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Old 07-24-2012, 02:34 PM   #1
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supporting wooden beam


I have a triple 2x6x20 floor beam and need to know how many supports I should use? In a mich. crawl space
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:42 PM   #2
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supporting wooden beam


Welcome to DIY jmcnally! How old is the home? Is the triple 2x6 beam original? Is the beam under the floor joist or do the joist butt the beam? What size are your floor joist? Is the floor starting to sag and you are just trying to put some post to prevent further sagging? Is this a 2 story home? Is the roof stick framed or trusses ? How much room do you have from the grade to the bottom of the floor joist?
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:50 PM   #3
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supporting wooden beam


it is original , built in the 30's . single story , floor joist are 2x10 just bought home inspector said pour new cement pads , beam is held up with logs as of now
, roof is joist and rafters
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:51 PM   #4
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it is original , built in the 30's . single story , floor joist are 2x10 just bought home inspector said pour new cement pads , beam is held up with logs as of now
, roof is joist and rafters. have bout 1,5 - 2' from grade
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:02 PM   #5
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OK, so you just bought the house, and you noticed that the main beam is held up by "logs". I assume you mean tree trunks with bark or similar.

Generally you are going to want steel posts (often referred to as lally columns) on properly designed and constructed footings. As to the location for the columns, that would depend on the load on the beam, the span, and the end connection details. Best bet would be to either consult a structural engineer, an experienced contractor, or the local building inspector, for design assistance. Getting accurate, appropriate design information for something as critical as the support for the main beam in your home from an internet chat room is not likely to lead to a design you can have confidence in.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:47 PM   #6
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What is the span of the floor joists?
Spacing of floor joists?
Does the beam support any roof load?

Really is best to get someone on site to look at it

Is he saying you need a new beam and more supports or just new supports and footings under them?
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:41 AM   #7
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yes inspector wants the footing and new supports , the logs are not code as we all know . The beam is fine. I dug out for three pads and getting ready to put them in with the supports . I was just wondering if I should put three or will I be able to put two and be ok . Its has been about 12yrs. since I've done anything like this , I cant remember the code or what the spacing should be. I looked for code on it and I'm not able to find it.
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:13 AM   #8
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If the inspector did not say 2 would be Ok then put the three back in.
Make sure your pads are the proper size.
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:38 AM   #9
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Are the ends of the beam supported by logs also? If they are it would be better to have post under each end and then 2 post along your span(aprox 6'6'' from ends). I know a few members have mentioned steel post, however I feel a 6x6PT wood post would be sufficient with your small span and description of the home.
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Old 07-25-2012, 12:07 PM   #10
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The beam is triple 2x6 you said, there are 3 now, put in 3.
Good point Copper. If the ends are not supported on the foundation put posts there also.

Whatever the building inspector says goes. If he has already said what type of posts then use that.
Otherwise ask him.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:10 PM   #11
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the ends are supported by the block foundation . he never said how many to put in . i dug out for three , there was only one in the middle. so i was going to redo the middle and put one on each side of that 6' away. I would rather over build than , not have enough and have to do it over. I know in my city the footing has to be 30x30x12" . I was looking for other opinions . so thank you to all that helped.
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Old 07-25-2012, 05:30 PM   #12
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The reason your inspector did not tell you how many posts to put in is probably because the number of posts is not defined in the typical building code. The code may well define the minimum size of a footing, minimum depth of the footing, minimum strength of concrete in the footing. The code may also define allowable types of posts (typically lally columns are allowed, sometimes PT posts are allowed). The code may also define the allowable strength for given species of lumber.

However, I have not seen a code that defines the required location of posts, that is usually handled by the house designer, or in the case of repairs or improvements either by the architect, engineer, or contractor. Most building inspectors I know are extremely reluctant to offer design recommendations to homeowners out of fear of liability. This is especially true when the design parameters are not explicitly stated in the code, therefore since post spacing is an engineering decision, not a code decision, it would be a rare building inspector who would engineer your supports for you.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:58 PM   #13
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Man just caught this. It is build of multiple 2x6 - I assume they are not 20' and there are joints in it.
Placement of supports does depend where the joints land.
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:25 PM   #14
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Mr. Holzman has given you spot on professional advise. A few bucks spent with a structural engineer is what I call "Sleep well at night insurance."
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"You get what you pay for, and sometimes free costs more!"
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Old 07-27-2012, 03:57 PM   #15
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yes they have seems i have dug for my pads under the seems which is in the middle and 6' on each side , this house was built with different codes than now obviously . I had someone come look at it. How I'm planning to do this is pretty good .thanks for some advice fellas
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