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Old 04-11-08, 08:30 AM
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Support Beam

Does anyone know what size suport beam I would need for a 15 ft span? I am removing part of a bearing wall in my kitchen. I thought I could attach a manufactured beam in the attic and open up the area. I am not sure what size beam to buy. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 04-11-08, 09:06 AM
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theres a bit more information you need to provide to get advice here. if it was that easy the world wouldn't need engineers. whats above the wall in question (2nd floor, trusses)? not an exterior wall is it? how long is span on either side that the bearing wall is supporting? are you sure its load bearing? lol that'll be a start.
 
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Old 04-11-08, 09:20 AM
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The home is a small 50's ranch, only the main floor and a basement. Nothing in the attic. I would like to take wall from the basement steps to a third of the length of the house. The wall runs through the center of the house, one side has the living room and a bedroom the other side has the hallway, kitchen, bedroom and bath. I thought I could attach the beam to the outside wall, it would go over the basement door header and continue.
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Old 04-11-08, 11:17 AM
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im curious, how do you know this is a bearing wall?

If it is, I ran a calc for a 15 ft. beam span, assumed the truss span was 30' (thats perpendicular to beam) could be more or less, u did not specify, and 50 psf roof load (dead+live) pretty typical. Based on that, if it were my house, i'd go with the lowest grade 2ply 1.75x16 LVL or 3ply 1.75x14 LVL (if its a 2x6 wall for some reason). that sounds pretty intense but 15' is quite a ways. If you decide thats a little too liberal for you and you want to go smaller, get an engineer to verify.
 
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Old 04-11-08, 11:53 AM
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better yet.... ASK your Bldg dept.... that definitely requires "Building" permit ... maybe "electrical".... Not sure how your area does it but that is definitely going to draw some attention to neighbors that LOVE to place phone calls....

Anyway, confused with your postings but noted on main level and only Attic trusses/joists above so that reduces the load factor..... just redid a 14' span here WITH a 2nd floor living space above it ... did not have to go fancy with metal beam ..... Bldg dept. allowed me to go with a beam that was Tripled up 2x12's with Bolts every 4'..... heavy lifting and maybe overkill (only 1 family home so nothing major upstairs) bur preferred to never have to worry about this......

Again, approved by my bldg dept. inspector before i took out the wall (mine WAS load bearing) so everyone was happy and no changes needed later!!

good luck
rf
 
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Old 04-11-08, 01:09 PM
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Anyway, confused with your postings but noted on main level and only Attic trusses/joists above so that reduces the load factor
Yea, reduced to 50 psf. A second floor would merit another tributary calc with 30 psf

just redid a 14' span here WITH a 2nd floor living space above it ... did not have to go fancy with metal beam
a 2nd floor load of similar span requires LESS beam than the roof...who said anything about steel?

Bldg dept. allowed me to go with a beam that was Tripled up 2x12's with Bolts every 4'
that won't fit inside of a 2x4 wall, no good in this situation
 
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Old 04-11-08, 01:40 PM
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sorry, just mentioned steel as many people think with this span size that steel is necessary.... definitely not.

not a fan of LVL's for a variety of reasons but totally owners choice..... mentioned this as MY Bldg dept. inspector gave me only 2 options... LVL also was not one he mentioned...

also, regarding 2x4 wall ..... confused as I thought "M" mentioned taking out a wall going from basement span to outside wall ?? maybe i read wrong but you could do this as a "pocket" type install of new header but this would just come down as a slight drop from the ceiling .... are you talking about where it hits the door header (assuming perpindicular to outside wall ) ?? hummm... without sketch or images hard to figure that part out... But good point !!!

rf
 
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Old 04-11-08, 02:53 PM
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Yea LVL's are never my first choice either, assuming a lumber beam can make the span, in this case no size of dimensional lumber can handle it.

in the o.p. he said hes planning on removing a part of the wall which would mean the beam would have to be the same or of lesser thickness than the existing wall so that it fits in there. but you would be correct if he was to remove the entire wall and the beam died into a perpendicular wall on both ends. Then it would just look like a 15' long 5.25" thick header, and that would be fine.
 
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Old 04-12-08, 05:56 AM
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As stated before, do not try this without a permit. It more than likely will be necessary. If you don't, if something goes wrong - you'll probably be fined. Also, your homeowners insurance will most likely not cover major structural reconstruction bloopers without one. Probably wouldn't hurt to get it looked at by a licensed engineer.


I'm also assuming that you considered the fact that the wall may have HVAC, plumbing, and electric utilities running through it. You mentioned that there is a kitchen and bath, so it is probably a "wet" wall.
 
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