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rcahoy 03-14-2013 02:22 PM

Wide Flange Beam in Basement
Hi All,

I am new to this forum, but am looking for a path of guidance...

I am currently finishing my basement and as a part of this renovation I planned to remove a 18' section of load bearing wall to open up the recreation area. I even hired a structural engineer to provide some guidance and wide flange beam sizing and footing requirement so I could appease the city in that, indeed, I knew what I was doing and am going to do it the right way.

However, as I started to move forward with getting the beam purchased, I noticed that the engineer spec'd a beam that was a bit too deep for what I wanted...W12X30. So, I called up the firm and to my dismay, the engineer passed away and it was a one man operation! So, one, I can call up another engineering firm and deposit another 250 bucks or more, or two...I have all the engineering documentation with loads, etc.

What I would like is to get a W10X? beam in there to save a couple inches of space (I know this will be a heavier beam). Does anyone have any ideas other than hiring another firm? Also, there was no nailer plate specified in the design to sit on the top flange of the beam which would be great as that would save another 1.5 of headspace. Is a nailer plate truely required for lateral support (I would have engineered wood joists resting direct on the top flange of the beam)? One side of the beam will be located on the foundation (new beam pocket) and the other I would have a column with footing, spanning the full 18' (17'8" to be exact)

Any guidance is greatly appreciated!

Ryan :help:

nealtw 03-14-2013 03:25 PM

Any changes now, the city will ask for new documents. Your best bet would be to talk to the steel suppiers for their suggestion on a different beam with the same span strength and get something in writing and take that to the city and see if they will accept the change. You could go up and hang the joist off the beem. You would fill the flange area with wood bolted in place and use the correct hangers for that. The city should have no problem with that and may help you figure out what needs to be done.
And welcome to the site.

AndyGump 03-17-2013 12:01 AM

$250.00!? Seriously?

Great price for what an engineer does in my opinion.

Hire another and ask him/her if it would be possible to spec a tube with bolts welded to either side to accept a ledger board that you could then attach joists via joist hangers to.
Or some other possible scenario to help the head height situation.


rcahoy 03-27-2013 06:20 PM

Thanks all for you input. I ended up finding a guy to resize the beam for me that I happened to go to college with! Except now the beam weights about 300 pounds more to gain another 2" of headroom... Thanks again!

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