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Dionysia 02-06-2011 10:27 AM

Central basement support beam
I have an old 2 1/2 story four-square with a full basement. A previous owner thought it was a good idea to remove the beam across the basement to centrally locate the furnace. :( In addition to a lot of other bad remodeling decisions, we are trying to correct this one. I can't find any span tables online for wooden girders on a two story house.

We have built a five ply 2x10 #2 southern pine beam, but are unsure how many support posts we need. I would like to keep the basement as open as possible. Also, we have to jackhammer out the old concrete where the chimney used to be in the middle and would like to know where the posts will go before we get started.

Thanks for any assitance you can provide. Oh-we tried to consult an engineer but can't get anyone to come to our rural location to check it out.

inspectorD 02-06-2011 01:24 PM

Sounds like a project we can help out on, but we will need some pictures.
usually there is a 4" cement filled column (lolly column)every 8 feet.
And those are set upon a 12" deep 2'x2' concrete pad on undisterbed soil.
If you want a larger span between posts, you need to go to steel or laminated lumber. LVL's can be sized by your local lumber yard. Bring them a layout of what you have above, how many stories, what sized joists and how far apart and their lengths.
Also what type of roof you have. Take a picture in the attic.
This is a start,
Anything else guy's?

joecaption 02-06-2011 04:41 PM

Hyspan LVL from Independent Building Supplies 1300 662 554
LVL's, Glum Lams or a combination of a flinch plate sandwitched beteen the two would work. Far stronger and lighter then trying to use 2 X lumber.

Dionysia 02-06-2011 08:07 PM

Thanks for the info
We have 3" (I think) steel posts with 1/4" steel plates for top and bottom. The roof is , well, difficult to describe. It is a strange combination of hip roof with two full lenth gables across the back and one side - kind of a hybrid of a hipped-roof square house with an L-shaped gable-roof. It is a balloon-framed house, if that helps.

The interior of the house is currently gutted (peeling-an-onion syndrome, you know). The attic was unfinished, but we would like to frame supporting members with finishing the space in mind. We have found references for everything else we need, it is just the girder under the first floor that has us stymied. Because there used to be a chimney in the middle, the original girder couldn't have been a single span. Too much has been done to the house to determine more about it.

LVLs were too difficult to get into the space, so had to go with two by's. The girder is up and well-supported on the ends, we just need to make footings and place the support poles so we can take down the jack walls.

Thanks again for your assistance.

Dionysia 02-06-2011 09:00 PM

I will try to find a picture to upload.

nealtw 02-06-2011 09:33 PM

I would take picture of every floor and do a drawing of each floor and roof complete with measurements and find and engineer that will look at it by mail. Getting under the original piont loads is important. They may have been moved upstairs too. You really need to start at the top and locate point loads all the way down.

designer-fixit 02-07-2011 08:10 PM

i wish i had some good advice for you but i have to be honest... i cant give advice in good faith in myself...i dont have enuff knowledge to help... i really was just woundering what kind of other problems you had to deal with fixing when you bought your place and wish you luck in tackling this sucky issue. i run into many homeowners that purchase and dont realize just how many issues their new home have and how much it ends up costing them by the time they are done with all the fix-up.... so again on behalf of GSP we wish you the best of luck.

Dionysia 02-08-2011 06:59 AM

designer-fixit: We knew it had problems. My husband was sure he could fix them. We just didn't realize the structural issues in the basement because it was full of stuff... Basically EVERYTHING is being redone, including wiring and plumbing. We are saving the original woodwork (it's really nice). The original wood floors have no subfloor so probably can't be saved. :(

BrianKiernan 02-09-2011 07:27 PM

If you can get some good pictures up I could most likely help you out.

Dionysia 02-10-2011 04:50 PM

Brian - Thanks for the offer of help. I will try to get some pictures taken and posted when we can make it up the driveway - supposedly we will get above freezing in the next few days. I have an exterior shot uploaded, but can't figure out how to post it here.

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