Replacing load-bearing wall

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  #1  
Old 06-25-02, 04:20 AM
TMJR
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Replacing load-bearing wall

I am replacing a load-bearing wall between my kitchen and living room with (2) 1-1/2x11-7/8x16 engineered lumber. I called an engineered lumber fabricater to find out the size I needed for the load I'm carrying. I want to put this beam in my attic and hang the joists from it. Can someone tell me the correct way to secure the beam and all of the joists to it, so that it is to code? I called an engineer but he wants $1,000 between telling me how to do it and doing the paper work for the inspector.
 
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  #2  
Old 06-25-02, 05:04 AM
bungalow jeff
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The span is a bit much for the typical jack and king post configuration. Contact your beam supplier. If they are willing to supply design for the size, they should have "suggested" or standard details for the end supports. They should also have a good detail for connecting the joists, whether flush, or top framed.
Good luck.
 
  #3  
Old 06-25-02, 10:53 AM
dickh
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i did exactly the same thing last year. in my case the city inspector insisted on an engineer. his requirements were 4 ganglams exactly the same size supported by five 2x4's in the end wall and a column of 4 2x8's in the room. the weight on that column had to transfer all the way down to the foundation floor in the basement which the building inspector determined was thick enough to carry the load. if it hadn't been we would had to break it up and add a big enough footing to satisfy him. all 2x4's, 2x8's, and the ganglams had to nailed with 16 penny nails. (because of the sheer strength of nails i found out. screws would have been much easier) the engineer even told us where and how many nails he wanted. so check with your building inspector. you may have to get an engineer and even if you don't you may want to. this isn't something you want to do wrong. $1,000 will sound real cheap if this isn't done right the 1st time.

good luck!
 
  #4  
Old 06-26-02, 03:34 AM
TMJR
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Thanks for the replys. I talked to a couple of contractors who had done exactly what i'm doing . They told me to make sure my jack studs are on my load carrying beam in the basement.Build some support walls to temporarily hold the ceiling, cut the wall down and cut the ceiling joists so the engeneered beams will fit flush in the middle of the joists, that way i can hang all of the joists with joist hangers attached to the beam. They also said to use 16 penny nails, two every 16 inches. Let me know if anyone disagrees with this.
Thanks.
 
  #5  
Old 06-28-02, 04:32 AM
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what price safety?

Just a couple of thoughts here.

1. If the inspector insists on an engineer, get one. It won't be approved without the engineers plans. Proceeding with out a permit will probably invalidate your h/o insurance. It will also make it near impossible to sell the house later.

2. Each house is different. While your house may be similar to waht the contractors have done in the past, I wouldn't bet my life on it.

3. When the roof collapses, that $1000 you saved will look real cheap!! Especially since the insurance company will (legally and correctly) deny the claim because you didn't get the proper permits.
 
  #6  
Old 06-28-02, 09:12 PM
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I'm planning a similar project in the house I've just bought. Originally, I had planned to just position the beam under the joists, but the wife doesn't want "that thing hanging down in her den". Soooo she wants it hidden in the ceiling.


I understand that I'll need someone to recommend the properly engineered stock, but my questions are....

Does the fact that my house is on a full slab with no basement make a difference in this case?

How in the world do I get the big ole honkin' beam in the attic? My guess is that I'll wind up tearing out a good portion of the ceiling.

thanks,
bluethumb
 
  #7  
Old 06-29-02, 03:47 AM
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bluethumb:

It may help you having a slab on grade with no basement. If you are replacing a bearing wall with a beam and columns, then there should be a footing where the wall was and there is a good chance this will be adequate to handle the column loads at the ends of the beam; an engineer will be able to tell you.

Tearing up the ceiling may be the easiest way. Then the ceiling joists are cut off so the beam can be slid in place and the ceiling joists set in hangers. The only other possibility that I can think of is to cut a hole in the end of the house and slide it in that way. Then the ceiling joists hang below the beam on straps from the beam. You will definately want the engineer to look at this also. Hope this was of some help.

Bruce
 
  #8  
Old 06-29-02, 10:23 AM
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Bruce,

I figured the most practical way for me to do this would be to get the beam in the attic and use straps to hang the joists. I don't think I have the skills to cut and fit the joists. But, thanks, you answered my questions.

And.... these straps that I'll need? Are they a stock item at the lumber yard or is it something I have to make from an all-purpose type strapping?

thanks,
bt
 
  #9  
Old 06-30-02, 03:21 AM
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The configuration that the hangers take is going to depend upon the design of the beam, the load on each ceiling joist, etc., so I don't know if there is something available off the shelf. You really need to buy an hour or two of an engineers time to design this; this certainly is not a normal application. You may be able to save the engineer some time (money) by carefully measuring the entire area of the attic where you want to add the beam: rafter & joist sizes, spacing, dimensions to bearing points, any additional framing like collar ties, etc.

I wish I could give you a better answer, but this is just too non-typical.

Bruce
 
  #10  
Old 06-30-02, 08:19 AM
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Bruce,

I have an engineer coming out this week to advise/tell me and my architect what needs to be done. I would just like to have a better grasp on the process before they get there - keeping in mind that I plan to do this with the help of some freinds ...... if I can .

thanks!
 
  #11  
Old 07-01-02, 04:07 AM
TMJR
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Hi Everyone

I went to the building inspectors office on Friday and got a permit to do the job.While I was there I talked to the Buiding Inspector, He said what I was doing was right, but to add straps to connect the joists so they won't pull apart. I got a Spec Sheet from the engineered lumber manufacturer which had all the weight limitations and anything else the Building Inspector needed. Between that and knowing that what I was doing was to code made me feel good about doing this. This weekend I completed the project. It was actually pretty easy just a lot of preperation before putting in the beams. I got the joist hangers and the straps at Home Depot. My wife loves it, there's so much open space now. By the way bluethumb, cutting the joists was pretty easy. First I cut the sheetrock in my ceiling about a foot and a half from each side of my wall that i'm taking down.That way I had some room to work. After putting up a couple of support walls and taking down my original wall, I snapped two chalk lines along the joists the width of my two beams plus 1/8 inch per side. Then I just took a skill saw and cut the joists at the chalk line.It worked great, I had a friend come over and we lifted one end of the beam up thru the joists into the attic, then I went up into the attic and took one side while he had the other and put it onto the jack studs.We did it again for the other beam, and they both fit perfectly. Then I nailed the beams together and put all the joist hangers in.The last thing I did was put the straps on. Incase you have a hard time getting someone to help you, I only need a friend for about about an hour for the whole job, that was to help lift the beams.
Just keep in mind all applications are different. I didn't need to spend the money on an engineer, but your situation might call for one. Then again it might not. Your best bet is to talk to your local building inspector. He'll probanbly let you know what to do.
 
  #12  
Old 07-02-02, 08:51 PM
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TMJR,

After looking at what I want to do, I pretty much came up with the same method you use to get it all together. The only thing is that I have 20'+ space to cover and that makes it more complicated.

I also didn't know that it's not only how far you have to go with the new opening, but how far the nearest supporting wall is to that opening. I my case it's 15' and 18' to the outside walls (nearest supporting wall). As of now it's getting to be more that I want to wrestle with so the wife and are trying to hash out a plan "B".

But thanks for the info. The explanation was great.

bt
 
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