Using LVL's or Rim Boards instead of 2x for ledger
I am adding an addition to the side of my house, all DIY. I designed it myself (using Google Sketchup) and then had an architect go over my plans and give me correct sizing of lumber and other necessary info.
The architect spec'd out a double 2x10 "band beam" that would be thru-bolted to the existing house rim joist along it's length. (Existing house has 2x10 joists). We are using 9-1/2" I-joists for the new floor. Attached is a partial image of the plan.
My question is, does it make sense to use 9-1/2" LVL's (3" in thickness) or rim boards (each 1-1/8" thickness) instead? Or does it really not matter? I figure since I am using engineered I-joists, maybe I should also use engineered lumber for this too, to prevent any expansion/contraction issues later.
I have a retaining wall in front of my house that I'm redoing with the blocks I have. The problem I'm having is I need to transition from a larger block that is 1in taller than the smaller block. Can...