Beam for Floor Joists


  #1  
Old 12-19-05, 07:10 AM
Gettinitdone
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Beam for Floor Joists

I just finished the block wall for my addition. My question is what is the best Beam to put in the middle of the floor to attach my floor joists too? I'm going to use 2X10 floor joists and the total span is about 14'. I'd like to lay then on a beam in the middle for a couple of reasons, 1) it is going to be easier for me to work with 8' 2X10s and 2) I seems to be better to support the joists in the middle for a span like this. Can I just construct the beam of 2X6s (3 of them sort of staggered) and then just lay them on concrete footer and block posts shimmed with metal? I'm really interested in hearing your thoughts on this.
 
  #2  
Old 12-19-05, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Gettinitdone
I just finished the block wall for my addition. My question is what is the best Beam to put in the middle of the floor to attach my floor joists too? I'm going to use 2X10 floor joists and the total span is about 14'. I'd like to lay then on a beam in the middle for a couple of reasons, 1) it is going to be easier for me to work with 8' 2X10s and 2) I seems to be better to support the joists in the middle for a span like this. Can I just construct the beam of 2X6s (3 of them sort of staggered) and then just lay them on concrete footer and block posts shimmed with metal? I'm really interested in hearing your thoughts on this.
Why would you put a beam in for a 14' span? There's no reason to do that. The 14' span does not require any beam. It's not a big span. By you breaking your 14' span in the center means that you put the entire load there and would require a lot bigger beam than your thinking and you would need footings and a lally column

Your first reason is wrong because it will take you 10 times longer to do it that way and it won't be easier to work with because now you would have to walk down the center of the beam to nail both sides of your joists on the beam and then nail them into each other. When you can have 14' beams and nail each end and youíre done in one shot.

Your second reason is also wrong because there's no reason to do it for 14'. It's just overkill for nothing. If that was the case and you wanted a beam then you can use 2x8's for a 7' span.

Iím just trying to help you out here because Iím a framer and I never once seen a beam at mid span on a 14í wide room. Your making way to much work for yourself for nothing and besides, donít you have a set of plans from an Architect or you donít need a set from where your from?
 
  #3  
Old 12-20-05, 05:51 AM
Gettinitdone
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Wrong

Who are you to tell me that I'm wrong in assessing that it is easier for me to work with 8' 2X10s? It is much easier for me to work with 8 footers than it is to work with 14 footers or 16 footers. Easier to transport the material, easier to handle the material in my tarped off work area, etc.

Overkill is ok. I'm not interested in doing the bare minimum. If anything I want to overbuild. Putting in a beam built up of 2X6s and creating 2 7' spans instead of one 14' foot span is not wrong - it only increases the strength of the floor. I'm not worried about having to nail each set of floor joist together over the beam and I'm not worried about extra work to create the footers and the block piers.

I was interested in hearing suggestions from professionals, *******. I don't just want to get by with this work - I want something that will last. I am sure that 14' span would last without a beam, but so will two 7' spans with a beam and piers. The only difference is that the 2 7' spans will be more work, and I am ok with that. It will be a good experience and it will create a good floor.
 

Last edited by mattison; 12-22-05 at 06:36 AM.
  #4  
Old 12-20-05, 06:36 AM
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Beam for Floor Joists

There is nothing wrong asking for advice and getting their thoughts since you know your scope is limited and others have a different perspective.

It was obvious your overkill solution was adequate and something you thought out well. It will probably last longer than the rest of your home and make the other floors feel inadequate to people not knowing what you did.

Most professionals are interseted in normal construction procedures and general public acceptance. Framers are intersted in getting it done the best and fastest way.

Nothing is wrong doing it your way. When you go to sell, just explain to the buyer that the joists were easier to handle and he will have to accept the cut up room with a low beam and a block post(?) in it. He may not care about the extra work to finish it off since he is looking at the value of the home and space.

Dick
 
  #5  
Old 12-20-05, 07:07 AM
Gettinitdone
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Cut up room

Since the room is an addition on the rear of the house, when we sell the home it is likely that the buyer will not even know except when they get the package of drawings with the building permit that is issued for the addition. The span of the floor joists will still be 14', but I am going to make that span into two 7' floor joists that rest on a beam built of 3 staggered 2X6s in the middle for support. This framing for the floor will not cut up the room at all, it is simply a way to built the floor. The room will still be 16'long by 14' wide. It is done to code plus. I was simply looking for ideas about the support beam - should I use steel, built one up from 2X lumber, etc. The joists could actually be 2X8 and would be able to span approximately 18 feet, but I'm going to use 2X10 and span them 7 feet each supported in the middle by a beam built of staggered 2x6 lumber that will sit in a notch in my foundation wall and be protected by a metal shim at all places where it will touch the block (both on the wall and on the piers). Plans are drawn and approved. It is the home owners decision to build it the way they want as long as it meets code. Better to build to code plus in my opinion.
 
