Removing a beam...maybe.

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Old 04-21-16, 12:39 PM
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Removing a beam...maybe.

Hey,
First post... ever, and with my limited knowledge as a home fixer, please be forgiving.
I have always thought that this eyesore beam in my kitchen was load bearing. But after reading up a little on trusses, looking up in the attic, finding the supports for the beam, and whatnot, I'm thinking it isn't doing anything. We are wanting to remove all the walls (and the beam if possible) that separate the kitchen and our living room.


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*refer colors to the attached pics
Going north/south, the beam (white) sits directly under a (red) main bottom chord (3 - 3x10's). This main bottom chord has a (orange) king post (directly above the hallway) and web structure design (all 3 - 3x10's). Down the hallway/bedroom, the roof structure parallel the main truss and beam (also goes north/south), but the living room/dining room/removable walls area roof truss (green) is perpendicular to the main truss (going east/west) - the roof truss (green) attach to the main bottom chord (red)(east) and the outside wall (west). The beam (white) stops at the hallway, but is along the same line as the living room wall (that separates the living room and the stairs for the main house entrance (north)) - all of which are directly under the (red) main bottom chord. The (white) beam sits on a couple (light blue) studs (that separate a closet and our pantry), and ends sitting on 2 - 2x4 (yellow) that act as a corner for the closet and the wall that separate the kitchen and living room. The (white) beam is about 13 feet from hallway to outside wall (south), but it extends through the outside wall about 2 more feet to support the overhang of the roof (not sure if I could remove the outside portion of the beam, or just build another support for that part, but I'm not as worried about that part).

Any thoughts?
Thanks
 
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Old 04-21-16, 02:53 PM
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You need a structural engineer to visit your house in person.
 
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Old 04-21-16, 03:02 PM
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There is no other reason for a 4x18 beam to be there if it weren't load bearing. No one installs a beam that size cause it looks good. To be sure, have an engineer or an architect look at it.
 
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Old 04-21-16, 03:43 PM
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I sent an email like this post to a local structural engineer, he said "The fee for the site visit would be $500.00 and this would include a letter of how to remove the wall and what needs to be done. If it is decided that we will need to relocate loading and add new beams and provide any calculations will be required then we would bill any additional engineering at $135/hour, but that can be discussed once we determine what exactly is on that beam." I understand that this might be the best way to go, but I'm debating if the $500 is even worth it, or just keep the beam where it is and maneuver around it. I try to do everything myself, and the cost seems a little high in my mind, for what all I need done.
I just wouldn't think that the two (light blue) studs and the (yellow) corner "post" would be enough to help hold the weight of the living room side of the roof, let alone the beam as is.
 
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Old 04-21-16, 03:48 PM
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You can do better than $500. An architect should be able to tell you if it's load bearing or not. I forgot to ask, is there a cellar? If so see if there is an I Beam directly below the beam in question.
 
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Old 04-21-16, 04:05 PM
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It's a split level. The downstairs is on ground level. The joists for the living room/dining room floor are north/south, parallel to the (white) beam, and land on a east/west beam in the center of the room (splits the downstairs room into north and south halves that are open to each other). So the (white) beam is essentially perpendicular to the floor beam, and the north edge of the (white) beam would be directly over top the floor beam. There are identical walls downstairs that match the living room wall and (white) beam locations, just downstairs.
 
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Old 04-21-16, 04:13 PM
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wouldn't think that the two (light blue) studs and the (yellow) corner "post" would be enough to help hold the weight of the living room side of the roof, let alone the beam as is
A load bearing beam can carry tremendous weight on only the 2 end bearing surfaces.
The bearing surface could be as little as 3" or so deep x 3.5" wide. So basically the light blue studs do nothing if the beam was designed to span the entire distance. I wouldn't remove the blue studs though without having someone look at it, just an example.

I'm with Pulpo though and say this is probably bearing and isn't going anywhere.
The don't put in huge beams with three 2 x 10's above it just for kicks.
 
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Old 04-21-16, 04:30 PM
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----The don't put in huge beams with three 2 x 10's above it just for kicks.---

ya,,, i don't know, this 1978 beauty is all original, orange and brown carpet in the kitchen, faux leather wet bar downstairs.... random beam in the kitchen wouldn't surprise me.
 
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Old 04-21-16, 04:42 PM
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random beam in the kitchen wouldn't surprise me.
It would certainly surprise me. As I said before, it's not there cause it looks good.
 
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