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Old 05-27-2009, 10:24 AM   #1
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Support I beam needed


I have a house that the previous owner installed two 4"X6" posts under the second story sub floor that hold the main support beam for the second floor of my two story house. These two posts are in the middle of my garage supporting the beam that runs from the back of my house to the front of my house between both garage doors.
The beam will be 19'8" from wall to wall.

As you can see from the pictures I did make a home made beam thinking it would be strong enough. This beam is still in place but it still flex's to much and I ended up leaving one of the 4"X6" posts under it to help hold the second floor (which is my living room)

My question is.. I want to remove the existing home made beam and buy a 14"X22lbpf I beam and install that bad boy. How do I beef the 14" beam up so it is stronger? I need a diagram.
My engineer here at work said to Zig Zaz some 1/4" plate thats the same width of one side of the flanges in an up and down pattern about 4 feet long along the beam both sides with gussets in between.
Like this: |/|\|/|\|/| ok I know thats a cheap example but will this work?
I was thinking of welding in some 2" pipe in a X pattern about every 3 feet along both sides of the flanges.
Is the 14" overkill? its only 200 bucks from my metal supply company.

Thanks
Mick
Galveston/Houston Tx
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Support I beam needed-hurricane-house-beam-pics-045.jpg   Support I beam needed-hurricane-house-beam-pics-047.jpg  

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Old 05-27-2009, 10:58 AM   #2
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Support I beam needed


Mick, hard to say what your beam needs given the information. There is a lot that goes in to properly sizing a beam...A lot of engineering. Most on this site are not qualified to give that information even with the right information. Its like asking "how long is a rope"...

What made you decide on a W14x22 beam and how do you know it will need to be strengthened? Why not go with a deeper or heavier beam shape instead of fiddling with welding additional metal to the W14x22?

I can say that the truss-like fix that your engineer friend came up with is unconventional at best, and in all my years of inspecting beams I've never seen that done. Not to mention the impracticality of it. The normal way that beams in span are strengthened is by adding thickness to the underside of the bottom flange, like 1/2x6" steel the full length of the beam. Correct welding and good penetration are of course critical.

I'd abandon the idea of welding steel tube to it in the suggested fashion, and I'd get a qualified engineer to design you a real-world fix. For less than $300 you can get an engineer to come over and design the fix. That would be required for the inspector anyway, and it'll help you out if and when you sell the place.

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Old 05-27-2009, 11:27 AM   #3
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Support I beam needed


yep I do want to do it correctly so if I do ever sell it wont be cause a problem with the sale.
I chose the w14X22 because its big, and only weighs in at 430 lbs.
thanks for your help, I guess I will keep digging for more information.
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:06 PM   #4
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Support I beam needed


I totally agree with Kc. And want to add, the engineer may have your get bigger hangers after you thicken the beam to carry the joist from it's bottom. Here is the problem you have with splitting, rating your joists to one size smaller:

http://books.google.com/books?id=DWs...um=4#PPA750,M1

Be safe, G
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by GBAR in WA View Post
I totally agree with Kc. And want to add, the engineer may have your get bigger hangers after you thicken the beam to carry the joist from it's bottom. Here is the problem you have with splitting, rating your joists to one size smaller:


Be safe, G
Yes I was wondering about that. The house use to not have hangers. I removed the 2x2 and installed them. The joist were only toenailed in. House built in 80 buy a german husband and wife. I have redone alot but want to install this new beam.
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:20 PM   #6
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Support I beam needed


Another consideration is whether or not the structure is able to support the beam. The plate/bolts configuration you've got in the picture is not good, and certainly wouldn't properly transfer the loads from the beam to the wall. There should be several studs ganged together in the wall under the beam (or a pipe column), and 4x thickness solid blocking (one 2x rim and 2x vertical blocking) from the bottom plate down to the foundation. If not, plan on doing some framing.

On a side note, you should realize that the garage ceiling is required to be rocked with 5/8" rock, and that includes wrapping the beam so it isn't exposed to fire.
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ThisOldH0use View Post
I chose the w14X22 because its big, and only weighs in at 430 lbs.
As you've probably realized from my posts, that tactic isn't going to be an effective way to choose a beam. It needs to be professionally sized. Everything from the floor's tributary load to the roof loads to even the wind loads on the structure will be taken into account. It isn't something you can go to a chart and look up unfortunately...Although there are charts out there that will give you a false sense of security.

