Load bearing beam sizing


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Old 09-06-15, 06:06 AM
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Load bearing beam sizing

Hello everyone, I was just looking for advice on the size of beam I would need to replace a load bearing wall in my basement. I've found a plethora of information on how to go about doing this renovation but there's no clear cut guidelines for the sizing of the beam as far as I can find so any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

To start the house is 2 story brick house with cinderblock foundation and concrete slab basement floor. The basement is separated by one long 2x4 support wall with a doorway that runs perpendicular to the floor joists. The joists overlap by at least a foot over this wall. The wall is raised on a row of cinderblocks, I'm assuming to help bear the load of the house.

I want to remove a 16 or 18 foot section of this wall to join two rooms together. Directly above this section of the basement is the living room and kitchen which also has another wall in the same location which I assume is also load bearing. Directly above that is attic space.

Would anyone be able to give me a decent idea on what size beam I would need to go with for this project? Also which material would be the best/most cost effective solution, traditional lumber, LVL, or steel beam?

Sorry for the long post.
Thank you in advance for your input.
If there is any more information that you need let me know.
 
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Old 09-06-15, 06:29 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Depending on what you want to use for a material, you could use triple 11 1/2" LVL, or a preferred steel I beam with a narrower profile. However, for us to guess at your situation would be dangerous. I would contact a local structural engineer and have them come out and assess the exact needs and possibilities for this wall removal. It would be a small investment in the peace of mind you would need.
 
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Old 09-06-15, 06:45 AM
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Just a few more points.

First, as Larry pointed out, this definitely needs engineering.

Going from a supporting wall to a beam means the loads are all concentrated at the ends of the beam. This means you might have to provide additional footings under the foundation at the bearing points.

This can be a DIY job, but you must have a set of plans.

The plans will indicate beam size, method of attaching joists and other critical items, one of which is how to get the beam in place. That's a job just in itself.
 
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Old 09-06-15, 07:12 AM
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I will probably contact an engineering firm before I finalize my plans but at this point I would like to get an estimate on what I will need so I can start planning and pricing out materials.

I already have plans for additional supporting footings and I believe I have a pretty good grasp on everything else needed for this project.

Thank you for the input
 
 

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