Maximum span for 10" Steel I-Beam


Old 06-26-05, 06:23 AM
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Maximum span for 10" Steel I-Beam


I have a house that I am remodeling to include a finished basement. The house is two stories tall. In the basement there are two steel I-Beams. They are 10" tall and 5" wide.

Here is my question - can that steel I-Beam span 16 feet without a center support. The house has a center hallway and the two beams sit on either side of the center hall. I am looking to remove the center support on one of the steel I-Beams. The house is over 80 years old and when they built it, they supported the I-Beam with a massive brick column in the center. The column would be right in the center of the room I am tring to refinish.

Now, I am not an engineer, but this beam seems gigantic for the small span of the house. The beam is not rusted or rotted at all. For the heck of it, I was going to re-support the beam where it meets the foundation just in case the lack of column transferred too much additional weight.

So...can I get away with no column? Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-26-05, 02:09 PM
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 3,140

THe steel beam was designed for a certain length and weigth. You should not do anything without checking with a structural engineer or architect. And also, especially your local code people. What you want to do is kind of bad business, so you want to be very sure that it will work before you take out anything. Check First
Old 06-26-05, 02:33 PM
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The township I live in was no help...They told me steel was 'way above the requirement' and they told me to check with an engineer for what I'd need in terms of center support. Hence my post on this site.

If someone can tell me the weight it can support over 16 feet that'd be great! I can estimate the weight of the structure on top of it.
Old 06-26-05, 04:15 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,126
Maximum span for 10" Steel I-Beam

Check with an engineer even though it sounds like you have decided that everyone was wrong for putting in the beam and column.

By the way - the beams and columns are not to just support the weight of the structure (which you can estimate or guess at). You also have to worry about the loads put on by you, your family, furniture and friends. Your code has a number for this.

If you go to sell and the buyer askes about a permit for the changes you will be big trouble if you did not have one with the requirements for the engineering.


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