Replacing support post

Old 09-02-11, 01:25 PM
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Replacing support post

The back storage addition to my new home has a post supporting the central beam that worries me. The 83” tall post is out of alignment, with the bottom of the post about a half inch offset from the top. In addition, the post cap is far too small for the load it's carrying and is causing the wood above it to become noticeably compressed.

The plan is to support the beam (3x 2"x12"s nailed together, supported on both ends by 4 2"x6"s nailed together. Beam is warped slightly in the 13ft section due to the post initially being placed 15 feet from the right wall) with two temporary jack posts while the old post is removed and for the week or two while the new pillar is curing. The new pillar is planned to be a 12"x12" brick pillar filled with cement and a central threaded reinforcing rod that is secured into the slab. I was planning on using concrete brick instead of masonry brick for cost reasons.

Due to the beam being warped, I was planing to reinstall the old post that is removed with a new cap about 5 feet from the right wall to help reduce stress on the beam and eliminate the 13 ft stretch.

Some questions:

What would make good cap material for the brick pillar to distribute the load? I was thinking a single 2x12x12 with the wood grain perpendicular to the beam.

Are there any structural reasons to use wood or metal for support instead of brick? I do not live in an area with earthquakes. Any issues with using concrete bricks instead of masonry in a structural situation like this?

What would be the best way to lift the beam enough to remove the old post? Planning to just keep tightening the jack posts up until it's lifted the 1/4" or so and the post is free.

Thanks in advance for any input!

Old 09-03-11, 05:39 AM
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For proper support, you would need to cut away your slab at both end and midpoint locations and pour at least a 12 x 12 x 8" deep footing to rest your post on (16x16 with block). If you plan on using concrete "block" (never heard of a concrete "brick"), then figure the height from the beam down and have it end with a 4" cap block on top of the last concrete block. No need to install wood or metal. You would, of course, need shims later on as things settled and to get the initial setting proper.
I know you have already invested in the 2x12's, but for a more permanent warp free installation, I would go with LVL beams, laminated to each other. Rock solid.

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