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Steel I-Beam Filler

8811 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  HotRodx10
I have been instructed by an engineer that I need to reinforce my garage steel i-beam. Apparently after 40+ yrs of standing, it's now under sized for the job. :confused1:
I have the drawings as determined by the engineer and I'm clear on the concept with the exception of one point. How am I going to attach the wood filler on the inside of the i-beam and still have it smooth enough to place a 2 x 10 on either side as the required reinforcement?
Any insight on this would be greatly appreciated.

Niagara Ontario, Canada


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Not sure of the question, Midicat.....or what the "engineer" is trying to accomplish.
Can you share his stamped drawings with us?

Just adding lumber to the inside of the beam will do little to add strength.
Are you trying to eliminate the screw jack posts?
Perhaps you can post the drawings. The description sounds really strange. From the description, you are going to use wooden 2x12's as add ons to a steel I beam, kind of a reverse flitch beam. I have never seen anything like this in 30 years of engineering. Not that I have seen everything, but this one is unique.

Since you have drawings, if they are unclear on exactly how the engineer wants the wooden beams attached, why don't you ask for clarification? And just for kicks, what are the exact dimensions of that I beam, width of flange, thickness of web, thickness of flange, and depth of I beam? And clear span?
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Ok, I can see where this may be vague. I have attached drawing from engineer. Pay close attention to the drawing in the red circle. That is where he wants me to fill the i-beam with 2x6 and then sandwich with 2x10. My question is "how do I fasten the 2x6 blocking onto the steel i-beam?"



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There has to be more to this story than what you posted. If the beam needed to be reinforced after 40 years, why? Are you trying to sell? That jack post in the photo isn't attached to the beam. Was that a recent addition? Were there any support columns along the beam? That S5 looks like it originally spanned a good 20 feet or so, if that jack post is a temporary. Is that somewhat accurate? Assuming there is living space overhead, my gut reaction is yes, it looks under sized if it spans 20 plus feet. An S5 isn't the best choice there. And why reinforce with wood? Did a contractor put you in touch with the engineer, who put together a wood reinforcement plan that the contractor could handle without welding?

But me second guessing another licensed engineer via a web forum isn't something that will get you any closer to a solution. You asked how to make the attachment. The answer should come from the engineer.
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My question is "how do I fasten the 2x6 blocking onto the steel i-beam?"
I don't agree with the plan.
This is only addressing your direct question.
Drill a series of 1/2" holes in the dead center of the "I"
Run 1/2" x 7" Machine bolts, washers and nuts.

Construction adhesive between the wood and the steel and between the wood & the wood.
I would order 22' - 2x stock for no splices.

Option 2 - New steel I beam engineered for the load.
Hi Aggie,
Thanks for responding. The post and beam are original to our purchase 4 yrs ago. There have been no modifications to the "post/beam" configuration as you see it.
The reinforcement requirement came as a result of a master bedroom renovation above the garage where a load bearing wall was removed with the load being transferred down to the garage beam. Hence, the concern for the 20+ ft steel beam. The engineer suggested wood reinforcement, I think, as a solution within the abilities of the contractor at the time. (Contractor fired due to his apparent lack of interest in the job).
Should I take the engineer's advice or pursue other avenues?

Hi tcleve4911,
So you are saying that the plan is flawed? Better to place new steel beam?


I would suggest to you that a welded reinforcement would be quicker and look less like a Frankenbeam than wood reinforcement. We've done a few beam and bar joist reinforcement jobs, and they go pretty quick. If that post is existing and it has a proper footing, and all I had to worry about was the beam, I'd be in and out of your garage in a day (assuming the calcs worked out).

I would suggest that you speak to your engineer and tell him you want to see an alternate scheme in steel. He's already got the beam loading calcs done. It shouldn't take him too long to find something like a WT section that could get stitched along the bottom of the S5. He'd have to give you a detail on some web stiffeners, especially at the column, and possibly something to restrain the beam. But he could check all of that. As for jacking the joists while temporarily removing the post, that would take my guys maybe an hour to do, but we have the equipment to do that. No doubt you could find someone in your area to do that as well.
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Thanks Aggie67,
That seems like pretty sound advice. I will look locally into having that work done.

Thanks to all who chipped in. :thumbsup:

What did you end up doing? I have a simlar IBeam stiffening issue in a basement remodel . . just wondering if you went with the wood, or weld.
What did you end up doing? I have a simlar IBeam stiffening issue in a basement remodel . . just wondering if you went with the wood, or weld.
The OP may not even be around anymore. Probably best to start a new thread and post info regarding your particular situation.
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