  #6  
Old 12-21-05, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Concretemasonry
Most professionals are interseted in normal construction procedures and general public acceptance. Framers are intersted in getting it done the best and fastest way.


Dick
Your attitude towards Framers is WRONG. Iíve been a Framing Contractor for 22 years and built many houses and additions with Quality, Pride and Integrity. This is what I do for a living and what I do best. I build according to Architectural and Engineered plans. I don't look for the FASTEST way to frame. My only interest is doing whatís on the plans and building the SAFEST way RIGHT way.

All I was doing was trying to tell him that putting a center beam made up of 2x6's would not be strong enough no matter what way he looks at it because I've never seen it and it wouldn't be safe for him and his family because it didn't sound like he was working from a set of plans. To me what he was doing would FAIL and possibly hurt him and his family. So if I can help someone not do the wrong thing I will tell them that.

He doesn't need a beam at mid-span for 14'. I don't care what he says. If he wants do that's fine. He is now breaking his span in half and creating a load bearing point right at the 7' mark and his beam has to be properly sized to do so from an Architect or Engineer.

If he's only doing because it's easier to carry 8' beams, thatís fine also. But he is making 10 times more work for himself and spending way extra in materials. Cost of materials must not be a factor for him. I just think in my eyes which means nothing, he's spending all this extra time which he clearly said means nothing to him and he spending all this extra money for a beam and/or footings for no reason. I just hope he puts the right size beam in there, thatís all.
 
  #7  
Old 12-21-05, 11:20 AM
walton
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Uncalled for !!

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Last edited by mattison; 12-22-05 at 06:20 AM.
  #8  
Old 12-21-05, 11:39 AM
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what are you doing for the roof, or have you not gotten that far yet?

In my opinion (by no means am i an engineer) your floor would have more deflection going with the 2x6 built-up beam that just doing a clear span. Usually a beam is the same size or larger than the floor it's supporting.

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Last edited by mattison; 12-22-05 at 06:23 AM. Reason: Uncalled for comments.
  #9  
Old 12-21-05, 08:06 PM
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Thumbs down I want a beam, just like the beam, that ........

Gettinitdone - I'm with Joe on this. First off - a framer is a professional in that he does this for a living. If you want to do it your way fine, but your way isn't only more expensive, it is less efficient and probably less sound. If you can't handle a 14' 2X10 by yourself, maybe you can get the **someone** to help.

Hint - You get the joists delivered or stick em in the back of a pick-up and build some temp support to help get them in place. .

If you just gotta have a beam, go with something like a Versilam. Staggered 2X's are passe.
 

Last edited by mattison; 12-22-05 at 06:24 AM.
  #10  
Old 12-22-05, 05:44 AM
Gettinitdone
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Passe?

Why would 14' 2x lumber be more sound than 7' 2x lumber lapped or butted over a beam?

As far as extra cost. Let me see: 10 bags of quickcrete for the footers for the posts about $25. 3 15' sticks of 2x lumber for the beam - call it $60. Say I put 30 16d nails to build up the beam - say $5. 12" block for the piers - they are already in my garage but call it 20 blocks @ $2 per = $40. Ok now the $1000 estimate looks a little ridiculous.

It is overkill yes, but why would it be less sound?

As far as listening to the posts, of course I do. Try a little skill when giving advice though. There are plenty of professional people (framers included) with 22 years plus of experience doing things wrong.

Explains yourselves clearly, give concrete reasons why a particular framing technique is "less sound" than another. You can't expect people to just take what you say as gospel because you work in a particular profession. You may be right, but you are right for particular reasons not because someone else is just wrong.

I've made no final decisions on the framing method and you know that the plans are only plans - approved by the way. Realize that anyone worth their salt is not going to just believe you just because you are you and you say so. This is my general problem with the trades in general - most tradesmen don't have a clue how to work with people, they think there is only one way - their way. You do, however, find some people who are more advanced in terms of interacting with people.
 
  #11  
Old 12-22-05, 06:26 AM
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GID _ D'ya think that maybe your attitude may have something to do with how people respond? You come on this board asking for advice and when you don't hear what you have already decided to do, you get all snotty.
My best advice - do it your way and don't waste time asking for advice.
BTW - Check with an engineer about just how sound your 14' 2X10 span will be supported with a built up 2X6 beam and how many support posts you'll need.
 
