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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am removing a load bearing wall and need to install a w5x16 steel beam. I am responsible for the permit but I got an engineer to tell me what beam to use. The permit office tells me I need to show, on my drawing how the beam will attach to the column, at the top of the columns ( I can use 3 (2x4s) on each side) and at the bottom where the 2x4s meet the floor and beam below it.
I need to get the permit and then get the guys doing the installation to follow the connection methods - it's pretty simple I though .........


I was told that we can toe-nail the columns at the bottom to subfloor / squash block that sits on a steel beam user the wall but what can we do at the top, my engineer mentioned a sampson strap on either side?? Can someone point me to a diagram or strap type?

Secondly do each of the overlapping joists need to be attached to the steel beam, if so how. Right now there is a double header and the joists have squash blocks between them and are toe nailed to the double header.

:wall bash: Funny, no one can give me a straight answer on this, perhaps I am talking to the wrong people and perhaps no one here in my town gets permits ……. !!!!?? :furious::laughing::eek:

I even download the 2012 IRC, all 1000s pages and could not for the life of me fine that part that show ways to attache a steel beam to a wooden post ……… even the guy at the permit office didn’t really have any concrete suggestion.
 

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Welcome to the Forum!

I'd highly recommend asking the professional engineer how they want the connections made, after all it is their design.

you will not find in the IRC on how to connect a steel beam to wood framing, and it is not the building official's place to perform structural design.

hopefully if you are posting the end of the steel beam down to an existing wooden beam the engineer accounted for this point load and determined if the existing beam could support the additional load, or whether a column (& footing) under the point load would be required.

good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So what book can show me the various methods on how to connect a steel beam to wood framing?

Also no one has yet to tell me if each of the joists needs to be connected to the steel beam. Obviously the joists now sit on the double top plate and this will be removed and replaced by the beam.

I know most people just get a contractor to do the job but my budget is $1k not $5k as I was told the project would cost by the engineer. I can even do the beam install myself but of course I need some help lifting the bugger and I don't want the house to fall down so that's why I am willing to pay for this part of the job.
 

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I am guessing that you did not hire the engineer to produce a design, else you would have had calculations and a drawing clearly showing the connection details for the beam to the posts, and for the posts to the beam below. As Mr. Brackins has nicely stated, it is not the job of the building inspector to instruct you on how to make the connections, and the IRC does not have instructions for steel to wood connections.

The strap your engineer referred to is probably a Simpson strap, not a Sampson strap, but since Simpson makes hundreds of different connectors, you really need to ask your engineer which one he recommends, and how he thinks you should attach the strap to the steel. Most Simpson connectors are designed for connecting wood to wood, hence use nails or special screws as the fasteners, which will not work with steel. Simpson has recently begun making special connectors for steel to wood, so perhaps your engineer will help you out by selecting the appropriate connector, and giving you a drawing showing how to make the connections.

As to the joists, usually the joists are supported directly on the steel beam, but if it is not at the right level, then you need shims or blocking. The joists generally overlap several feet, in my house they overlap about two feet, and I nailed them together where they overlap the steel beam I put in between my kitchen and dining room. I used shims to level the joists above the beam.

And as Mr. Brackins pointed out, it is essential that someone perform the calculations to verify that adding point loads to the beam below will not overstress the beam. It's a really bad day when you remove the temporary supports that hold up the ceiling and the basement beam collapses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for the feedback.

I did hire an engineer to take a look at the wall - it was opened up, drywall removed, and she then "calculated" the size of beam I needed and said she will put her official stamp on a drawing.

She went down into the basement to see the steel beams below the wall too. Should I be asking to see her calculations? I am about to pay her $180. The wall in question is on the 1st / ground floor and another wall sits directly on top of it above and this wall then connects to the roof. She said the W5X16 beam will work. It was understood I was going to do the drawing hence the low price but I was under the impression she'd at least tell me what I need to have on the drawing. She said she'd write a letter for $150, but I need a drawing.

As far as I can see, the joists are sitting flush on the double top header, see photo , so we won't have to shim and yes they are overlapping. So each overlapping joist can just sit onto of the beam directly and will not be needed to attach to it in any way?

Sorry for all the questions, I just got into this engineering stuff 2 weeks ago so yes I don't mind being called an idiot when it comes to this stuff. I'm a video production guy by trade and when someone comes to me with a problem I lay it all out nicely in a PDF, exactly what they need, do they really need 4k, what codec is best, Youtube or Vimeo for delivery etc. I'm looking for the same in the engineering world but so far I observed what seems like a bunch of cowboys who don't have a clue. Perhaps I'm being too hard on them, perhaps I'm too much of a micro manager, perhaps I should just get someone to do the job from start to finish and forget about actually learning something :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok just heard back from my engineer and she has drawn something up for me with 2x4 supports and straps.

