beam question

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Old 05-26-13, 12:00 PM
Z
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beam question

i am finishing a basement area as an office. the ceilings are low already but i have accepted that. there is an area with a 21' span. joists are 2" X 8" 16" oc span is supported in the center by a 6" X 7-1/4" beam. the beam is split at the edge of the room already and i am considering the following:
i want to remove half of the beam from the post/footing and put it into the ceiling. i would leave the post/footing and fill in the gap with a new 18" wall. at the edge of the foundation i would leave a 24" section and build a new wall under that. then i want to put a new 6" X 7-1/4" beam into the ceiling, cut existing floor joists down and use joist hangers to fasten them to the sides of the beam instead of resting them on top. as it is now i hit my head on the beam when i pass under it.

is this possible?
 
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Old 05-26-13, 12:05 PM
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Possible, maybe, going to need an engineer to design it, permits.

Not a great DIY job.
 
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Old 05-26-13, 01:33 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

A picture of the area would be a help too.
 
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Old 05-26-13, 01:53 PM
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Both ends of the new beam must rest solidly on each end, so make plans for that. I have done the recessed beam and it works, but like the others have warned, it would be a good couple of hundred dollars to get an engineer to bless it, and well worth it. Pix would really be nice.
 
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Old 05-26-13, 03:05 PM
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here are a couple of pics of the beam as it is. i will upload a quick sketch of what i plan on doing. there is nothing above this beam but floor. i know it is important to keep the living room out of the basement but there are no walls or anything above this beam. i will not let the cost of an engineer keep me from getting another 70 square feet out of this little house.
 
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Old 05-26-13, 03:28 PM
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here is a quick sketch... upper is as it currently is, lower is what i was planning on doing. i am pretty sure i have everything worked out as far as execution. i figured 2" X 6" for the framing. left wall is 18" right is 24". any thoughts or tips?
 
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Old 05-26-13, 03:39 PM
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The only thing I question is the construction of that beam. It sure looks like Hardie Plank siding. It could be a decorative covering painted blue. I'd make sure it is the actual beam. Since you are planning on stem walls, if it is Hardie Plank, it won't take vertical pressure. You'll need to be down to the actual beam material.
 
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Old 05-26-13, 03:54 PM
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the place was built in 1905 and that dad is original, or at least the strata of paint looks that way. it is old and it is solid and it is just wood.
 
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Old 05-26-13, 04:04 PM
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Roger that. Probably just old wood. I think it will fly, but spend the money to make sure all the criteria are covered, like joist hangers, nailing sequence, etc. You know you have to build two walls on either side of this to hold it up while you cut things out and put in your beam. Just had to add that.
 
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Old 05-26-13, 04:13 PM
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will do and thank you!

yeah, the temp walls are on stand by. wanted to check into this a bit before i just started bringing the house down.
 
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Old 05-29-13, 08:25 PM
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I think that's just old wood with alligatored paint on it.

Zurnieden, I'm not sure you can frame up a wall out of 2x stock that will carry the load. You might need true poses or masonry piers. The engineer should be able to settle that for you.
 
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Old 05-30-13, 08:32 PM
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What does the existing beam measure? If I understand correctly; add new 6x8 in joist space, same length as existing (span/load remains same). Then any wall you add under it is not taking the load- no thickened footings required.

eg.; 8' span X 11' (span of joists= 1/2 of each side) X 40# (NO roof load= trusses, not purlins/struts/rafters in attic) = 3250# total load.
6x8 solid wood beam, #2, Doug-fir, fb1500# = 6445# total load...

check with local AHJ, steel straps to posts (both sides), old-work shear hangers, diagonal strapping to wall, possible joist/joist strapping, etc. Permits are good when selling and for H.O. Insurance carrier- if ever a claim.

Gary
 
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