I'm designing my new shop. It is going to be 24x32 baloon framed. 2x6x14 wall
studs will give me a nice high ceiling and a kneewall for a good 2nd floor. My
question is about spanning 32 feet with a beam. I don't want to use steel and
the price of LVL is outrageous. How about using 6 2x10x16? Something like
Two 16' 2x10, strips of 3/4 ply, 2 more staggered 2x10, more 3/4 ply, more
All glued, nailed and even some lags thrown in for good measure. I want to
build to code +. Would this be very strong or very stupid?
What do you guys have in your shops if you cover that span? I know trusses are
an option, but I want the upstairs space. That is important. Also, I am
getting alot of wood from a friend at a mill, so engineered joists are also
out. I was toying also with a 10'wall down the middle so I would only have to
span 22 feet, but I think I would probably regret that.
Thanks for any help.
Me thinks trusses won't cost any more than what you are proposing and they
will be stronger. How much weight you putting upstairs? Use the space in
the trusses to run electrical, plumbing, DC, etc... I did 40 foot trusses
on the last house I built and I think they were only 18 to 24 inches thick.
If that's an issue, raise the walls another 2 feet?
Thanks for the replies so far.
I was going to put in a post, but was trying to avoid it for practical
purposes. I won't have any ducts and my electrical is already planned for the
most part through the floor.
As for the trusses, they will cost alot more because I am getting wood for
free. Aside from that, I need the 2nd floor storage (at least 6' headroom).
Keep em coming guys.
|On 01 Mar 2004 03:09:02 GMT, email@example.com (GBsCards) wrote:
|>Thanks for the replies so far. |>
|>I was going to put in a post, but was trying to avoid it for practical|>purposes. I won't have any ducts and my electrical is already planned for the|>most part through the floor.|>
|>As for the trusses, they will cost alot more because I am getting wood for|>free. Aside from that, I need the 2nd floor storage (at least 6' headroom).|>
|>Keep em coming guys. |
|build your own trusses. it's no big deal.
It is if you want to get plans approved by a plans examiner. Most
plans examiners work on the "save my own ass" principle. Anything out
of the ordinary and they want you to get it signed off by a PE or
structural engineer. Truss manufacturing companies perform this
operation and issue a cert that gets the examiner off the hook. He
doesn't care whether your building falls down, he just doesn't want to
get blamed for it.
OP. If you really want to see what you're up against, try the "Beams"
I agree with the other poster, go with plant built truss beams. They already
have the engineering so you don't have to prove to the inspector they will
work. If the inspector asks for engineering after the fact on something site
built, that piece of paper could cost more than the trusses.
My suggestion would be to go with the wood engineered I-Beams. I just
finished installing 26' I-beams in my garage without the need for
columns. The previous owners of my house did exactly what you were
thinking of doing and the floor was so unstable that I took it down
and installed the I-Beams. There was approximately 5-6 inches of
deflection in the floor without any weight on it. I know it sucks to
have to spend the money but it gives you a sense of security knowing
that the beams won't come crashing down on you in the future. Even if
you do build a floor using reqular lumber you wouldn't be able to put
much weight on the floor, so it will become useless space. Go to the
Georgia Pacific website and look at all of the engineering specs on
the I-Beams. They will tell you the size beam you need for your span
(you'll probably need the WI-80), how far o.c. they need to be and the
maximum span based on the load conditions that you will have. You
mentioned that you can get the wood for free but there is no way
(without columns) that you can span that distance. For what it's
worth I paid about $70 for each beam and the beams were light enough
that two people could easily pick them up.
On 1 Mar 2004 05:57:59 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (x071907) wrote:
|My suggestion would be to go with the wood engineered I-Beams. I just
|finished installing 26' I-beams in my garage without the need for
|columns. The previous owners of my house did exactly what you were
|thinking of doing and the floor was so unstable that I took it down
|and installed the I-Beams. There was approximately 5-6 inches of
|deflection in the floor without any weight on it. I know it sucks to
|have to spend the money but it gives you a sense of security knowing
|that the beams won't come crashing down on you in the future. Even if
|you do build a floor using reqular lumber you wouldn't be able to put
|much weight on the floor, so it will become useless space. Go to the
|Georgia Pacific website and look at all of the engineering specs on
|the I-Beams. They will tell you the size beam you need for your span
|(you'll probably need the WI-80), how far o.c. they need to be and the
|maximum span based on the load conditions that you will have. You
|mentioned that you can get the wood for free but there is no way
|(without columns) that you can span that distance. For what it's
|worth I paid about $70 for each beam and the beams were light enough
|that two people could easily pick them up.
I too used I-joists to span 28'. Cost (1996) was about $85 each
Furthermore, I was able to install these singlehandedly. It's not
easy, but it can be done, if other labor isn't available or
I'm assuming you'll be running 12' joists out from either side of the beam
to your exterior walls? If that's the case, that beam isn't going to cut it
at 32 feet. It might if, like someone else said, you used a support at 16'.
Remember too, that beam will be supporting your ridge and your rafters, in
addition to the weight of the joists.
