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Old 10-16-2012, 01:26 PM   #1
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Structural Beam Support/Bracing Question


Hi Everyone, first off I absolutely love this site! Wealth of information so that is why I am coming to you again with another question. This one is a bit more involved.

We hired a licensed contractor to create an open concept and raise the beam height. Well, we should have followed our instinct and got a permit but the contractor said, no it's okay, worked with a structural engineer and figured out what size beam was needed, said it would be very expensive, time consuming to get drawings/permits. We said as long as it's to code and if the city walks in we are okay.

We are questioning the bracing of the beam. I have had other contractors in for various bids (lots of work to do) and when they see the bracing and how it was at the bottom of the beam they said it would not pass code.

They tied it in front but nothing in the back. The floor they toe-nailed into the PT wood that had been there from the other support.

Do we need to brace it more, is it okay? One contractor that we had out yesterday said we should drill through the beam and bolt a t-brace to it so the back side is braced too. Also the side supports, do we need to brace that also?

He put in glue lam beams and said it is bigger than needed but at this point I don't believe anything he has said.

He also extended the kitchen and on the floor did not use PT wood as I understand now he should have so I'm not happy with this guy. Asked him about it and said no only on outside walls is PT wood needed when it comes into contact with cement. He added a second floor to my neighbors house so I would think he knew what he was doing...arrrggghhh!

Any input (be gentle) would be wonderful. Thank you,

Tina
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Structural Beam Support/Bracing Question-beam-brace.jpg   Structural Beam Support/Bracing Question-bottom-brace.jpg   Structural Beam Support/Bracing Question-beam-din-corner.jpg  


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Old 10-16-2012, 02:34 PM   #2
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Structural Beam Support/Bracing Question


It is possible that the inspector from the building department will say it is O.K.

All you can do at this point is to call and see and go from there I think.

Andy.

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Old 10-16-2012, 02:45 PM   #3
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Structural Beam Support/Bracing Question


One like this it was suppost to be used.
Where the footing under the post, It's usless without one.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:01 PM   #4
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Structural Beam Support/Bracing Question


Joecaption - One like what?? We thought we were doing it right by going with a licensed contractor... You can bet we are getting permits for anything we hire out for now. If we need to redo it we will.

Andy - do you think the city will shut it down? That is what the guy said yesterday that we would have to stop work and it could take months to get it through the system. Does that mean my windows, roof and stucco on the outside would have to stop too? I know it really depends on the city, we are in south orange county, ca.

Boy what a fine mess we have

Last edited by TinaV; 10-16-2012 at 03:09 PM. Reason: city
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:35 PM   #5
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Structural Beam Support/Bracing Question


I am in Lake Forest,, what city are you in?

Andy.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:41 PM   #6
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Structural Beam Support/Bracing Question


Opps.
http://www.strongtie.com/products/ca...post_caps.html
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:44 PM   #7
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As a general rule if it's electrical, plumbing or structual you need a permit at a minumum.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:46 PM   #8
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Structural Beam Support/Bracing Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by TinaV View Post
Joecaption - One like what?? We thought we were doing it right by going with a licensed contractor... You can bet we are getting permits for anything we hire out for now. If we need to redo it we will.

Andy - do you think the city will shut it down? That is what the guy said yesterday that we would have to stop work and it could take months to get it through the system. Does that mean my windows, roof and stucco on the outside would have to stop too? I know it really depends on the city, we are in south orange county, ca.

Boy what a fine mess we have
HI Tina, whether the city will give stop order or not I can't say.
It would depend on how much work has been completed and what kind of work it is.
From the looks of the framing it would seem to me that what is going on is not prescriptive or conventional light frame construction and requires what is called an engineering solution.

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Old 10-16-2012, 03:47 PM   #9
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Ergo architectural and structural plans.

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Old 10-16-2012, 03:51 PM   #10
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Structural Beam Support/Bracing Question


Depends on the inspector. If I tryed to by pass mine on something like that he would be paying far more attention to everything to see what else I had tryed to slide by him.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:59 PM   #11
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Structural Beam Support/Bracing Question


On taking a closer look I see that in installing the LVL (the new beam) the bottom plates of the upper story had to be cut out. This in and of itself is no cause for alarm but it makes me wonder how they did the calculations for all the load above this.

This will require engineering no doubt. Yu have to get this into the city and let them know.
I have dealt with this kind of thing before and the best thing to do is to inform the Building and Planning Departments as soon as possible.
In fact am dealing with a full addition in Torrance that was not permitted.
Cities are very understanding of this kind of initial failure to obtain permits and are more than willing to work with you.

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Old 10-16-2012, 04:46 PM   #12
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Structural Beam Support/Bracing Question


We are near by you Andy. I'm thinking I'll get my drawings together, do I need an architect and a structural engineer for the scope of this or just a structural engineer report? I'm thinking I'll just go in and throw myself on the mercy of the court so to speak and hopefully they won't throw the book at me

We haven't hid anything as this was our first big thing to do. Though when I called the contractor to discuss this issue that is what he suggested before we move on with the other work.

We have ripped out everything downstairs it seems but haven't put anything back yet. I have signed contracts for the roof and windows and hopefully will be signing on today/tomorrow for stucco. All those will have permits. I will also get permits for the can lights (recessed) that we are putting in. My concern exactly Joe is they will be looking for other things - though like I said not much has been done as we are doing 90% of the remodel ourselves.

Do they do general building permits that cover everything? This house is like the money pit I think - will be awesome when we are done but a little overwhelming at times and thats why when the contractor said it would cost a lot more we backed down. But then what is a lot more? How much do structural engineering reports cost for something like this? Plans? I can give the original size beam (it's in the garage at the house - I can get it tomorrow) and measure the new beams if that would help....

Thank you again for any and all help, thoughts and suggestions with this.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:28 PM   #13
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Hi Tina, click my signature and send me a private message.

I will send my contact info if yu want and we can talk on the phone.

Andy.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:35 PM   #14
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Structural Beam Support/Bracing Question


Note that in the first post the OPS says that the contractor stated that he "worked with a structural engineer". I would afford the contractor the opportunity to give you a copy of the plans and specifications prepared by the structural engineer he worked with. If the engineer was licensed in the state in which you live, and the contractor followed the stamped plans produced by the licensed engineer, you should be able to show the plans to the building inspector and the BI may simply require you to get an after the fact permit.
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:23 AM   #15
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Structural Beam Support/Bracing Question


I have always been required to use post bases and post caps with Parallam PSL's. Page 43, P1, P2 or P3; http://www.matthewsbuildingsupply.com/images/221.pdf

Can you read the ink printing on the bottom of the smaller P-lam? Look for "TOP" somewhere...

Gary

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