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Old 03-23-2015, 10:45 PM   #1
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Ridge Beam Sizeing Estimates and/or Alternatives


Guys...

In short:

My son (with my assistance) has added on a two story 1600 foot finished/2000 total addition to his SoCal "beach shack". It was fully permitted and is CO'd with out any issues.

Now we have to begin design ideas/feasable-possibilities
on his existing "shack"... we are just at a discussion phase.

I'm currently traveling out there in two days (I will soon be a first time grandfather) and we want to take the opportunity to preliminarily discuss possibilities... and I am seeking some structural ideas/estimates/advice in regard to one of those possibilities.

Neither my son nor I are knowledgeable as to structural eng/design. We obviously will be getting full engeering, but Mike's engineer is not available for almost the next month.

The issue: Possible spans/options for a clear span ridge beam, with as little height to that beam as possible.

The home is basically a 24' X 24' gable roofed with a cathedral ceiling (if you can call a 1:12 pitch a cathedral). It is basically conventially frammed with 2x8 rafters riding a 4x6 ridge beam which is principally supported by some posting and a load bearing wall underneath it.

He is considering/would-like to completely open up that supporting wall and clear span the entire 24'.... but height clearances in doing so will be very important/critical... and we just want to assess whether it is a direction he can go....but we don't have his eng available for a month.

We are looking for options for that beam that would allow the greatest clearance (less beam height) so we can assess and mock up ideas for him and his wife.

The loads we are estimating as non-engeers.... are we in the correct ballpark.??

It is a 3 ply hot/mop tar/gravel roofing... 3/4 roof sheathing... with 5/8 drywall ceiling... we think that is an 18 PSF dead load.

We believe/think prescriptive live load is 20 PSF.

From charts, we are getting in a glue lam sizing in the range of a 5x 15" height glue lam... which we sure would like less height.

In steel, we are not sure of our options.... not are we aware of any other possible options.... How small of height to that beam could we obtain....(lets pretend cost is not an issue)

Does anyone have any ideas/options advice that we can tentatively consider/discuss/research.

Some associated eng questions/discussion:

Rather then have the rafter ride the beam, is there significant issues of sizing if we were to hang the rafters off the beam.?

This is earthquake country, and would we expect sismic/earthquake loading to effect final eng as to beam sizing.... or would that just be an eng issue dealing with lateral/or shear issues.?

We are not presently concerned with foundatiion issues or end posting the beam, as we think that can be delt with/handled if we pursue the clear span ridge beam idea... but any thoughts are welcome.

Are we in the general feasable area with the clear span idea, or should we scrap it and start thinking about other approaches.

Thanks for any discussion in this regard...

I can certainly add additional info when I get out there and we open some wall.

Best

Peter

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Old 03-24-2015, 12:09 AM   #2
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Ridge Beam Sizeing Estimates and/or Alternatives


I would say that you are in the ballpark on your estimates of sizing and such.

You could have the engineer look into a flitch beam. I have used those to great effect. I have also seen tube steel used for ridge beams, that worked out very well.

What part of California is this for? I know a good number of engineers here.

Andy.

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Old 03-24-2015, 12:17 AM   #3
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Ridge Beam Sizeing Estimates and/or Alternatives


Never mind about the flitch plate idea, an LVL of nearly equal size would be just as good, less expensive and easier to work with.

Andy.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:51 PM   #4
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Ridge Beam Sizeing Estimates and/or Alternatives


Andy... Thank you for the comments.....

Quesrion.... Could I not get less beam height with a flitch beam rather than an lvl...????? (I actually have never used a flitch beam...I've only seen them and don't have working knowledge of them.) BUT THANKS FOR THE IDEA...I'm researching now.)

(My son is Orange Co also... Dana Point. He has a good working relationship with a local eng... but part of his problem is my son's scheduleing as (believe it or not) he works in NYC (Hudson Yard Project).

Best
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Old 03-24-2015, 10:01 PM   #5
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Ridge Beam Sizeing Estimates and/or Alternatives


Here is the website with premade flitch beams. They have a lot of span tables etc. which may give you a good idea what they can do for you. http://www.betterheader.com/
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:37 AM   #6
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I can't say about the kind and size the beam you need, but how about a beam on top of the ridge? New beam will sit outside and will change the roof line.
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Old 03-26-2015, 03:18 PM   #7
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Ridge Beam Sizeing Estimates and/or Alternatives


Quote:
Originally Posted by carpdad View Post
I can't say about the kind and size the beam you need, but how about a beam on top of the ridge? New beam will sit outside and will change the roof line.
Carp.... Thanks.... but you lost me on that....

Best

Peter
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Old 03-28-2015, 10:28 PM   #8
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Sorry for the late reply. It looks like it's 8' ceiling and you don't want the beam to hang below the 8' line. I thought you can crane the ridge beam over the roof and set it on the ridge line. Tie the rafters with custom made hangers.
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Old 03-29-2015, 01:31 PM   #9
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Ridge Beam Sizeing Estimates and/or Alternatives


Carp.... Interesting/CREATIVE thought... (Probably not applicable for my son's.... but there are sure alot of ways to build a box.....

Thank you

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