I've found that there's often a lot of misunderstanding about structural steel out there, especially with DIYers. People look up and see a steel beam and assume it is really strong. People often don't like the steel posts in their basement and they look up and see that there's a steel beam up there and put their faith in the notion that it is steel so it is really strong....Next thing you know the posts are "no longer needed" and are removed. Not the case. Steel is soft and malleable, and weak as hell in the event of a fire. It bends under loads as you've found out. Can't tell you how many times I've seen people use 6" and 8" beams instead of the 12" or 14" beams they needed just because they figured that a little steel has to be stronger than a lot of wood!
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:15 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Another consideration is whether or not the structure is able to support the beam. The plate/bolts configuration you've got in the picture is not good, and certainly wouldn't properly transfer the loads from the beam to the wall. There should be several studs ganged together in the wall under the beam (or a pipe column), and 4x thickness solid blocking (one 2x rim and 2x vertical blocking) from the bottom plate down to the foundation. If not, plan on doing some framing.

On a side note, you should realize that the garage ceiling is required to be rocked with 5/8" rock, and that includes wrapping the beam so it isn't exposed to fire.
Yes I did plan on running the new beam into that wall and supporting it from the bottom. I did load that wall with about 8 2X4's but I realized the support needs to be under the ends of the beam which is what I will do on both ends.
As far as sheetrocking it, Thats not a problem im not against it.
Believe me im not going to install another I beam untill I get proof what im installing is going to work.
Thanks for your help.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:19 AM   #9
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Support I beam needed


You should consult with a structural engineer in your area.
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:18 AM   #10
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You should consult with a structural engineer in your area.

Yea im in contact with one now.
Thanks

Last edited by Termite; 05-28-2009 at 03:53 PM. Reason: inflammatory statement removed
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:30 AM   #11
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Support I beam needed


The metal fabricator that I bought my beam from had an engineer on staff that sized it for me for free since I was buying the beam from them. I just brought in my plans, he did his calcs and spec'd the beam. Mine was a 22 ft span with no posts and one level above. It was a very heavy beam (over 800 lbs). You'll probably need a couple genie lifts to put it in position. Be very careful, one slip could actually kill someone.

And as others have said, getting the right beam is only part of it. You need to make sure you have the right end bearing, end posts and that the footing below the end posts is adequate for the large point loads.
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:57 AM   #12
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Support I beam needed


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Originally Posted by ThisOldH0use View Post
Yea im in contact with one now.
Thanks

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Old 05-31-2009, 06:23 PM   #13
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Support I beam needed


I do structural I beams construction and here is the steps you need to follow to get a proper beam.

1:Determine load in easy words how much weight does the beam need to hold.
2:Convert that weight to fkips and find a fkips chart they can be found online
and determine height and weight per foot of beam needed to hold the weight
over distance you want to run beam.(example on 18 foot opening needing to hold 20,000 pounds I would use a 8x 28 I beam(this is just a example )and then add weight of beam to that figure.
3: Find support columns that can hold weight plus beam weight and then you have a good safe support.
4:To find the weight of the beam (example 14 x 24 beam 20 feet long is 14 is height of beam 24 is pounds it weighs per foot times length.
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Old 05-31-2009, 06:33 PM   #14
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Support I beam needed


Additional note based on your photos above the header looks like tube and is plated into wall and post on other end. If my observations are right you need bigger tube with thicker wall for less flex and hopefully
the wood post end is sitting on top of the post making use of compressive load versus bolted to side and relying on shear the concrete end looks ok as long as you used proper length adhesive anchors into block.However tube is designed to flex and while it may be strong enough for the load it will not be rigid as a I beam which is cambered and designed to flatten out with increased load.

Last edited by DigitalDreams; 05-31-2009 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:22 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by DigitalDreams View Post
I do structural I beams construction and here is the steps you need to follow to get a proper beam.

1:Determine load in easy words how much weight does the beam need to hold.
2:Convert that weight to fkips and find a fkips chart they can be found online
and determine height and weight per foot of beam needed to hold the weight
over distance you want to run beam.(example on 18 foot opening needing to hold 20,000 pounds I would use a 8x 28 I beam(this is just a example )and then add weight of beam to that figure.
3: Find support columns that can hold weight plus beam weight and then you have a good safe support.
4:To find the weight of the beam (example 14 x 24 beam 20 feet long is 14 is height of beam 24 is pounds it weighs per foot times length.
DD, hmm I have no way of knowing what that part of my house weighs.
I know that # needs to be factored into the equasion, but I just dont know how I can come up with that number.

The beam needs to be approx. 20 feet long. the width of my garage is about 22 feet wide.

Thank you very much for your help too. I appreciate it.
I can post more detailed pics if needed.

I was getting tired of the "You should consult with a structural engineer in your area" captain ovbious statements.

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