Header (Beam) Question

Old 05-01-04, 06:15 PM
Elk Oil
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Header (Beam) Question

I have a garage that is 12' wide and about 24' long. It supports one floor above. The floor joists above are 2x8s supported in the middle by a 12' wide header (beam) made of two 2x8s. The beam is supported by two 2x4 studs on each end.

My question is this -- how much weight can that beam support? I am trying to figure the best way to suspend a hoist in my garage so that I can lift up to 600 pounds, and want to know if that beam is capable of the task, or if I need to consider alternate methods.

If the beam cannot support that weight, can I bolt additional 2x8s (or larger) to the existing beam to provide more rigidity? If so, what kind of considerations do I need to make for the studs supporting the beam?

Thank you any insights and advice.

Last edited by Elk Oil; 05-01-04 at 09:14 PM.
Old 05-01-04, 08:05 PM
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A lot depends on who you ask. That header is supporting the weight of half the floor, about 144 sq ft. I assume bedrooms, which are usually 30 lbs/ft.

This 4300 pounds would be equally distributed, not a localized load. With this perspective, 600 pounds isn't much for worry, if the above rooms aren't full of er, stuff

You could also set up a taut line adjacent the beam's bottom, and check deflection when under load.

I tend to suspect that the header is undersized as it is, but I don't have references at hand.
Old 05-01-04, 08:22 PM
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I think I'd sister a couple of more 2"x8"s to the beam before I'd put my hoist up there. Additional wall studs would also have to be sistered in to support the additional beams. I'd agree with Steve that should have been at least a sister 2"x10" there to start with, but too late to worry about that now.
Old 05-02-04, 06:40 PM
Elk Oil
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Thanks, guys. I appreciate the help.

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