Removing a support post in the basement?


Hi all,
I'm wondering if I can strengthen the support beam in my basement in order to remove one of the support posts... Here's a sketch of the current design:
http://s89590977.onlinehome.us/BasementBeams.JPG
Can I reinforce the current 3 ply 2x12 basement beam with extra 2x12's on the sides in order to eliminate the middle post? If so, how many 2x12's or micro lams would I on either side of the current beam to support the house?
Also, would the end points of the new, longer beam need to be reinforced? Currently one side sits on a 3" tapco post and the other sits on a 12" block wall - not with a double pileaster and not slushed & rodded - just hollow.
Thanks!
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Verizon User wrote:

No one can answer your question. You've omitted crucial information and no one knows the conditions. I can answer parts of it. Would the ends need to be reinforced - yes. Could you reinforce with LVLS - probably.
Minor questions on newsgroups get batted back and forth. This isn't a minor question. Do yourself the favor and get a professional to eyeball the situation and design something for you.
R
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If its a cheap house and you are short on cash you could probably get away with an 18" wide x 8" deep block column as additional support on the block wall end. then fill it with rebar and motar bring the sides up around your beefed up beam.
You dont call out the span... thats crucial. your drawing though if its anything close to scale shows a very short span. How far away are the other beams?..
Myself I would use heavy framing nails to nail 1 or two courses of 3/4" plywood to each side of the beam and maybe an inch or two deeper, a full 12 or 13" and stagger the laps as much as possible toward the ends not near the middle.
that would *probably work out just fine.. probably is a risky word in this business.
What else is going on with the foundation etc..where are the sheer walls, how is the existing block secured to the existing foundation. are there signs of foundation or wall cracking? Is the roof sagging etc How risky is it..probably not overly risky but its hard to say from here.
Phil Scott

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wrote:

one. it wouldn't take much time to spec it out.
you could build temporary walls on each side of the current 3ply 2x12s and then replace the 2x12s with lvl's. you would need plates to hold the lvls and these would have to be fabricated. the engineer will spec out where to cut the 2x12s and the specs for the plates.
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Rico's suggestion to get an engineer is a good one.
But I'll give you some more advice, that's worth what you're paying for it: Get more detail in your sketch - what does the upstairs wall look like? Doors/openings? framed with wood 2x4's 16", or something else? show a cross-section the other way - describe the joists that run across the beam - size, spacing, spans... take a lot of photos. Then show it to a pro.
A 12' span is do-able, perhaps even without professional advice. Based on the limited data you've offered, I'd consider bolting a couple 12' x 11" x 1/2" steel plates to the beam, one on either side. Do some calculations to estimate the loads, and evaluate whether the remaining block and post can handle the increased load (maybe a 50% increase on each - my guess, assuming its a well-built home, is that you'll be fine).
Good luck, and be careful! Sal's Dad

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Can you do it maybe, maybe not. Get in an engineer. I couldnt without major issues, I tried, for me my floors would have been pushed up or the beam would have been to low or steel would have been needed while suporting and removing the old beam. If you do decide you need exact measurements before of ceiling to floor height every 6 ft or so in Milimeters and monitoring after to see if settling occurs. Tripling beam strength or more may not do it
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Thanks for all the info... I guess I was checking to see if it was a definite pat yes or no - didn't know if it was a common thing to do or not.
Probably the best advice would be to get a professional opinion. What kind of company/person should I go to for this check? Is there some sort of certification/etc I should make sure they have? Also, what's reasonable - $100, $500, etc?
Thanks!
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In a previous post Verizon User says...

If a client brings me sufficient information to evaluate the situation, then I usually charge less than $300. It I have to go to the site then it might be a few hundred bucks more, but usually not more than $500.
You should hire an engineer licensed to practice in your state. preferably a structural engineer, but that is not required if the person has structural design experience. Try the yellow pages under "Engineers-Structural"
One final note: since this is a structural change, most building departments require a permit for the work. In order to submit you will need drawings. The above fees do not include permit ready package, but only the structural design and connection details. You will need to either put the package together yourself or hire someone to do it.
--
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
  Click to see the full signature.
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