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Old 01-31-2019, 08:43 AM   #1
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Sizing a LVL


I'm opening up the center of our house. Our house is 20 x 40. There is a center wall that is load bearing that goes the whole length. I'm looking to put in a 16 foot beam in the middle to open up the living room. The snow load is 90 here in northern maine. There is no attic, single story, just a small air space and then the roof. The ridge is supported on this wall and there are rafters that sit on this wall. 10 feet on each side. I'm confused on using the beam span calculator. I'd like to go no more that 3 ply if possible and still have enough head room, 4 ply if it means much more head space. I'm looking for help in the calculations of this to get a general idea of the size I'd need, thank you
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Old 01-31-2019, 09:14 AM   #2
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Re: Sizing a LVL


Welcome to the forum.
This isn't something you can guess at. In the event of a failure insurance will ask for design and approval. In addition, you want to do this right.

Check with your local engineering firms I wouldn't expect this to be a major cost, but you will get a good design AND their certification in case anyone asks. That certification can also add to the value when you sell.

You will also need to carry that load all the way to the soil below.

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Old 01-31-2019, 09:25 AM   #3
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Re: Sizing a LVL


I agree with Bud, some lumber yards can do the engineering but if not consult an engineer. I have installed hundreds, I have never looked at a span chart.
But we will help you figure out how to get it in place.
One big problem is moving all that load to 2 spots on the bearing wall.
For loads like that on point loads in new construction we add a big footing some times up to 3 ft square and 10 inches deep and that too is designed by and engineer.
Here, one engineer would figure the beam size , then a geo tech engineer would have us dig down around the footing and then they measure the stability of the soil and decide on footing size.

Last edited by Nealtw; 01-31-2019 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 01-31-2019, 01:46 PM   #4
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Re: Sizing a LVL


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
Welcome to the forum.
This isn't something you can guess at. In the event of a failure insurance will ask for design and approval. In addition, you want to do this right.

Check with your local engineering firms I wouldn't expect this to be a major cost, but you will get a good design AND their certification in case anyone asks. That certification can also add to the value when you sell.

You will also need to carry that load all the way to the soil below.

Bud
Yep - have to have an engineer stamp off on this type of thing - don't try this on the cheap = big mistake
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