  #12  
Old 12-22-05, 06:38 AM
Gettinitdone
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Try concrete reasons

I didn't mind the idea that the way I was thinking may have been wrong. I was just an idea. It's the approach. I realize I am doing this myself without the benefit of years of "framing" experience, but advice that provides concrete reasons why an approach is wrong gives some credibility to the advice.

If you don't have some credible advice then keep it to yourself. Tradesmen seem to have a great deal of difficulty when laymen like myself question their ideas. When working with people, you don't simply tell them they are "wrong" without providing some concrete reasons why they may be wrong. The simple statement of "is not sound" doesn't provide any information.
 
  #13  
Old 12-22-05, 06:39 AM
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Calm it down !!

One more off topic post or negative comment and this thread will be shut down and deleted There are other ways of giving an opinion besides belittling and name calling.


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Old 12-22-05, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Gettinitdone
I didn't mind the idea that the way I was thinking may have been wrong. I was just an idea. It's the approach. I realize I am doing this myself without the benefit of years of "framing" experience, but advice that provides concrete reasons why an approach is wrong gives some credibility to the advice.

If you don't have some credible advice then keep it to yourself. Tradesmen seem to have a great deal of difficulty when laymen like myself question their ideas. When working with people, you don't simply tell them they are "wrong" without providing some concrete reasons why they may be wrong. The simple statement of "is not sound" doesn't provide any information.
I will admit that starting out saying that you were wrong shouldn't have been said. Since you don't do this for a living and it didn't sound like you were working from a set of plans I didn't want to see you put 2x6's for a center beam. Iíve seen plenty of homeowners taking out lally columns in their basements because there in the way and then wonder why the whole first floor starts sagging 2". So for me to here stuff like this and I respond to this it's not my ego it's just that is extremely dangerous to do things like that without seeking professional help because you can seriously hurt someone.

Sure a 7' span is better than a 14' span. But now since you broke the 14' clear span that center beam will have to hold up your whole addition and it has to be properly sized.

For a 16' beam there are several ways you can do it. You can have a 16' clear span beam using microlams properly sized without a center column or if headroom is a problem you can use a smaller beam that will have to have a center column.

You can also use a piece of steel I-beam to clear span 16' maybe 8" high like I have put in over the years. I framed an addition 2 years ago where the existing second floor joists were 2x6's and I had to remove the outside wall that they sat on because it was a continuous ceiling. The Architect came in and designed a 5-1/2" I-beam that we had to pack out and install it flush so the ceiling from the new addition continued through to the existing house. That was only about an 11' span though.

You have a lot of options if you want the center beam. Just do yourself a favor and get that center beam properly sized please. My apologies for anything I said to you in my first post. I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas.

Joe Carola
 
  #15  
Old 12-22-05, 07:50 AM
Gettinitdone
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Great

Thanks Joe. I appreciate your comments and your experience.

The addition will be over a crawl space with no real headroom requirements. Is there a way for a doityourselfer to size a beam accordingly or does it have to be done by an engineer?

I just want to floor to be strong, built right and last for a long time for me or whoever might own this home in the future. This addition is replacing a framed in porch that was just sitting on piers that went into the ground about 12". My footer is down to 42" (code) and is concrete sized 10" deep by 22" wide. I've got 3 courses of 12x8x16 cement blocks with a final course of 8x6x16 block to frame on (1/2"x8" j bolts at approximately 18" or every 3 cores or something like that - I had this done by a mason).

If I use 2x10s for the floor joists and it doesn't require a beam and piers to support then maybe I should do that. If I do put piers and a beam in then I want to size it appropriately. I'd like to be able to do that myself.

You and your family have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thanks.
 
  #16  
Old 12-22-05, 09:51 AM
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Bottom Line....

If the whole reason you want to split your span in half is that you can't handle the 14' joists then take the money you would be spending on the extra work with the beam, columns and piers and put that towards a delivery!--heck, you probably will have money leftover!

If all you want is a super strong floor then your best bet would be to use 2X10 @ 16" o.c. spanning the 14' and put that beam in under it, but it's not necessary. I believe building code (of New York State)allows 2x10 joists @ 16" o.c. to span 15'-4" with a live load of 40 psf and dead load of 10psf and deflection of L/360 (which is good enough for ceramic tile).
 
  #17  
Old 12-22-05, 10:08 AM
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Just checked the NYS residential code (may vary where your from but can be used as a guideline)

Using SPF #1 you can span 15'-5" with the same design criteria as stated above in my 2nd post.
 
  #18  
Old 12-23-05, 06:36 PM
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http://www.mcvicker.com/resguide/page013.htm

Here's a link to on-line span tables, this should answer any other questions you have. All this bickering back & forth and name calling is totally unprofessional and uncalled for. And seems like this has been beaten to death, so I'm putting it to bed.

Good luck with the project.
 
 

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