She also suggested that I could probably use a Tapco or the like l Steel Adjustable Building Column - seems easier in my opinion.

I just need to know how does one attach it to the beam at the top and to the bottom plate. I assume you can just screw it to the bottom plate but what about the steel beam. In my basement we have a column and they use a metal like spring clip.
 

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I just need to know how does one attach it to the beam at the top and to the bottom plate. I assume you can just screw it to the bottom plate but what about the steel beam. In my basement we have a column and they use a metal like spring clip.
Again, that's what your engineer is suppose to specify.
 

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Usually the top or bottom flange can be drilled to allow you to attach a wood plate with bolts or lag screws. If you use a steel post to support the beam, it usually comes with a welded top plate that has holes predrilled. You will then need to also drill through the steel beam after the post is inserted to allow bolts to go through the top plate of the bost, and the bottom plate of the beam. It can also be a welded connection, but most homeowners do not have a welder handy.
 

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The price your engineer is charging you seems very low, professional engineers I know won't even make a site visit for $150. But maybe in your area rates are low. Just for some perspective, I almost never do private residential work, no offense but most homeowners think that $300 is a small fortune for an engineer to make a site visit, calculate the required beam size, detail the connections, verify the load path to ground, file for the permit, and review the plan with the selected contractor. Rather than argue, I elect to do other types of work. If you hire a contractor to design and build the project, they will pay their engineer around $1000 for similar services, but they roll the cost into the project, so the homeowner never sees a specific bill from an engineer.

You seem to be getting partial information from your engineer, maybe because they are doing this as a side project, and the rate is low. So you are coming on an internet chat forum looking to fill in the details on how to do the project, like how are you going to attach a steel beam to a steel column, do you need to attach the joists to the beam, that sort of thing. These are issues the engineer should work out, and normally would show on the drawings, which at least in my town you need to show to the building inspector to pull a permit. Maybe you don't need a permit where you are.

As to the actual construction, make sure that your contractor is experienced doing this sort of work, and fully understands the proper methods of temporary support of the joists. Every year there are a few cases where someone gets this wrong, with very unfortunate results. If you are doing this project yourself, do yourself a favor and get at least one helper who has done this before, improper temporary support can kill you. Best of luck.
 

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This is not a steel building where structure comes from how the parts are fastened. Otherwise you must have rivets or welds.

I-beam in a house is mostly for loads straight down. It doesn't rack because all the joists are also holding on to it.

A post for this beam is generally a built up studs between bottom and top plates and beam sits on the top plate. A metal beam may require a metal post that can take more load. Your foundation may not be adequate. If your design is different, (and somebody may have mentioned this already), you may have to use a metal post or metal connector that bridges the wood post and the beam. Such metal connector may have to be custom made to the beam and holes drilled on site. Metal beam can sit on posts, with some water proof barrier, and pocketed by extra studs on sides. There is no "special" fastener, in this case, that ties the metal beam to the wood post and makes it structural.

Your engineer does not owe you anything more. She did her job based on what you agreed to pay. She could have explained better what you are getting, but you got what you paid for.
 

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This is not a steel building where structure comes from how the parts are fastened. Otherwise you must have rivets or welds.
Your impeaching your own knowledge.

Most engineered drawings contain all connection details, including wood to wood, wood to steel, steel to concrete and every perambulation in between
 

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I respectfully resign from the thread.

OP: How you secure the ends of the I beam to the wood posts will not make it structural. The beam will not move around by itself, and it is not going to resist racking. I would just pocket the beam, and secure it with bent nails. This is example of simple solution for simple situation in a basic family house. It is not intuitive, if you think big things need big solution. However you install the joists, make sure you don't move the beam.
All the flanges and all the bolts just hold the beam in place until the rough framing locks the house.
 

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I respectfully resign from the thread.

OP: How you secure the ends of the I beam to the wood posts will not make it structural. The beam will not move around by itself, and it is not going to resist racking. I would just pocket the beam, and secure it with bent nails. This is example of simple solution for simple situation in a basic family house. It is not intuitive, if you think big things need big solution. However you install the joists, make sure you don't move the beam.
All the flanges and all the bolts just hold the beam in place until the rough framing locks the house.
Thats foolish and ignorant advice, and this thread will somehow survive with out your unsafe claptrap
 
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