My first thought would be to use (3) 2x12's with 1/4 x 11" steel between
each, bolted together at 16" or 24" oc. But you'd need a crane to get it up
there, not to mention the support you'd need under it at each end. I'm not
even sure that beam would span 32' and still carry your joists. I mean, I'm
not an engineer, but I've framed enough to know that the 2x10 with 3/4 ply
aint gonna cut it.... at least it wouldn't pass inspection.
Consider support posts at 16' or 10' like the man said.
On Sun, 29 Feb 2004 20:40:49 -0700, "Lawrence R Horgan"
As a guy that screws around with lolly columns every day, heed this:
USE TRUSSES! <G> The more wide open the basic space is, the easier
and more flexible your machine and bench placement becomes.
My shop is 24x40. Seems big enough, eh? The space has a center
stairway and columns down the center. The columns are under the
center beam and spaced 10 for the end walls and each other.
Those columns and the stairway make a good sized space seem remarkably
smaller. You may tell yourself that you don't work much with full
sheets of materials, or long solid wood parts, but they all start out
full sized. <G>
True, but...my shop (in VA) is 25 x 48, with 2 center columns at 16' each. I
use the columns for electrical outlets, center shop hangers of air hoses, such
stuff, and have found very few problems when working with sheet material. The
biggest problem: 12' long boards to be crosscut, and that's going to be fixed
as soon as I get back (keep your fingers crossed we sell this house and get
back home this month or next). The basic problem there, though, is that one end
always seems to be close to one wall or another when doing less than half board
cut-offs. The Bosch 4412 will solve that, as it's going on an HTC miter saw
stand that will mostly live against a wall.
In a New Hampshire Jewelry store: "Ears pierced while you wait."
Yeah, well. I've got about 5'11" clearance under the collar ties in my attic,
with one pull-down attic stair. Use it for boxes and assorted similar stuff.
Had to move 2 collar ties: had a couple guys install it while I wasn't around,
and they set the thing so it came up directly under one tie, reducing head
clearance by a foot or so, which then knocked my head back into the other.
Moved each one one set of rafters. And these were the 2 clowns who set their
drinks done, in Styrofoam cups, on my new table saw and left them there.
There's no way I would take anything serious up that pull-down stair, either.
It's badly challenged with my weight, never mind anything really heavy in
addition--and the sucker is steep, more like a ladder than a stair. I did get
my furnace up there, but it is light, and that's a chore I don't want to
In a New Hampshire Jewelry store: "Ears pierced while you wait."
What kind or roof? Gabel, Gambrel, Hip or some king of Gabel with Dormers?
You may need collar ties in any event.
Using some assumptions here, I assume the 2x10 and plywood are free or very
You can build beams out of the 2X10 and Plywood to span the 24' dimension.
Use one every 4' then span the 4' with 2x10 every 2', cover with plywood.
As long as you are not building in California :)
Ok, I'm re-reading your post. I may have misunderstood. Do you mean that
your beam will end up, after all laminations, to be 12" thick? Now that
might work. Sorry.... I was envisioning something else when I first read it.
Even so, consider using 2x12's instead of 2x10's. I would guess you could
sandwhich one piece of ply between (2) 2x12's. Then ply on the outside of
that and (2) more 2x12's. Then more ply and 2x12's.
Still going to need a crane or cherry picker I would think. Or at least a
good tractor with a bucket or a forklift.
You still cant span 32' with a beam alone and no posts and hang joists on
it. Thats too far for code around here anyway. Matter of fact here you would
need a post every 8' max if you want to comply. Have you thought about a
roof truss with the room upstairs already built in to it? No posts and you
get instant room when the trusses go up, just add floor to tatse.
I'm adding this to my "if you have to ask" pile. Will you have to pull a
permit where you live to get this built? If so, have you contacted whoever
issues the permit to find out what local codes you might have to adhere to?
Where I live, anything larger than 100 square feet needs a permit and they
basically hand you the major design parameters. I _am_ a mechanical
engineer, and although civil engineering isn't my specialty, my spidey-sense
is telling me that what you're talking about isn't going to work. I know
everyone (including me) is enamoured with doing things themselves, but
structural engineering by non-qualified personnel isn't a place to
experiment in my book. You don't have to put up walls, but I suspect you're
at least going to end up with a few posts to support the interior loads. I
strongly suggest you engage someone qualified to come up with the basic
design. If you plan to insure this building or its contents, your insurance
company might want to see a stamped drawing anyway.
When I built my 2-story garage I had a 25' beam (24' span) fabricated. It
cost about $250 for the beam and about the same amount for delivery + crane
service. This was basically free, because the alternative was something like
14" floor joists for the 20' span in the other direction.... with that span
cut to 10' I was able to use 2x8's and gain about 6 inches of head room
(except for where the beam was).
My point is that I found steel to be very economical, and it SOLVED
engineering problems. You may be able to get a beam that will span 32 feet.
There is no way that you will be able to do that with wood and no posts.
Don't completely discount steel.
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