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Old 12-11-2006, 10:12 AM  
cibula11
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Any ideas on a ballpark estimate of the cost involved in some of these solutions. I also was given an idea of using some 6x6 timbers that could be exposed. I guess, I am looking for a simpler solution due to having to complete this project in an already finished room. My biggest issue now is deciding the best place for this beam. I have a ceiling fan in the middle of the room, which would be the obvious choice for support. I think I may just go to one side or the other. If I were to do a steel I beam, could I still use 2 or 3 studs together for support, or do I need to use something else?



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Old 12-11-2006, 11:19 AM  
glennjanie
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The 6 X 6 timbers will only give as much support as 3 2 X 6s nailed together; that is not enough support. Moving the support beam in the direction of the 12' span is a good idea. The steel I-beam will be much more expensive than the 3/8" steel plate sandwiched between 2 2 Xs and bolted together which will also give you a place to nail finish materials. Yes, the 3 studs on each end will provide sufficient support; just remember the 2 X 4s need solid support below them also. Just the subfloor is not enough to hold them. Ask the engineer at the steel supplier's how tall the beam should be; its a free service at most suppliers.
Glenn



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Old 12-11-2006, 11:58 AM  
cibula11
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Thanks. The span longest span is 20'. There is a bathroom wall that makes the majority of the span around 15'. One end of the beam would go to the exterior, gable end and the other support would rest on a 2x4 bottom plate that currenly supports a wall in the middle of my house. I think underneath the living room floor is a center beam or cinder block colums that support the span from the basement of the house. (Its kind of a weird house because it was once a school house that was moved to its current location).

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Old 12-11-2006, 12:45 PM  
cibula11
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Or what about lvl? size? I was looking at 1 3/4" by 9 1/4". Would that work? How about I ask this question. If it was your home that had 2x6 floor joist that span 20', What would you do to support this so that you could finish the attic for a nursery or offce?

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Old 12-11-2006, 06:22 PM  
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I would do my best to get a beam in the center of the span; cutting it down to a 10' span on each side, I could live with that. Then, I would also install my side walls in a way that would tie the joists to the rafters which would shorten the span even more and stiffen things up considerably. Then, I would try to use the lightest materials available in the attic. For instance, 3/4" tounge and groove underlayment grade plywood glued with PL 400 and screwed every foot, mimimum (extra layers or the osb type underlayment would be much heavier). I would insulate the roof space and the walls of the new attic and cover both with 1/4" luan paneling, glued and nailed. For a finish on the floor, maybe some laminate flooring.
I would still check with the steel supplier on the beam using the 3/8" steel plate sandwiched between 2 2 Xs with lots of bolts and support it on each end with the 3 2 X 4s which would be bearing on outside walls or piers to support the floor under the end posts. I would make the access to the attic by a spiral staircase, there is a steel one that would add very litttle weight made by The Iron Shop and advertised in The Mother Earth News.
I am still open to questions or other suggestions.
Glenn

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Old 12-12-2006, 08:06 AM  
cibula11
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I looked in my living room and I think there is a way where I can put the beam directly in the middle, which is good. There is already a staircase going upstairs so that's not an issue. Previously I bought sheetrock for this space, with the assumption that it was up to code since it was assessed as having a finished attic. Would putting sheetrock on the walls and ceiling be a problem? My issue is that I have a lot of it and I bought it about 6 mos. ago. I have 5/8" for the ceiling and 1/2" for the knee walls. Since this space was used for a room previously it already has knee walls (some of the studs used are tied to the rafters). I was thinking we would probably carpet the room. There is already a subfloor laid, but I'm not sure of the thickness. I know its not very thick, but it doesn't weigh much either.

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Old 12-12-2006, 11:12 AM  
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In my opinion the sheetrock will be too heavy for this application. I understand your feelings about already owning it though, I like to use what I already own too.
Glenn

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Old 01-03-2007, 06:06 PM  
cibula11
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Default carsiding?

I was thinking of using tongue and groove carsiding for a ceiling. Would this still be too heavy?

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Old 01-04-2007, 01:17 PM  
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The wood siding would be consideably lighter than 5/8" sheet-rock. The knee walls need something that will give lateral stability--something glued and screwed to the studs, thus causing the load to be distributed over more joists. I'm anxious to see pictures of your project.
Glenn

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Old 01-05-2007, 08:29 AM  
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I'm anxious to see it turn out as well . I will try and post some before and after pics. This weekend I am finishing the insulation and hopefully will get started on some other aspects of it. I am waiting for help with installing the beam and trying to find the best price of carsiding. I think my premliminary estimates are upwards of 250 for the entire ceiling.



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