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Beam question

1195 Views 8 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  mikem201
I was just curious for supporting a beam on the first floor of a 2nd story house, which supports the 2nd story load I know you have trimmers and jack studs on the side but do you need a vertical support in the middle of the beam? Also, these trimmers have to extend all the way down to the foundation, correct? Do you just cut a hole in the floor and make sure your trimmers studs are long enough to extend all the way down to foundation?
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1. For beam support, you need at least two, possibly three, studs to support the beam on either end. Check with your local code enforcement official for specifics in your area. Minimum support area on top of the studs is also a local code issue. Allowable techniques for connecting the beam to the studs is also a local code issue.

2. You do not need a vertical support in the middle of the beam PROVIDED you properly size the beam. Since there are typically no tables or simple formulas for sizing a beam, you may wish to hire an engineer, architect or qualified contractor to size the beam for you. If you purchase a glulam or other engineered lumber beam, the lumberyard that supplies the beam may have a resident engineer available, and they can include the cost of design in the price of the beam.

3. The studs (you refer to them as trimmers) do not need to extend all the way to the basement. They can be extended to a major support beam at the next lower level, HOWEVER it is critical that the strength of the support beam be analyzed by your designer, as it is possible to overload the support beam by adding point loads to it, which could lead to catastrophic failure. The connection detail between the studs and the support beam is typically driven by seismic considerations, so your location is crucial to the required connection technique, your engineer will understand this issue.

4. Should you elect to extend the studs all the way to the basement, you need to check buckling in the studs (your engineer will understand how to do this complex analysis). You also need to construct an adequate foundation for the studs. The design of the foundation is typically driven by the load to be supported, the size of the column, and the bearing capacity of the soil. Your engineer will design the footing for you. Local code is likely to dictate a minimum size for the footing.
when you extend to the floor belows beam what is the proper way of fastening the trimmer supports to the beam?
The proper way to connect the studs to a beam below is often dictated by local code, check with your building official. In seismically active areas, it is generally necessary to achieve a moment carrying connection, which is often done using special brackets. In non-seismic areas, your local building official may allow as little as toenailing, or they may require brackets. I always use brackets even if not required, since it is a bad day if the post comes off the beam during an unplanned shaking event. As I mentioned, if you plan to support the posts on a beam, you MUST CHECK the beam for strength, since you will be adding at least one point load to it.
so, your referring to a post beam bracket? Now with using trimmer studs to bring down to attach to the beam below would a post beam bracket work with regular 2x4s?
There are numerous sizes and styles of post beam brackets available for use with different size posts. See the Simpson manual, available on line, for a full list of their products, their specifications, attachment methods, and load capacity of each bracket. Should you purchase a Simpson bracket, make sure you read and fully understand the required number, size and type of nail or screw required for attachment. There is often fine print in the Simpson manual that is missed by individuals, for example I have seen numerous joist hangers attached incorrectly using 10d short nails because the installer was unaware that 10d standard length nails are required for the diagonal nails on most Simpson hangers (this critical fact is in very small print at the bottom of the page showing the hanger).
When you go to attached the trimmers to the bottom beams do they even have a bracket that will attach end ends of the trimmer studs to the beams? The brackets I see attache from beam and then 2x's sit on top but are connected horizontally not vertically.
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