Frame under the main beam


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Old 01-20-05, 03:17 PM
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Frame under the main beam

All,

I am in the process of finishing my basement and have few questions before I nail some wood. I have a ranch house and the main beam(4x12 laminated wood) runs across the whole length of the house, dividing the house in half. I would like to use the main beam and build a 7feet wall(or partition) under it, nailing it to the bottom of the main beam. The top one foot of the wall will be the main beam. Is this OK? The main beam would be inside the wall when I finish it with drywall.

Ben
 
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Old 01-20-05, 06:25 PM
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Yes, perfectly acceptable.
 
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Old 02-02-05, 03:15 PM
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One thing to consider is that right now the beam is supported on columns with foundations. if you build a stud wall below the beam any loads put on the beam will be transferred to the studs and into the slab. if the beam supports a lot of load, you risk cracking the floor slab.

in commercial buildings this is prevented with a "slip" connection at the top of the studs. for a residence with light loads and short spans, it probably is not a problem.
 
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Old 02-03-05, 04:12 PM
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Greetings, I have done the same as you are asking about with great results. However, my beam has 2 stories of living space above it. When I built my wall, I measured it's height 1/2" shorter than what it would take to come in contact with the beam and then I used shims across the top plate and between the beam. still very stable and I love it. I also boxed in 2 posts that I had across the beam going to the floor. If you have these posts, then try to mitre your boxing in corners and then each will look like one complete wooden post for a nice effect. Go for it...GOOD LUCK.
-Bob
 
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Old 02-03-05, 04:16 PM
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Forgot to mention that often times this beam has electrical or plumbing attached to it. If it does then I would recommend boxing it in before building the wall because it will change the dimensions of your flush finish wall. Just something to take into consideration. If the beam is clean you're golden
-Bob
 
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Old 02-03-05, 04:23 PM
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Bob's comments about building the wall 1/2" shorter is good, but the ships are not. The best way to do this is the way it's done in Log Home Construction.

Expect the 1/2" space to possibly get smaller. In Log homes the space allowed is usually about 2" because the logs will shrink over time and the stud walls would be crushed by weight transfer.

So, simply nail up thru the top plate of your wall up into the beam thru the 1/2" space. This will hold the wall in place until you can install the finish wall material. If you are expecting any real movement then trim the top of the wall with moulding to allow the finish wall to move behind the trim.

In your case, the settlement is probably long since finished and it wont be a problem anyway.
 
 

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