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Old 10-28-2012, 08:31 AM   #31
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Structural Beam Support/Bracing Question


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Originally Posted by AndyGump View Post
The only engineer on this that matters is the one that will be willing to submit his design with his stamp and his backing for the permits.

What the contractor's "engineer" thinks is irrelevant, unless he wants to submit his design and stamp them
And the same could be said for Tina's engineer, since he apparently did not give them stamp drawings and calcs.

My advice is:
For gawds sake, just chose a engineer and go forward. You've "spoken to" twenty contractors and seven engineers, and have had most of then "look at" your project. This additional engineer is completely redundant. Get someone to put pen to paper and get going. Five hundred opinions won't help anything.

The way to manage a project is to find one individual who's opinion you value, and to follow their opinion. There are thousands of ways to do things correctly, and the more outside opinions you get, the more the water is muddied with viable alternatives. But viable alternatives won't build anything. We don't even know if the original contractors work is materially deficient, all we know is that some of his connections appear a little marginal, and he won't return your calls. Maybe you drove him crazy, and he is now at a mental institution.

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Old 10-28-2012, 09:02 AM   #32
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Structural Beam Support/Bracing Question


I appreciate that you are tired of this project, and you would like the problem to go away. And since you have observed that the new beam is the same size as the old beam, you naturally want to believe that the beam must be adequate. Unfortunately, your situation is not as simple as you would like.

As Andy has pointed out, you lack a set of stamped plans, so you are not in a position to get a permit in most jurisdictions. From your description, it is unlikely the original contractor paid for an engineer to design the project, at best he "talked to" an engineer. And since your original contractor apparently understood that no permit was going to get pulled, he probably assumed that he would not need to pay for an engineer to design his project. You believe that your (apparently verbal) instructions to perform the work to code, combined with your contractor's "guarantee", should compel the contractor to actually design and construct the project to code specs, even though no permit is obtained.

These sound like legal issues, not really engineering issues or building permit issues. I don't pretend to know what standard the contractor is to be held to, and I have no idea what the local building codes are in your area. I do agree with Wingnut that you are making a difficult problem far worse by soliciting a wide range of opinions from different engineers and contractors. I am not clear which, if any, of your contacts you are paying, and which ones are submitting written documentation for your use.

I would start by having a heart to heart with the building inspector. Discuss the project, and find out EXACTLY what they need from you to issue a permit. Do they need stamped plans and specifications? In my jurisdiction, a written design report signed by a professional engineer is sufficient for beam design, drawings are not necessary. But your jurisdiction may be different. Once you know exactly what is needed, then you can formulate a plan. You may need to beef up the beam, or even replace it. You may need additional supports. Your building inspector can tell you how to proceed.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:17 AM   #33
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Structural Beam Support/Bracing Question


My opinion

1) If existing beam is sufficient, 4 man hours to add additional Simpson metal and generally "pretty up" beam, post and connections

2) If existing PSL is undersized, between 3 and 12 man-hours for repair.



Either one really isn't a huge undertaking
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:20 AM   #34
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Structural Beam Support/Bracing Question


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First off thank you all so much for your input on this issue. I'll tell you this I am so tired of this beam! I measured it and it is the same size that was in there originally but a glulam. Both beams are the same size as the original ones. My question would be this, if the glulam is so super strong wouldn't it be the right one? The only other difference is we took out two 2x4's in the middle but it is being supported on either side. It is 13' long by 11 7/8" high and 3 1/2" wide. Sits on one 4X4 and 2 2x4's (in the wall).

My husband and I were talking about the structural engineer's email that said both beams needed to be 5 1/4 not 3 1/2. How is that? The smaller one is exactly the same size that was there and no support columns were taken out from that one.

I'm trying to get another SE out because at this point the contractor's guy he "spoke" to (no report) said it would be okay and then this other one says it isn't strong enough. I guess I am truly hoping the contractor did it right as it will be a pain to add on the other beam. We'll do it if necessary but I'd rather not but then again we have to secure the supports too. ARRGGHHH!!!!

I've learned my lesson from not getting quotes or talking to more than one contractor... They don't have to tell me exactly how to fix it (if needed) just if it's right or wrong.

I'm going to the city Monday to get all my permits.

Any thoughts? Please still be nice, I'm way more tired of this issue than you are reading it! :-)

Please and thank you!
the original beam was probably not up to specifications so the new beam in comparison is not either. there needs to be a new "up to code" beam which the architect specified for you. with proper supports it is easy to cut in an extra lvl to the side of an existing beam, I've done it many,many times. It does seem though that just 2 2x4s under the beam on the one side is inadequate for beam support, I would think it needs two studs more for how it sits now and 3 or 4 more when including the newly notched in lvl. All of those 2xs need to be nailed together (stick it) really good too forming a stuck column. And you will need to add a few more 2xs to the 4x that's under the beam now.

Your City's building department will need the stamp of approval from the engineer you consulted for them to be able to pass the structure. Have the engineer on the phone and ready if needed to get your structure fixed, passed, and complete.

Last edited by hand drive; 10-28-2012 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:41 PM   #35
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Structural Beam Support/Bracing Question


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the original beam was probably not up to specifications so the new beam in comparison is not either. there needs to be a new "up to code" beam which the architect specified for you. with proper supports it is easy to cut in an extra lvl to the side of an existing beam, I've done it many,many times. It does seem though that just 2 2x4s under the beam on the one side is inadequate for beam support, I would think it needs two studs more for how it sits now and 3 or 4 more when including the newly notched in lvl. All of those 2xs need to be nailed together (stick it) really good too forming a stuck column. And you will need to add a few more 2xs to the 4x that's under the beam now.

Your City's building department will need the stamp of approval from the engineer you consulted for them to be able to pass the structure. Have the engineer on the phone and ready if needed to get your structure fixed, passed, and complete.
Thank you all for your reassuring words that it really isn't as big of deal as I feel it is. I did go to the city today and had a conversation with a very understanding gentleman that introduced me to a designer that happened to be there. He is not going to fine us, we are going to get everything drawn up and engineered stamped and go from there. Like I haven't started anything at all. I'm glad I went in before anyone called on us. The designer is going to draw up plans for everything that we need (kitchen/electrical/windows/all kinds of fun things) and have the engineer do the calcs on the beam, a new window we are expanding and a deck we will be putting up outside the master.

So I'm feeling a lot better about all this now. It's all good.

And yes anti-wingnut I do get about 47 quotes for everything but that is one of the reasons we were able to buy the house and I get to stay home with the kids. I make sure I get value for our money and no the first contractor did not go running, screaming into the night from me :-). He might if we need things corrected though...

Thanks again everyone for all your help in this and patience - even though is was hard sometimes. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions about our projects as we go on. Have a great day!
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:45 PM   #36
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Structural Beam Support/Bracing Question


Good luck.

Andy.

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