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I am building a house and the drawings called for a steel beam in the second fl ceiling to be installed with two steel columns to support it. I am not talking about the steel beam in the basement that has two lally columns supporting it. This is a second beam that was engineered to support a large span on the first floor which holds up the second floor. Here is the problem he did not follow the drawings and used wood instead of a steel column to support this very large beam. What should I do or what can I do.
 

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Welcome!

Please realize this is very little info for someone unfamilier with the project to comment very specifically. That said, if the support was engineered, designed, and called out on the plan to be steel - it should be steel. Any changes to the design would likely need a engineering evaluation.

Who is 'he'? The builder or GC? And what is the problem with having him correct the mistake (remove wood - install steel)?
 

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I agree 'he' should follow what the engineer has called for. You should have him replace the wood beam with the correct steel beam as this could be a critical to handling the load. Also, I would be weary as to what else 'he' is using in lieu of what is called for in the plan.
 

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Old School
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I agree with both replies. Watch this guy closely.
 

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I am building a house and the drawings called for a steel beam in the second fl ceiling to be installed with two steel columns to support it. I am not talking about the steel beam in the basement that has two lally columns supporting it. This is a second beam that was engineered to support a large span on the first floor which holds up the second floor. Here is the problem he did not follow the drawings and used wood instead of a steel column to support this very large beam. What should I do or what can I do.
Is it in the second floor celling or floor. It makes a big difference. Are you sure the contractor didn't have the roof truss manufacturer run the engineering on the new wood beam?
 

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The building permit would have been issued based on the engineering drawing. The building inspector could/should withhold the final inspection stamp.
If he doesn't, withhold it, liability would move to his 'shoulders'.

Engineers carry liability insurance and if the construction doesn't follow the engineering design, the insurance company wouldn't cover any liabilities. :(
 

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Civil Engineer
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I think there is a misunderstanding about what the OPS stated. Nowhere in his post does he state that the builder substituted a wooden beam for a steel beam. He states that the builder substituted a wooden column for a steel column. He might have changed the steel beam to a wood beam, however this is not stated or implied by the OPS.

The simple solution is to discuss the field revision with the engineer of record. If the engineer agrees that the wooden columns are an acceptable alternate, the engineer of record can issue a drawing modification, and send you the revised, stamped plans. That should satisfy the building inspector. If the engineer of record does not agree that the change is acceptable, the builder needs to either replace the wood columns with the specified steel columns, else get another engineer to develop stamped plans that incorporate the wood columns, thereby relieving the current design engineer of record from responsibility for the change.
 

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I am building a house and the drawings called for a steel beam in the second fl ceiling to be installed with two steel columns to support it. I am not talking about the steel beam in the basement that has two lally columns supporting it. This is a second beam that was engineered to support a large span on the first floor which holds up the second floor. Here is the problem he did not follow the drawings and used wood instead of a steel column to support this very large beam. What should I do or what can I do.
He I assume is the Framer. The framer HAS to follow the engineered drawings, period! The framer cannot change anything structural without a revised drawing from the engineer. The building inspector will NEVER pass the framing if there is no revised drawing from the engineer.

You really have no problem if there is a revised drawing. If there is no revised drawing, YOU have to call the engineer up and tell him exactly what happened and he has to make a decision as to whether or not he accepts the wood columns. If he doesn't accept the wood columns the framer has to rip them out and put in the steel columns that were spec'd.

You obviously have to talk to the framer and ask him why he did this. He has to give you an answer. If he didn't talk to the engineer and get a revised drawing, he's no competent to even frame the house in my opinion and you have a big problem on your hands.
 
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