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Old 02-15-2007, 06:55 PM   #1
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replacing wood support beam with steel?


This house I just bought has a big old wood beam support. It's obviously the "bottleneck" for headroom in the basement. I was wondering if it could be easily replaced with a steel beam that will take up less vertical space?

What about the support pillars? Are those installed on special pads in the foundation? Will steel be able to support a longer span without (as many) pillars?

How is this sort of thing done, is it very expensive? I'm having foundation work done sometime over the summer hopefully, I guess that's the time to do it since they'll probably be jacking the house?


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Old 02-15-2007, 07:01 PM   #2
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replacing wood support beam with steel?


[quote=elementx440;33617] This house I just bought has a big old wood beam support. It's obviously the "bottleneck" for headroom in the basement. I was wondering if it could be easily replaced with a steel beam that will take up less vertical space? [/qoute]

Steel beam would be about the same width.

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What about the support pillars? Are those installed on special pads in the foundation?
could be, or not....depends if the builder used them.

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Will steel be able to support a longer span without (as many) pillars?
Absolutely.

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How is this sort of thing done, is it very expensive? I'm having foundation work done sometime over the summer hopefully, I guess that's the time to do it since they'll probably be jacking the house?
Not as expensive as you think....If you find the right person to do it. Shop around...

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Old 02-16-2007, 06:50 AM   #3
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replacing wood support beam with steel?


But would the steel beam be about the same height?
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Old 02-16-2007, 06:56 AM   #4
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replacing wood support beam with steel?


An engineer would be able to answer that.

Try this:
Call a supply company that sells engineered structural steel beams. Give them all the dimensions that they will need (How many floors, home dimensions, joist placement, etc...-they will tell you what they need).

They will then do the structural calculations 'lickity split'....and tell you:

a.) Size of steel beam required for the design and weight load
b.) their cost for the fabrication of such a beam

(FWIW - The steel beams for such an application, that we have dealt with, would be about the same size width or greater...but check into it anyways)
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