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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: main support beam in 85 year old house

    Taking a closer look at it now I have found that the two floor joists that would rest on the part of the beam that is missing have a built box using hangers that connects them to joists that are resting on the original beam. I was able to talk with a contractor that looked at it and said that both sides sag to the center 2 foot by 2 foot column roughly an inch each. He suggested to put a beam in the gap section made up of 2 x 6's and supported by a permanent adjustable steel column. Also, he suggested placing a the same type of steel column next to the one that is already there and also on the other side of the 2 foot by 2 foot column. He said that if we can deal with the minor floor difference that we would not need to jack up the beam. What are everyones ideas on this?

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    821

    Default Re: main support beam in 85 year old house

    my first thought is that there's no such thing as a "permanent" adjustable steel column. 2x6's can not replace or carry the same weight as a main structural beam. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE have a structural engineer or contractor that specializes in structural work look at this. you need footings, steel columns filled with concrete and maybe more. any contractor that doesn't specialize in structural work, probably, would not be familiar with the building codes pertaining to such things.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,381

    Default Re: main support beam in 85 year old house

    I can't agree more with MLB Construction. As I read your last post, everything he put in his post flashed through my mind, its exactly what I would have said if he hadn't posted first. Please listen to him.

    As for the floor sag, if you can live with it, OK, but I suspect that you can jack it it at least some without any damage above. It all depends on what has been done since the floor began to sag. If nothing has been done, then you can jack it all the way up if you wish, its just going back to where it was, but you have to go slowly. It didn't come down quickly so it won't go back quickly.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: main support beam in 85 year old house

    Walked through with second contractor with a better undertanding I think. He is planning on sistering lvl on both sides of existing beam resting on a new cut opening on outside foundations and then in the center on the 2 foot by 2 foot column. He had to get specifics before he could tell me about the size of the lvl to be used. He also stated that he was going to bring the beam to level before doing this. This one was really out of my ballpark, but like usual I try to figure things out. In this case definately better left for him. Thanks for the motivation to get the help!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    821

    Default Re: main support beam in 85 year old house

    sounds like you're on the right track. just make sure he pulls a permit. if he can pull a permit it means he's properly licensed and insured.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,363

    Default Re: main support beam in 85 year old house

    Except in Texas where anyone can pull a structural permit.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Southern Ontario Canada
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: main support beam in 85 year old house

    This will be my first post. I hope I will be of assistance in the future I know I will get all the help I need on this site, very well informed members more than willing to help.

    As far as your dilemma goes the best advice here is to spend a few hundred dollars on the advice of a structural engineer, not a GC for now unless he is indeed a structural engineer as well. You will need his engineering report when you apply for your permit for the repair that your contractor or yourself will complete.

    There are several methods to get that home back to a structurally safe condition. Some of which have been described well for you by other postings. Having had the same situation in the past I can tell you that a to eliminate that post we have successfully filled the removed dimensional lumber by keying in a new section of laminate beam and sistering steel plate on each side of the repair. As to what, where, how and why, that is what the engineer will be able to do were we can't. I read here I believe " no matter how high I stand on my chair I can't see that beam from here ", I take artistic license with the cool quote, well said.

    I am always getting grief when I start talking about permits. If there was ever a time to ensure something was done properly (yes to code doesn't always mean right) now is the time. When I had the same situation it was an insurance guy inspecting my rental property, he informed me that until I remediate all the structural deficiencies in the basement, yes more than one I did not have any insurance coverage due to structural failure for any reason, that also included liability claims for injury for anyone in that rental home. I swear the main tool for any HVAC guy or gal is a sawsall. Oh there's a beam in the way, hand me the sawsall!!

    I hope this helps.

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