house, therefore under the code of ethics I signed when I accepted my license, I would be in violation of the ethics procedures if I designed the beam where I was not "in responsible charge" of the project. Responsible charge means I need to make a site visit, which of course is not going to happen. Conclusion: no registered engineer or architect can ethically size the beam for you without a site visit and a contract. That still leaves the remainder of folks on this forum who are not registered to size the beam for you. There only risk is that they size it incorrectly, or you install it incorrectly, and you go after them legally for damages in the event you sustain injury. Even if I were not registered, I would never want to take that kind of chance, but to each their own.

As to finding the span charts on the internet, there are lots of charts, which of course vary depending on your required load capacity (which is a function of the building code you need to meet). Sometimes the charts are all you need, sometimes things are more complicated, such as if the support posts do not line up with a main beam in the basement. Additionally, there are no charts that will allow you to compute the additional bending moment you create on the main beam in the basement that supports the point loads which are the posts that support your header, you have to perform that calculation manually or using a computer program. Or you can skip the calculation, and take your chances on overloading the beam in the basement, if you support the header that way.

My suggestion is to buy your beam from a reputable lumber yard and let them have their engineer size the beam as part of the cost of supplying the beam. This way you get a stamped plan, and can go to the building inspector for a permit. Or you can skip the permit part and take your chances.
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:45 PM   #11
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removing a load bearing interior wall


Looks like a brand new house. Why didn't you discuss this with the builder or architect, before the second floor went up? It is not something they like to do, during the middle of a build, and could end up walking off the job and not finishing it, if you are asking for a change like that.
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:46 PM   #12
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removing a load bearing interior wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by jace781 View Post
People are scared, I get that. I am not. There are simple heuristics in place for these kinds of things called load span charts. A live load of 800 square feet of bedroom above, no real attic, and a roof. The span is 15 feet, I don't mind over engineering, things are not complicated, it is just physics. A beam will work, and the house will not fall down.

All I want is help finding a beam size load chart, because ultimately that's all these engineers do is look at that.
Scared no. It is called liability, and no one wants to take that on, with some random poster that came on here and just asked a loaded question. 800 sq feet, that is like placing my home on top of yours. Not a very light doing.
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:47 PM   #13
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removing a load bearing interior wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Carola View Post
Are you planning on getting permits and inspections?
Joe, they should already have them, since it appears that this is new construction, that is still in pre-sub phase for drywall and possibly some inspections still before drywall goes on.
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:50 PM   #14
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removing a load bearing interior wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by woodworkbykirk View Post
i feel sorry for the next person that buys your home and decideds to renovate only to find out from the contractor that it was improperly renovated so many years before and now its going to cost an extra $5000 to fix
With the way they build homes these days, the house will probably fall apart on its own in about 20-25 years, before anyone gets a chance to renovate it. I am seeing homes in new subdivisions in my town, that are not even 5-10 years old and are already falling apart at the seams in one way or another.
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:00 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by gregzoll
Joe, they should already have them, since it appears that this is new construction, that is still in pre-sub phase for drywall and possibly some inspections still before drywall goes on.
If its new construction....how come th OP isn't asking the builder.....architect who drew the plans. How come the OP has two different threads with two different header sizes?

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