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Old 03-30-2012, 10:17 AM   #1
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replacing a beam ?


my basement beam, 7 1/4"h x 5 1/2"w. the posts are 10' apart . i would like to move one post over 3' to the left in the pic(the post with the folding chair leaning on it). this would end up being a 13'ish span between the 2.

i am thinking a steel I beam, or 2. or, perhaps i could sister something to the current beam ?

also. if possible. i would like to put this new beam up flush to the flooring.
i would have to cut the joists and weld hangers on the beam to set the joists on. but idk if this is a good idea. nor is it mandatory.

thoughts on this ? thanx

oh. disregaurd the screw posts. P/Oers put those there, and idk why. perhaps they had water beds and/or fish tanks . i loosened them up a few days ago. the beam lowered maybe 1/8th" if that. and has not settled any more since. and looks to be in excelent condition.
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:41 AM   #2
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replacing a beam ?


The topic of removing supports or relocating supports has been discussed repeatedly on this forum. The required analysis to determine if the existing beam is capable of spanning a longer distance safely is not simple, and is usually beyond the ability of the average DIY person to calculate. I generally recommend hiring an engineer, architect or experienced contractor to do the computations.

As to your question about replacing with a steel beam or two, or sistering something onto the existing beam, generally the engineer or architect who looks at the project will evaluate a range of options to strengthen the existing beam, if it is necessary, and will decide on the best alternative based on consulting with you. Raising the beam to make it flush with the ceiling is possible, but considerably more difficult and expensive than simply replacing the beam with a different one. There is an excellent issue of Fine Homebuilding that discusses the details of installing a flush beam, and includes techniques for cutting the joists, installing the hangers, and reinstalling the joists. Not for the faint of heart, or those on a budget.

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Old 03-30-2012, 11:49 AM   #3
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The topic of removing supports or relocating supports has been discussed repeatedly on this forum. The required analysis to determine if the existing beam is capable of spanning a longer distance safely is not simple, and is usually beyond the ability of the average DIY person to calculate. I generally recommend hiring an engineer, architect or experienced contractor to do the computations.

As to your question about replacing with a steel beam or two, or sistering something onto the existing beam, generally the engineer or architect who looks at the project will evaluate a range of options to strengthen the existing beam, if it is necessary, and will decide on the best alternative based on consulting with you. Raising the beam to make it flush with the ceiling is possible, but considerably more difficult and expensive than simply replacing the beam with a different one. There is an excellent issue of Fine Homebuilding that discusses the details of installing a flush beam, and includes techniques for cutting the joists, installing the hangers, and reinstalling the joists. Not for the faint of heart, or those on a budget.
Words of wisdom, DH! I've done many recessed or partially recessed and you almost always have to reroute wires or pipes. Thank goodness for PEX!
To the OP, the fact that the beam dropped 1/8" when you removed the additional screw jacks, is an indication of the weight it's supporting. A structural engineer would be a good idea
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:01 PM   #4
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replacing a beam ?


Quote:
To the OP, the fact that the beam dropped 1/8" when you removed the additional screw jacks, is an indication of the weight it's supporting. A structural engineer would be a good idea
Ayuh,... Ditto That, 'n it probably will continue to drop over time....

I ain't sayin' ya can't do what ya wanta do,...
But I think yer jumpin' the gun, with no direction in yer thinkin' on the supports that're really Needed....

What do you mean, ya want the new beam flush with the Flooring,..??
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:03 AM   #5
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replacing a beam ?


thanx, fella's

i did search, but i guess my terms were not good enough.

yes, i know this is not for the average DIY'er. but i am not the average DIY'er.

the reason i would like to "flush" the beam, is that this basement has a low ceiling, 6'4" to the joist. this room is going to be my man cave.

i will seek out an engineer.

i was just down there. the beams are pretty darned straight. they look to be holding the load just fine. and, now, i am thinking that i will just sister some flat steel to each side of the beam. 1/4" x 7" x 13' through bolted would do just fine. and would be pretty easy.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:07 AM   #6
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replacing a beam ?


