Central basement support beam

Discussion in 'Framing and Foundation' started by Dionysia, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. Feb 6, 2011 #1

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    1
    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.
     
  2. Feb 6, 2011 #2

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    Housebroken Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,502
    Likes Received:
    267
    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?
     
  3. Feb 6, 2011 #3

    joecaption

    joecaption

    joecaption

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,046
    Likes Received:
    295
  4. Feb 7, 2011 #4

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    1
    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.
     
  5. Feb 7, 2011 #5

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    1
    I will try to find a picture to upload.
     
  6. Feb 7, 2011 #6

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,892
    Likes Received:
    3,117
    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.
     
  7. Feb 8, 2011 #7

    designer-fixit

    designer-fixit

    designer-fixit

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
  8. Feb 8, 2011 #8

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    1
    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. :(
     
  9. Feb 10, 2011 #9

    BrianKiernan

    BrianKiernan

    BrianKiernan

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you can get some good pictures up I could most likely help you out.
     
  10. Feb 10, 2011 #10

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    1
    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.
     
  11. Feb 11, 2011 #11

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    1
    Just checking to see if my profile picture shows up. Its a shot of the money pit we are working on.
     
  12. Feb 11, 2011 #12

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    1
    Olddog was kind enough to tell me how to post a picture. (Kudos to olddog :beer: ) Here is an exterior shot of my house. I will try to follow up with more useful pictures when we can get up the driveway.

    exterior pic.jpg
     
  13. Jan 15, 2012 #13

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    1
    OK, it has been almost a year, so I decided I should finally upload some "after" pics that I happened to download off the camera yesterday. This shows the beam the Mr. ended up installing in the basement. It is 6 2-bys, with the joists cut back to allow the beam to go in between. The original construction was to have the joists rest on top of the beam, leaving very little headroom down the middle of the basement. Now grownups can walk across the room without ducking!

    01132012vupoint 004.jpg

    01132012vupoint 005.jpg

    01132012vupoint 006.jpg
     
  14. Jan 15, 2012 #14

    BridgeMan

    BridgeMan

    BridgeMan

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    744
    Likes Received:
    80
    The hubby deserves an "A" for ambition. The beam he built looks strong enough to keep things standing a while. But a few comments:

    The nearest and 5th joist in the last picture are missing their hangers, at the beam. What's connecting them to the beam? And your red steel pipe jack posts (and the entire beam, for that matter) would perform somewhat better if there were (full-width) distribution plates on top of each post covering the entire width of the beam, instead of just the flimsy thin steel 4 x 4 plates the posts come with, making contact with just the middle three (and a fraction) 2 x 10s. The small top plates increase the loading applied through the interior 2x members of the beam, while the exterior 2x beam members won't carry what they're capable of. Or will possibly subject the connectors between 2xs more than they can comfortably carry, over time. I'd suggest 1/2" thick steel top plates at each post, 9" long (spanning all of the 2 x 10s) and 5" or 6" wide. Also, the spacing of the jack posts looks like it could be increased, possibly eliminating a few of them. Have you ever been able to get an engineer out to look things over (you mentioned in an earlier comment that Kansas engineers don't like to drive out into the country). Maybe you could lure one of them out with the promise of some home-made apple pie!
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
  15. Jan 16, 2012 #15

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks BridgeMan. I forgot to say that these pictures aren't the final job. The red posts are gone, replaced with two 4" steel pipes with full-width welded plates holding up the beam. There is a pipe foundry about 4 miles from us where we obtained some reasonably priced pipe for the project. they are pretty thick, just don't remember how big. The Mr. is usually too busy to snap photos, but if I get a better pic I'll post it.
     
  16. Jan 16, 2012 #16

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    1
    This is "the Mr." here...
    There was only a open 2x wall holding up that floor and the second floor also 2x wall above it. My engineering is generally 'Anything is better than that was". Some was still incomplete at those pics as it was freezing down there and I was untwisting floor joist and mounting them by myself...argh!
    Anyways, if you have seen the beam for the second floor it is huge beam with a big span, 17 feet if I recall. It is a point load on it down to the steel post under it into the basement floor. I did no concrete work for the base. It's been my experience that a point load maxing my 20K jacks will crack 3" concrete but haven't broken 4" yet. So, there is slight concern there but nothing I can't fix if I 'have to'.
    Thanks for your support and insight. D says see 'second story support' for other beam. It is fully supporting the second floor with 2 2x4's on edge! D says that they don't show alll the joists hangers in yet either but they are now. I do intend to use 2x6's beam to beam on (1 1/2") edge or doubled to support the upstairs beam but that really about it. The wall edge is supported by a 12 inch concrete wall in the basement with the 2x going directly to the beam in the basement.
     
  17. Jan 16, 2012 #17

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Dionysia

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    1
    Is anybody wondering how he got that beam up there by himself?
     
  18. Jan 16, 2012 #18

    DIYGuide

    DIYGuide

    DIYGuide

    DIY Guide

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would suggest 8ft between posts . If you had used a Lamnated Beam or a steal beam you could have a greater span.
     
  19. Jan 16, 2012 #19

    Jdmrenovations

    Jdmrenovations

    Jdmrenovations

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm guessing they went up one stick at a time...thinking about doing it solo makes my back hurt, so I'm not gonna :D
     
  20. Jan 16, 2012 #20

    BridgeMan

    BridgeMan

    BridgeMan

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    744
    Likes Received:
    80
    Not really. Just a matter of using one's head, and thinking like Archimedes when he said--"Give me a place to stand on, and I can move the Earth." Just about anything within reason can be done by leverage and mechanical advantage (and the electric winch shown in the picture probably didn't hurt, either).

    Back when I wasn't so old and feeble, I did quite a bit of solo lifting of stout (heavy) members. Heaviest I can clearly recall was a 600-lb., built-up timber/steel monster that I used to replace a load-bearing wall. Swung it into place using two straining step ladders, some blocks and a farmer's jack. The wife couldn't believe that it had migrated from the floor up into the attic, while she was sleeping in an adjacent room a few feet away. She insisted it must weigh a half-ton (hence my computing its weight, just to prove her wrong), and asked why would I subject myself to such punishment.

    Told her "because it was in the way, and I didn't want to trip over it."
     

Share This Page