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Old 11-19-2007, 05:19 PM   #1
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beam trouble...


Hey, first post... I'd be surprised if no-one has asked this, but I can't find my answer w/ the search feature.

I'm looking at a residential 2 story home, a little over 100 years old, in new england, and one of the main support beams in the basement shows evidence of powder post beetles, and both of the mains are supported by a dozen teleposts (I think that's the name, like a jack stand for a house). Plus, as seen in one picture, there's an extra 4x4 with teleposts. I'm 95% sure it will need a new support beam, maybe two... any rough guesses on the magnitude of such a project? I don't expect to do it myself, but will they raise a new beam from the floor and support the house, or will they jack up the whole house and drop it on a new beam? am I looking at 4-5 grand, 14 to 15 grand, or 40-50 grand?? any help would be appreciated....

(oh yeah, minor mold too, assuming mold can be minor?)


thanks in advance!
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Old 11-19-2007, 06:35 PM   #2
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beam trouble...


very hard to tell from photos. How long is the beam? is the only way in the little window? How main beams 2 or 12? Have you drilled into the beam to check, most powder post beetles only eat the sap wood depending on wood type and the beam may only have a minor damage? Do the beams run wall to wall and rest on masonry sills? Are the ends rotten too? Did you get a home inspection? More photos and answer will get you better advice. Repalcing a beam like you show in the picture is easy and straight forward for a pro with access, less than 20' long and little to no red tape. I could replace that in one day with one helper for $1500, $2000 if you help

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Old 11-19-2007, 08:17 PM   #3
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beam trouble...


Hey King, thanks for the reply. To answer each question:

How long is the beam?
The long one that's showing the beetle tracks is about 22 feet long, spanning a 22' x 25' section and the the second one that's in the photo w/ the window is 14 feet long, spanning a 14' x 15' section. (the sections are combined and both original)

is the only way in the little window?
no, there's a bulkhead, in the smaller section, but I would be surprised if someone could thread in a beam 22' long from the bulkhead and run it where the current one is. (possbile to bring in two 11 footers and support them w/ a column at the seam?

How main beams 2 or 12?
Just the 2, one across the 22' section and one across the 14' section.

Have you drilled into the beam to check, most powder post beetles only eat the sap wood depending on wood type and the beam may only have a minor damage? no.... the damage doesn't appear deep (i realize appearances can be deceiving) but the sagging is evident even if there weren't beetles.

Do the beams run wall to wall and rest on masonry sills?
yes

Are the ends rotten too?
no

Did you get a home inspection?
not yet

I realize an educated guess is the best I can get when all I do is show a couple pictures and a vague description, but i do appreciate your best guess at what I might be looking at.

I am hoping to walk through with an inspector and/or a structural engineer in the next 2 or 4 weeks, but this week and in 3 weeks, I'll be gone. Thanks for your feedback!
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:57 PM   #4
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beam trouble...


Beams can be gotten in by knocking/cutting a hole in the top of the basement wall and then patching it.
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