The beam you are thinking of creating is called a flitch beam, which is a laminated sandwich of wood and steel. Generally designed by an engineer, but it sounds to me like you believe you can handle this on your own, so I am going to sign off and wish you luck. Be VERY careful about using adequate temporary support of the beam if you choose to relocate a column support.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:39 AM   #7
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replacing a beam ?


i just googled flitch beam, interesting. is it still a flitch beam if the steel is on the outside of the wood ?
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:02 AM   #8
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replacing a beam ?


You really should heed great advice given you so far and hire an architect, engineer or other pro to help you with decisions.

If you are changing load bearing structure I HOPE you are required to get permits, must have drawings and sign-off by someone licensed and competent to stick their neck out in specifying a beam (and posts and added foundation support if needed) for you, and just to be safe I HOPE you have to pay a piper to inspect the work done; although an architect or structural engineering pro will follow up on the work too. Architects and engineers are not just for the rich. I think you will find working with one a great value. They know stuff and think about things in ways I never would have at times. They draw better and make more comprehensible notes on drawings than I do mucking up their prints. They have helped me sail through building permit and inspection stuff.

The consequences of being sneaky about this could effect your mortgage agreement and your homeowners insurance policy. Mickey Mousing structure without drawings and sign offs will most certainly limit your ability to ever sell the place. In fact you may not be able to close a sale with hidden structural changes noticed.

Once you get the beam in place you might want to be quiet and clandestine about finishing off your man cave with only 6'4" from floor to the ceiling. never mention the concept in front of an inspector. It should seem just a basement. And hope your kids never grow taller than you are. With a propeller beanie cap on, I would hit that ceiling and I bet you will never meet code where you are for a finished space at that ceiling height. You said it was to be a man cave so I guess crawling into it could be a cool experience.

Do wire it for adequate and quick beverage cooling. I live in the City now but can be at your place, I suspect in 90 minutes or less, to check out beverage cooling capability.

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Old 03-31-2012, 11:33 AM   #9
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replacing a beam ?


You will need to install a new footing for the relocated column.

Your repair should consider the splice locations of the existing beam.

Find a structural engineer who is also a DIY'er. His or her engineering solutions will be more constructable than someone who has only technical engineering knowledge.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:10 PM   #10
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replacing a beam ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by House Engineer View Post
You will need to install a new footing for the relocated column.

Your repair should consider the splice locations of the existing beam.

Find a structural engineer who is also a DIY'er. His or her engineering solutions will be more constructable than someone who has only technical engineering knowledge.
Great advice. Glad somebody else picked up on possible need for additional foundation if you move load bearing posts.

Seems like you two folk should exchange PM about this? OP seems like serendipity dropped a structural engineer you might like near you. I do not want to be involved until the wiring from the beverage thing is working. And how deep into the SW burbs are you? Do you call yourself a real Chicagoan? How many times did you vote and under how many names recently?

Not sure I like talk of sistering or splicing central structural support beams but you guys work it out. I would think about steel for sure if you want to try to achieve something approaching a flush ceiling.

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Old 04-01-2012, 07:48 AM   #11
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replacing a beam ?


Maybe a stupid question here, but why even bother? It's a man cave with a 6'4" ceiling. It's illegal as living space, and dangerous if your team wins! Also, as someone mentioned, a building inspector will pick up on that when it's time to sell
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:57 AM   #12
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Maybe a stupid question here, but why even bother? It's a man cave with a 6'4" ceiling. It's illegal as living space, and dangerous if your team wins! Also, as someone mentioned, a building inspector will pick up on that when it's time to sell
I didn't now anybody still lived and thought at all well in Vermont? Great post. I hinted at saying the same thing and tried to be funny. You nailed it head on.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:10 AM   #13
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I didn't now anybody still lived and thought at all well in Vermont? Great post. I hinted at saying the same thing and tried to be funny. You nailed it head on.
Yeah, well it was my turn to use the brain yesterday so I'm glad I put it to good use.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:44 AM   #14
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replacing a beam ?


great advice, guys. i have thought of all of those things. except for the resale issue.



Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
You really should heed great advice given you so far and hire an architect, engineer or other pro to help you with decisions.

If you are changing load bearing structure I HOPE you are required to get permits, must have drawings and sign-off by someone licensed and competent to stick their neck out in specifying a beam (and posts and added foundation support if needed) for you, and just to be safe I HOPE you have to pay a piper to inspect the work done; although an architect or structural engineering pro will follow up on the work too. Architects and engineers are not just for the rich. I think you will find working with one a great value. They know stuff and think about things in ways I never would have at times. They draw better and make more comprehensible notes on drawings than I do mucking up their prints. They have helped me sail through building permit and inspection stuff.

The consequences of being sneaky about this could effect your mortgage agreement and your homeowners insurance policy. Mickey Mousing structure without drawings and sign offs will most certainly limit your ability to ever sell the place. In fact you may not be able to close a sale with hidden structural changes noticed.

Once you get the beam in place you might want to be quiet and clandestine about finishing off your man cave with only 6'4" from floor to the ceiling. never mention the concept in front of an inspector. It should seem just a basement. And hope your kids never grow taller than you are. With a propeller beanie cap on, I would hit that ceiling and I bet you will never meet code where you are for a finished space at that ceiling height. You said it was to be a man cave so I guess crawling into it could be a cool experience.

Do wire it for adequate and quick beverage cooling. I live in the City now but can be at your place, I suspect in 90 minutes or less, to check out beverage cooling capability.
i do not plan to "finish" the basement. i am just going to paint. and i am glad that it cannot be "finished". because that would make my already high property taxs go through the roof.

and no "beverage cooling capability" is going to be installed down there.
but there will be plenty of beverage consumption going on down there

Quote:
Originally Posted by House Engineer View Post
You will need to install a new footing for the relocated column.

Your repair should consider the splice locations of the existing beam.

Find a structural engineer who is also a DIY'er. His or her engineering solutions will be more constructable than someone who has only technical engineering knowledge.
yep on the footing. what size should it be ?

the beam in question, from the right post to the block wall, is 1 piece.
but the piece to the right going out of the pic, needs to be replaced. i didn't measure it, but i think its about 11'. and those posts need to be replaced.

about what would it cost to have structural engineer do what he does, for me ?
perhaps you would be interested ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
Great advice. Glad somebody else picked up on possible need for additional foundation if you move load bearing posts.

Seems like you two folk should exchange PM about this? OP seems like serendipity dropped a structural engineer you might like near you. I do not want to be involved until the wiring from the beverage thing is working. And how deep into the SW burbs are you? Do you call yourself a real Chicagoan? How many times did you vote and under how many names recently?

Not sure I like talk of sistering or splicing central structural support beams but you guys work it out. I would think about steel for sure if you want to try to achieve something approaching a flush ceiling.
i am a lil past orland park. and i only vote once

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgins View Post
Maybe a stupid question here, but why even bother? It's a man cave with a 6'4" ceiling. It's illegal as living space, and dangerous if your team wins! Also, as someone mentioned, a building inspector will pick up on that when it's time to sell
because i can make this a valueable space for me & wife & friends/family.
and i don't care if someone cluncks their skull, thats their problem
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:01 AM   #15
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replacing a beam ?


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yep on the footing. what size should it be ?
You might not need a footing and the column you want to move 3' depending on the size of the flitch plates that might be spec'd out by an engineer. This is done all the time when wanting to remove columns. You have no choice but to have an architect or engineer come out and spec it for you. As to the cost of that, no one can give you an accurate answer for that in your area unless they are from your area.

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