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I'm doing some renovations in my home, and I recently uncovered an area where a steel i-beam is resting on wood framing.

The kitchen was expanded at one time (I assume not by professionals, for various reasons) an exterior wall was removed, and the steel beam added.

I noticed that the only thing holding the beam in place is gravity, no brackets or attachment to the wood structure of any kind, just scraps of 2x4 ramsetted to the web of the beam to hold drywall. There is only two 2x4s under it, one looks like it was part of an old concrete form.

'm sure this wasn't any type of engineered project, probably just a piece of i-beam someone had laying around - the end looks like it was just cut with a torch.

Should there be some type of bracket or additional framing holding this to the wall? There's no worry of earthquake or tornado here in central PA... but I'm assuming there should be something more for support/attachment here....
Any suggestions or input is greatly appreciated.

The beam is 8"h x 4"w, about 1/4" thick, 12' span
 

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journeyman carpenter
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it should have 1/2" holes drilled in it for lag bolts to pass through to anchor to wood.. if not open up more of the drywall to see what else is going on.. this is a sketchy situation. ramset pins are only good enough for anchoring nailers for drywall and strapping too not for carrying a load
 

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From a purely structural aspect, there is nothing inherently wrong in sitting a steel beam on timber without any connection (assuming, of course, there are no seismic issues).
Presumably there will be a floor, wall or roof supported by the beam, which will give it a degree of restraint.
You need to ensure that the timber supporting the beam is itself capable of
carrying the load (ie hopefully the timber is not acting as a beam itself).
Bear in mind that your local building Code may stipulate a positive fixing in these situations.
 

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journeyman carpenter
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3,480 Posts
From a purely structural aspect, there is nothing inherently wrong in sitting a steel beam on timber without any connection (assuming, of course, there are no seismic issues).
Presumably there will be a floor, wall or roof supported by the beam, which will give it a degree of restraint.
You need to ensure that the timber supporting the beam is itself capable of
carrying the load (ie hopefully the timber is not acting as a beam itself).
Bear in mind that your local building Code may stipulate a positive fixing in these situations.
you cant just set a beam in place without connecting it. a inspector would notice it immediately
 

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you cant just set a beam in place without connecting it. a inspector would notice it immediately
Yes you can. If an inspector wanted it fixing, then that's a different matter, but if it's not fixed, that doesn't of itself make a shoddy job.
We specify steel beams for breakthroughs in masonry construction regularly and never have the beams fixed. What's more important is having a sufficient bearing length so that the supporting structure and material is not overstressed
 
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