Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Living Areas & Workspaces>main support beam in 85 year old house
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MLB Construction
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.

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.

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!

MLB Construction
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.

Re: main support beam in 85 year old house

Except in Texas where anyone can pull a structural permit. :eek:

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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