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Old 05-09-2013, 01:36 PM  
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Default Beam Support Help

I have an old 1 story motel that I am gutting and turning into a Martial Arts School.

The building is 120' long and 16' deep, and is constructed out of concrete blocks.

I assumed there wouldn't be a beam running down the center since it's only 16' wide - I was wrong. It's not technically a beam-beam, they simply butted four 2x4's together and just followed that all the way down the building.

Right now there are 8 different rooms so there are 7 walls that are helping support this beam. Would it be wise to place a supporter where each wall was, or is that not necessary? I really hate to put up all these supports because it's right in the middle of all my mat space.

Any help would be appreciated, I'm on a super tight budget and can't afford to get someone in to look at it.

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Old 05-09-2013, 02:12 PM  
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I gets even worse as each wall is a bairring wall sitting on a footing. The footing was likely designed to carry the load over the length of the wall. So to remove the wall and place a post on each end will or has a chance to be to much for the footing under it. How high are the ceiling, or the under side of the roof What ever you do, you will need the help of an engineer.
An engineer would look at your walls to make sure they are load bearing and what the load is. Perhaps sistering stronger joist to the old ones and a new wall front and back to support them.
I assumed you have a concrete floor. And welcome to the site.
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:20 PM  
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Not sure how to read your description. At 120'x16', you would have had 8 rooms of equal size with a 16' wall for separation. The "non-beam" (doubled-up 2x4s) you describe must have run across the ceiling at the 8' mark to support the celining joists. The "non-beam" was supported in the wall and the similar "non-beam" butted against it in the wall for the next room.

Without drawing a picture, is that what you meant?

If I heard you properly, removing the interior walls will remove the support for these joist "non-beams" and the roof will collapse. The 120' span requires (1) engineered roof trusses to span the 16' room depth (means removing the entire roof structure and re-building the structure) or (2) posts to hold the proper joist beams (which will have to be bigger than doubled 2x4s due to the 15' span they must support. In essence, you will need posts every 15 feet down the center of the building to carry the roof and celing load.

Can you do #2? Sure. But you better get engineering, drawing and permits. Failing to do so would invalidate your building insurance. Failing to do so might result in a bad rebuild and serious structural issues. You will need to install temporary supports while you replace the doubled 2x4s and anchor the new posts properly. Depending on where you are (California?) you will also have important earthquake protection required or (Midwest, Florida?) possibly tornado or hurricane structure.

Could it be fun? YOU BET! God for it!
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