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Old 12-27-2018, 12:27 PM   #1
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How to get a 22' LVL into my attic?


I am embarking on a attic master suite conversion (engineering plans approved today!) and need to figure out how to get some LVLs up to 22' long into my attic. I've lost some sleep over this one. For boards up to 18 feet or so I can finagle them through the house and up the attic stairs. For the 22-footers, that won't work.

The only thing I've come up with is to lift them and slide them into a couple existing vents/windows in the attic. I've attached a couple photos of the windows in question (don't know why they're sideways - sorry). The square vent on the side of the house is the bigger of the two and would allow me to slide the LVL in parallel to the long direction of the house (the way the beam will be set permanently). The bottom of the vent window is 13 feet off the ground. Unfortunately, the only access around there is an alley that is too small for a lumber yard boom truck. I could perhaps rig up a hoist to the framing to lift one end to the vent, and then maybe use a tall drywall lift to lift up the middle/other end, then haul it in from inside the attic. The ground is a bit sloped, so the drywall lift seems a little dicey, though I guess I could level it with some boards.

The semi-circular window on the front of the house is a lot smaller (16" high or so). It's about 30 feet laterally from the street curb to that window - I don't know if a lumberyard boom truck can reach that far or not, or if an operator could stick the end of the LVL into that little window. I could possibly set up one drywall lift right in front of the window, another closer to the street, lift it level and then slide the LVL in.

I'm sure someone on here has confronted this type of situation before. Any thoughts would be very helpful. Thanks.
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Last edited by kwikfishron; 12-27-2018 at 01:50 PM. Reason: Rotate Pictures
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Old 12-27-2018, 12:50 PM   #2
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Re: How to get a 22' LVL into my attic?


@eholmes77 what is the size of the beam and why are you not using LVLs?
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Old 12-27-2018, 12:54 PM   #3
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Re: How to get a 22' LVL into my attic?


I am using LVLs. 1 3/4" x 11 7/8" x 22'. Another will be 1 3/4" x 16" x 20'. Two of each for a built up beam.
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Old 12-27-2018, 01:02 PM   #4
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Re: How to get a 22' LVL into my attic?


Can you use scaffold frames say 3 frames long & 2 frames high using 6'4" high frames gets you to 13 feet high & use jackscrews to level the frames.
Use crossing bracing on all frames. Can rent all the above from most any construction rental company also can rent rollers for the top cross bar on the top frame.
Than have the LVL placed on the top frame than slide thru the opening.
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Old 12-27-2018, 01:02 PM   #5
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Re: How to get a 22' LVL into my attic?


Quote:
Originally Posted by eholmes77 View Post
I am using LVLs. 1 3/4" x 11 7/8" x 22'. Another will be 1 3/4" x 16" x 20'. Two of each for a built up beam.
If you have help, two people can handle those.
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Old 12-27-2018, 01:05 PM   #6
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Re: How to get a 22' LVL into my attic?


I thought about scaffolding. That might be the ticket. You think a lumber delivery boom truck could stick them into that little window for me?
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Old 12-27-2018, 01:27 PM   #7
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How about a ladder?
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Old 12-27-2018, 01:35 PM   #8
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Re: How to get a 22' LVL into my attic?


Quote:
Originally Posted by eholmes77 View Post
I thought about scaffolding. That might be the ticket. You think a lumber delivery boom truck could stick them into that little window for me?
That can get dicey with unhooking as he slides it in. We did it all the time but in new construction we were there to fix things that got damaged.
The driver would not be allowed to take responsibility for it.


So this is how it goes.
Lean a 14" 2x10 against the house so it just reaches the opening.
2 nails tack that to the trim under the opening.
Nail a 2x4 on the sill to protect the wood when you drag the beam across there. Drive a stake in the ground about 16 ft from the bottom of the 2x10.
Place the beam so it is against the stake and the other end is part way up on the 2x10.
On the end leaning on the 2x10 nail 2 blocks across it on one side a few inches apart and turn it over, the 2x4 will help it slide.
Man 1. drops a 1/2" rope from above and
man 2 ties it around the beam between the 2x4 blocks
Man 2 wants a 6 ft 2x4 handy
man 1 pulls the rope up
Man 2 lifts it from below as far as he can using the 2x4 to push against the block to help.
Once you have the end up a foot above the bottom of the opening.
Man 2 goes to the other end and helps lift and push it up.
There will be a point where man 1 can hold it while man 2 grabs the 2x4 and pushes it up to level making it easy for man one to pull it in to a balance point.
Man 2 runs upstairs and helps pull it in and set it down.
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Old 12-27-2018, 01:53 PM   #9
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Re: How to get a 22' LVL into my attic?


The 11 7/8 x 22 is going to weigh about 6 lbs per foot. It is manageable, but not something I would try to maneuver off a ladder. I second the scaffold approach.
Or rent a crane service for a hour.
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Old 12-27-2018, 02:12 PM   #10
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Re: How to get a 22' LVL into my attic?


Rent a mini excavator to get it up there and ladders to maneuver it - should be easy
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Old 12-27-2018, 03:21 PM   #11
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Re: How to get a 22' LVL into my attic?


You're overthinking this.
Just remove the gable vent and place one end in the hole and walk them in. 2 guys, 10 minutes.
1 guy on the ground pushing and one in the attic pulling and guiding.

Edit... Build/assemble the beam in the attic.
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Old 12-27-2018, 03:31 PM   #12
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Re: How to get a 22' LVL into my attic?


I may be able to use two ladders - one 8' and the other 10 or 12' - rig some vertical 2x4 pieces to the top to serve as a guide (like a football goal post) so it doesn't fall off, and basically use those ladders as a ramp to push/pull it in the window.

How stiff is an LVL that long? Obviously when it is set up on its 1 3/4 side it is very stiff, but what about when it is laid down on its 11 7/8 or 16" side? I'm sure it will flex, but any fear that it could snap if it is hanging halfway out the window? I can rig some straps to the floor of the attic to keep the weight outside from pulling the inside part up, and then either use a wench or muscle power to pull it in.
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Old 12-27-2018, 03:33 PM   #13
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Re: How to get a 22' LVL into my attic?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Clutchcargo View Post
You're overthinking this.
Just remove the gable vent and place one end in the hole and walk them in. 2 guys, 10 minutes.
1 guy on the ground pushing and one in the attic pulling and guiding.

Edit... Build/assemble the beam in the attic.
I do tend to do that.
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:42 PM   #14
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Re: How to get a 22' LVL into my attic?


On its side that lvl will flex like zero. It is not an i joist. Not that heavy, not that big a deal. Get them both in place and then use the right size truss loks to tie them together ( probably two inches from top and bottom, staggered pattern from one side only, one every 12”, nothing within four inches of the ends. Pattern should be on the box)
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:12 PM   #15
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Re: How to get a 22' LVL into my attic?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ront02769 View Post
On its side that lvl will flex like zero. It is not an i joist. Not that heavy, not that big a deal. Get them both in place and then use the right size truss loks to tie them together ( probably two inches from top and bottom, staggered pattern from one side only, one every 12, nothing within four inches of the ends. Pattern should be on the box)
I think you meant screws, his engineer should be giving him instruction for screws or nails or bolts.
I have worked with 20 or 30 engineers, I have never glued or screwed on, I think I bolted 2 or 3 but they were huge like 4 ply 24"
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