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Old 10-15-2013, 08:04 AM   #1
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Replacing porch posts with beam

We want to remove four posts holding outer 16' side of 15 by 16 (width) porch roof. Rafters currently supported by doubled 2x6s 16 ft long with 4x4 posts on each end. Under the doubled 2x6 beam there is a 4x4. This has supporting posts every 3 feet (four posts). Essentially what we have is a 3 1/2 by 9 (5 1/2 doubled 2x6 and 3 1/2 4x4) beam with six posts.

I would like to remove the 4 middle posts, add 4x4 posts just inside the outer two posts to support a 15' 5" doubled 1 3/4 lvl under the 4x4. I would then enclose the entire (3 pieces stacked) beam to make it look like a single beam and protect the lvl from the elements.

What depth lvl should I use? Trying to minimize drop.
Any other suggestions? Possible aLternative to replace the 4x4 beam with doubled 1 3/4 x 9 1/4 lvl? This is in Georgia with only occasional very light snow.
Thanks for advice.


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Old 10-15-2013, 12:57 PM   #2
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what is your exact location? Snow load in GA range from 0 psf to 10 psf. Also would need to see a picture of how its attached to your house, the tributary area of your roof (for drifting snow conditions), rain on snow surcharge, etc....

You will also have to take into consideration the load concentration that you will now be creating at your new post locations. You will no doubt have to demo the footer that is there (assuming there is one) and pour a new bigger footer to handle that load.

I think you would be better off paying a local structural engineer a couple hundred bucks to come out and size the beam and footers.


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Old 10-15-2013, 07:22 PM   #3
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also most regions dont allow 4x4 posts any more to act as bearing posts.. they can buckle under heavy wind loads. 6x6's are the standard now. 4x4s are used for hand rail posts
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:13 AM   #4
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you need a structural engineer to spec the size of everything because you need to pull a permit for this and they want to see your plan all laid out.
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