You could build a box beam using a 2x top and bottom plate with 2x
stiffeners every 16" and then box it in on the sides and ends with 3/4 ply
ll ll ll ll ll ll ll ll
ll 2x stiffeners 16"oc
There are span tables around the net for them
hi again. you really ought to look into calling a company such as
truss joist macmillan or weyerhauser and asking them to size one of
their products. I have done this on a number of occasions, and i
didn't always have a set of blueprints. a pencil sketch will do. i
have found engineers that work for truss companies or beam companies to
be very helpful and practical. an LVL, microlam, or parallam is more
expensive, but will give you peace of mind that it isn't going to sag.
14' is a fairly long span for a homemade beam..
it is also true that there are span tables around for sawn beams, and
you could fairly easily figure out your tributary loads and size your
beam that way, if you have an aptitude for that sort of thing.. (do it
like a professional engineer and overbuild it!)
As for hiring an independent engineer to design this for you, i
wouldn't recommend it. I've gone this route and felt like the result
was overbuilt--which I could have done without spending money on an
engineer. you can't really blame them...they are liable if a beam sags
or building collapses or whatever.
I used to work in a "non-coded" area. (technically you must follow
codes, but they are not enforced). Kind of miss it in a way.
While it is true that one would need to see your house in order to give
any kind of idea as to what to use, and an engineer is not a bad idea,
I have a couple of comments. First of all, why the half inch plywood.
This is not going to add to the strength. The only reason plywood is
added to headers and beams is to expand the width. (two 2x12=3in. and a
2x4 is 3 and half inches). Also, I have been building custom homes for
many years and I can't think of any situation where three 2x12's
weren't sufficient for a span of only 14ft, but it is always better to
be safe than sorry when it comes to an investment such as your house.
On Sun, 19 Mar 2006 06:29:03 GMT, "Steve Barker LT"
I think that, if you're not willing to hire a pro to do the
math for you, and given the level of understanding implied
by your posting(s), you're foolish to be attempting this
major a renovation by yourself.
That said, If this a single-story section and a gable-end,
and you're expanding onto a porch, which is what it looks
like, then you're PROBABLY ok with a built up glued and
screwed beam of 3 or more 2x12s. Assuming that you post
down properly through the floor and land on something solid
underneath. This "you're ok" only applies if the
surrounding structure looks like this:
If there's another floor above you, or this is a side
wall, you should probably rebuild most of that wall
and content yourself with a pair of wide doorways and
Note that there's a very good chance that that masonry stack
is holding up a beam in the ceiling and/or the ridgepole
of the roof, depending on how old it is. Don't get
too enamoured of the idea of taking it out until you
know for sure what it's holding up.
You really need to open up a hole in the ceiling above to
look at what that wall is holding up, and how the ceiling/roof
structure is put together. and get pictures of what's
underneath in the cellar/crawlspace.
My suggestion, If you're not going to do the sensible
thing and hire a pro, is to leave the chimney in place,
flank it with a pair of 4x6 posts, put another pair
of 4x6 posts at the ends of the 14' opening,
like so: (www.goedjn.com/sketch/kit2.jpg)
And then design around the chimney. It MIGHT be
overkill, and it's not quite what you wanted to do,
but an abundance of caution is a good response to
working outside your area of competence.
Thanks for your reply. As it turns out, the wall nor the chimney were
holding anything. The wall was merely a partition added later in life and
the ceiling joist run parallel to it. All of it is gone now. No beam
needed. Just a few more verticals in the walk in attic to tie the joists to
"Goedjn" < email@example.com> wrote in message
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