LVLs to span 20'


Old 11-26-15, 02:14 AM
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LVLs to span 20'

Hello everyone.

So, I'll get right to it. My wife and I are looking to remove a load-bearing wall in a ranch home, creating roughly a 20' span (probably closer to 21').

A few details on the house:

-1 story ranch house
-has a basement
-the wall we want to remove sits directly above an I-beam that runs the full length of the house, right down the middle
-house is 24' front to back, load-bearing wall sits exactly in the middle
-roof pitch is 6:12

From everything I've gathered from a couple contractors and online research, the rough plan in my head is as follows. Use 3 2"x12"x22' LVLs (see link below), with 6"x6" posts on either end. One contractor suggested cutting holes in the floor to run the posts down to rest directly on the I-beam below.

So my questions are 1) Will three LVLs do the job? If so, could I also get away with just two to save cost? 2) Is it necessary to cut holes in the floor for the posts to rest on the I-beam, or will 2x6s on the floor be sufficient as wall plates? 3) Will a 2x6 king stud and a 6x6 post for the jack stud work, or do I need more?

Here are the LVLs I was planning on using:

I can post photos and sketches if they would help.

Old 11-26-15, 03:17 AM
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You really need someone to draw the correct plans even if you don't intend to file them with the building dept. I worked on a similar job once. I think that 3 LVLs were used but I couldn't swear to it.
Old 11-26-15, 04:15 AM
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Thread moved to Framing forum.

I agree with Pulpo, you are not going to get structural questions answered over the internet. It requires an engineer review and on site inspection. I've seen it done so I'm sure you can get an approved plan. Our friends opened up the first floor of a two story home. And, as a side note, it is always better to overbuild than build to minimum standards. Considering the scope of this project, trying to save $100 by skimping on materials should be the last thing on your mind.

Last edited by czizzi; 11-26-15 at 05:46 AM. Reason: typo
Old 11-26-15, 05:16 AM
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Agreed. An engineer or architect should design the beam and bearing points.

I've done similar projects and the engineering costs were very reasonable. I seem to recall 200 or 300 for the structural calculations. I prepared the plans and the architect calculated and approved the plan.

My last case was removing 21' of exterior wall for an addition. The plan was to have a section of wall at each end, about 5' on one side and 6' at the other. The doorway and pass through opening were spanned with a solid 4 x 8 with one center post. Looks nice.

Point is if the load could possibly be carried with a standard header, the LVL only gets better.

The designer might want you to add short walls at either end, similar to what was required in my case.
Old 11-26-15, 08:48 AM
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You also may not know that LVLs aren't limited to 12" widths. A header made of 16"
LVLs will be much more suitable for a long span.

Completely agree with the others.... although pictures of the attic trusses would help us know what you are dealing with.
Old 11-27-15, 03:29 PM
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It wouldn't hurt to ask your engineer to analyze the steel beam, to make sure the new concentrated column loads won't cause a serious over-stress situation, possibly resulting in failure. Most residential load-bearing steel beams that I've encountered over the years are bare-bones, minimal sections, not intended to carry large, concentrated loads.

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