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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    14

    Default main support beam in 85 year old house

    Ok my main support beam is 23 feet long resting on the outside foundations on the east and west side of the house then also on a 2 foot by 2 foot pier in the center of the basement. A 43 inch section was cut out right next to the center pier so it is supported by the pier and then where the cut was made there is a steel post. Is there a way to connect the beam? should I add more posts? The short part of the beam that is held up by the post and foundation sags about an inch in comparison to the rest of the beam/floor. My house is 1 1/2 story and has a larger door way right above the beam from dining room to living room. I think the section was cut out over 30 or 40 years ago. And I never noticed it until we replaced the old furnace since that was right where it was. Any suggestions please!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Boston
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    1,004

    Default Re: main support beam in 85 year old house

    very tough to give you any advice without seeing/examining it. but, from what you described, you might have a major structural problem on your hands. i would advise you to get a contractor that specializes in structural work or an engineer in to look at what you have and determine what, if anything, needs to be done.

    like i tell everyone.... better to spend a few hundred dollars on an engineer or structural contractor now than to spend 10x or 100x that amount when something bad finally happens.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Houston Texas
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    2,969

    Default Re: main support beam in 85 year old house

    Sometimes those beams also keep the structure from spreading out sidewards. But I can't tell from my desk, even if I stand on my chair.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,842

    Default Re: main support beam in 85 year old house

    I agree with MLB, you need to have this checked out by a structural engineer.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,791

    Default Re: main support beam in 85 year old house

    Here is what I am picturing in my mind, tell me if this is right. The house originally had a 23' long beam running lengthwise under the main floor, that is it runs in the same direction as the roof ridge. It rests on the foundation (basement) walls on each end and has a 2x2' column in the center, probably some type of masonry.

    A 43" section was cut out some time ago to accommodate a furnace and a steel column was used to support the cut end of the beam. So now you have about a 12.5' beam resting on the foundation wall and the masonry column in the center and a shorter beam, 12.5'-43", or about 8' beam resting on the foundation wall at the other end of the house and on a steel beam 43" away from the masonry column. ❙⎺⎺⎺⎺❙ ❘⎺⎺⎺❙

    Are you saying that the steel post is about an 1" shorter than the masonry column? If so, then this could be that there is not a proper footing under the steel post. The beam would have to be jacked up nest to the steel post, remove it, dig out and pour a solid footing and then replace the steel post.

    Is there sagging in the floor between the steel post and the masonry column, I would guess that there is if there is 43" of unsupported floor. You would need to put in 2x's to fill this gap and to support the floor. How you do all this would depend on the recommendations of a structural engineer.

    Another alternative would be to cut the longer beam to length in the center of the masonry column so that the beam only rests on half of it, then put up a temporary supporting wall on either side of the other beam, remove the beam supported by the steel post completely and install a new beam that goes from the foundation wall to the center of the masonry column. That will eliminate the steel post all together and restore the foundation to its original configuration.

    I think you will need some pro help with this route. You don't want the house to fall down on you while doing this job.
    Last edited by keith3267; 12-02-2012 at 01:22 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,758

    Default Re: main support beam in 85 year old house

    Call a local pro, even a general contractor, as suggested. It will be money well spent.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: main support beam in 85 year old house

    If I were to place sandwiched 2x's in where it is cut out, join the old with the new using metal plates and put a post underneath would that be sufficient?

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