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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    3

    Red face Replacing Load Bearing Wall With an LVL Beam?

    Here's the situation...

    I have a room 19-feet x 11-feet-5-inches. (There is a partition wall in it, but it doesn't even meet the ceiling.) The joists run 19-feet and are 2x6's (truly old 2x6's and NOT 1.5" x 5.5") spaced at 16-inches.

    The room is in the second floor of a three-story brick row house, built around 1900.

    Clearly these joists should not be running 19-feet unsupported, so I did some investigation and discovered that there once had been a bearing wall running perpendicular to the joists 7-feet in from one side wall, leaving a 12-foot span on the other side. (See the attached sketch for a visual representation.) I don't know when the wall was removed, but I do know it was more than 10 years ago.

    Simply replacing the wall is not an option, since the bearing wall in the same position in the lower unit was also removed. Besides, I don't want to cut up the room again. I have found old work permits that show the joists for my floor were sistered when they gutted the lower unit.

    Assuming the walls on either end can transfer the load, is an LVL beam, running in the position of the old wall, an option? If so, how do I know what size LVL I need? (There are two bedrooms above this room.) What about sistering the joists, as was done under my floor? I am looking for a DIY option, not to hire a contractor.
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    Last edited by Dascalargo; 05-28-2010 at 09:51 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,580

    Default Re: Replacing Load Bearing Wall With an LVL Beam?

    What's in the room above? Is the floor particuarly springy or sagging or have cracks in the plaster. If it's drywall, some sort of work was probably done recently. How do you know the same sistering wasn't done above you. Unless they originally used 19' long 2x6 which is a definate possibility in 1900, something had to be done when the wall was removed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Replacing Load Bearing Wall With an LVL Beam?

    I have no idea what's in the room, furniture-wise. I do know that both rooms are used as bedrooms, so I assume typical bedroom furniture.

    My ceiling was in perfect shape... before I started poking holes in to take a look. That's how I know we're talking about 19-foot long joists and that they weren't sistered: I can see them. Keep in mind, though, that my ceiling is not the original plaster; it's drywall that was put up about ten years ago when the building went condo. That's how I know the bearing wall has been gone for at least ten years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    nova scotia, canada
    Posts
    1,522

    Default Re: Replacing Load Bearing Wall With an LVL Beam?

    to find out what size lvl you need you will have to talk to an engineer and get it spec'd, i do this type of work regularly and it is always done to the specifications as drawn by the engineer. there are various factors that get considered for each situation for what size and what type of beam will work
    fire up the saw and make some dust

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