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Removal of the Load Bearing Wall - Calculating Dead and Live load of the Roof

Removal of the Load Bearing Wall - Calculating Dead and Live load of the Roof


Old 10-03-16, 01:54 PM
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Removal of the Load Bearing Wall - Calculating Dead and Live load of the Roof

Hey guys,

I have a question regarding load calculations for proper beam size in order remove a load bearing wall.

Here is some context: I live in Ottawa, Ontario, my house is a 1960s, single storey bungalow, attic is unused space, and only contains insulation material. Roof is ashphalft shingles with a 5" over 12" slope. The wall that I want to remove separates a kitchen from a living room and is 8 feet long, the total size of the living room with the kitchen is 22 by 24 feet. At this point the ceiling and the roof is supported by a 3-ply 2x8 lumber beam which spans 24feet and sits on 3 support posts (3 ply 2x4s), one of them is inside of this wall. In the attic about 5-6 (4-5 feet in length) trusses sit on the current beam.

What I want to do is to remove this wall completely to make the living space open, this implies having no posts in the middle of the 24' span, I want the new LVL beam to sit on two reinforced posts at each end of the beam, I know that this is possible since my friends did the same project (their house is identical to mine in terms of a model) last year and their plans were approved by the city, so I am pretty much taking the same approach, but I would like to know how to perform live and dead load calculations which I can submit to the city with the proposed drawings. The building official at the city told me that if I can determine how to read and calculate the load under the Ontario Building Code and propose proper drawings, spans, beam sizes and loads, then I donít need an engineering report which costs $1100, based on few quotes that I got.

Could anybody give me an advise as to how to calculate the dead load and the live load in order to properly size the beam. Also, since I live in Ottawa, the snow load needs to be factored into the calculations as well.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 10-03-16, 02:15 PM
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I'm pretty sure the permit office will want to see plans certified by an engineer. This is a little beyond the scope of diy planning.
Old 10-03-16, 05:15 PM
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The Live, Dead and Snow Load requirements should be provided to you by the city, maybe a flyer or info sheet. The city is setting the standard you must meet.
Once you have the requirements, you use those numbers to select a beam based on span tables.

The calculations are not DIY, especially with 2 beams intersecting. However, you can probably come real close to figuring what you need based on span tables.

The structural calculations shouldn't cost too much. I've paid $150 or less.
To save engineering costs, you must prepare all the drawings. Normally that's a floor plan, beam details, and quite a few detail drawings like joist to beam connections.

The engineer can look at your drawings and do the calculations/stamp the drawings without even visiting the house. It takes only about 30 minutes.

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