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StructuralEng
StructuralEng, Consultant
Category: Structural Engineering
Satisfied Customers: 6879
Experience:  Structural Engineer
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Don't know if you remember me but I was working with you

Customer Question

Hi, Don't know if you remember me but I was working with you on my second story deck and dining room. I sent you pics of my house and the plans I drew up. I sent them out for engineering.....and "to me" seems like he has way over engineered this thing.
It looks like he upsized the beam that is going to hold the roof structure over the deck that you gave me, but only on one side, which is weird. He has made the entire back side of my house sheer, which don't understand why there either. He has made my pier
pads only 12" deep, which I would think they would need to be a lot more than that. He is making it that I need to undermine the footings on each corner of the house where the new dining will go. He also changed my existing floor joists to 2x12 on 12" centers
vs 2x10 on 16" centers which they are currently as it is the existing deck that I am wanting to turn into a dining room. I see no reason to not only upsize the joists, but make them closer on center when we are not adding any more load to the floor system
itself. Sorry, there's a lot in this email/question without you refreshing your memory. Attached are my plans I sent him, and then his engineering? Thanks Robert
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Structural Engineering
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
Hello Robert. I can help. I will have to look at this closer when I return home.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sounds good, attached are some pics of the house and patio below where the new piers would go. The plans I drew up are the ones that you and I came up with for beams and posts and what not. He is basically saying all the brick on the lower half of the house would have to come off to create shear walls, along with hold downs and undermining the two corners you see in pic DECK 1 and DECK 5. I guess if you could just look his engineering over and see if I am off base with my thinking. I can't believe that a dining room addition would make me have to make pretty much the entire back side my house shear walls, or is it the deck and roof structure? Not sure if his drawings will come out that clear to you because I printed out, and then scanned because I have no way to forward you his email with the original. I have attached them here again as well to see if they will show up better than the last ones I sent
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
Hello. I apologize for the delay. I've been without internet service for the last several days. I'm looking at this now.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
I was able to download the pdf drawings, but the text is not legible when I zoom in to look at the sizes of the glulam beams.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you have an email address I can forward his drawings to you at? Then I could just pay you through the other service. I'm just really doubting this guy as he has responded to some of my own thoughts with "that will work" ie the existing deck joist being left at 2x10.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
***@******.***
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi,Just checking in to see if you had a chance to look it over and if so, what were your thoughts? My 2 biggest concerns are the two corners, I do not want to have to undermine. He came back with a revision of putting a post on the corner next to the slider, and adding to the side of the footing out by the patio. I would rather just have posts instead of having to do anything down to the foundation as that will be a mess to get to. The other one is the upper beams for the roof structure for the covered deck. Not sure why he has them so much bigger than what you had come up with. What you had come up with is what is on my drawings.
Thanks,
Robert
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
Hello. I'm reviewing it now.Do you mean the two square footings at the corner of the walls?
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
the 36" x 36" and 24" x 24" footings?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes, those two corners. I just sent you a revised drawing he sent me taking out the 24x24. Now I want to do something similar to other side if I can. You will see he has be adding to the side of the footing. I would rather just core drill another 24x24 hole and put a post.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
That would generally only be done if the existing footing is not adequate. I can review the drawings completely and give you my thoughts. I can submit the additional service offer for that. I would have to review completely to really give an informed opinion on the under pinning. I can look at the two beams as this question or submit the additional service offer to include the footings.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
I think I see the issue with the beams.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
The framing has changed directions and the trusses are now spanning 36' instead of about half that. Additionally, the beam span has increased.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My framing hasn't changed at all. What framing are you talking about? Regardless, if you agree that his beam spans for those truss's are correct, then I am fine with that, that is the least of my worries other than lifting those big beams up.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
I'm looking back at the previous questions and can't find a size for the roof beam. I found the beam at the end of the deck. I see now that the roof framing and the deck framing are flipped from each other. The deck beam he has as a 6x12, which I think is undersized. The roof beams I come up with 5.5" x 13.5" as they stand right now.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If you go back and forth between my drawings, which are the delta cad drawings, and his drawings, which are my drawings he edited nothing has changed from when you and I started our first questions. You suggested using built up 2x12's for the deck beams but said my spans would be fine for the a solid 6x12 with that post span below....but again, those are still the least of my concerns and are easy fixes. I just want to get them submitted for permits and then I can upsize anything I need, or a better solution such as your suggestion of built up 2x12's for the beams. If you come up with 5.5 x 13.5 that's close enough for what he has, his is bigger, so I am fine.So, next and most important is those two corners. He resolved one of them by adding a post under the beam that is supporting the new dining, can I do the same on the other corner? Again, I just want simple 24x24 diameter core drilled holes if possible as that is what I am having the majority drilled at.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
If I said the 6x12 was good before, then it is. I thought I read that I said it was undersized. But I was reading through a lot of stuff quickly.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
I am not quite following that. If the load is still coming down at the corner, then the load has not changed. Was the underpinning load related or for another reason?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well, I gave him my drawings and he came back with the first set of drawings I sent you which was undermining the foundation on the two corners, I am "ASSUMING" it was for the additional load of the walls and roof of the dining, but that "seemed" like overkill to me....but AGAIN, I am not an engineer. But I am also assuming that he made the one corner bigger than the other because of some of the deck???? So I told him my concerns of not wanting to under mine both sides of the wall, inside and out of my house and would prefer posts if possible. So then he came up with the revision, which I attached to the last email I sent you and he added a post under the beam that supports the dining, which makes sense to take the load off the foundation there. Then the other corner his solution was to do that 39x12x10 pinned to the existing footing. If I can eliminate that and add a post would be much easier, but my question really is, did just adding that much extra onto the existing deck make it to where I have to do any of that?
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
It's actually underpinning, not undermining. It's common when the existing footing can't take the additional loading that is necessary, but it's expensive and difficult work.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, do you agree with his shear walls? As I mentioned before, I would have NEVER in a million years guessed, or estimated a job to have so much done to it for such little work. Thank God this is my house because I would have egg on my face to a client. I would have told them it has to go into engineering, but wouldn't have thought that so much would have had to be done, ie removing all the brick to make sheer walls, undermining corners of the house etc.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
Working without a geotechnical report, he is required to use the code minimum allowable soil bearing pressure which is only 1500 psf. Additionally, even if the foundation can take the load, there is a great risk of additional settlement, which can be a serviceability problem.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
I only see two hold downs on the first floor plan at the back wall.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
I can't say much more about that without doing a complete analysis myself.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He has 2 hold downs at the first floor and 2 at the top and then some strapping and nailing of sheathing, which is making me have to take off the brick on my house.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
I would have done all that work from the inside face to remove drywall, not brick.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
You can sheath either face to get the shearwall.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The brick is actually cheaper for me to do with the least amount of work/repair. He has one of the hold downs inside a bedroom closet that that has built ins, which would be crazy expensive to replace, which means I have some brick work regardless. Plus I would have carpet protection, drywall repair painting etc. the brick removal is the least impact on the living quarters. I do know you can create shear walls inside or out as we just did a second story addition that we had to do that to and we installed plywood on the inside, but that situation worked because we were tearing there entire roof off. In my situation, it's easier to tear off 40" of brick and remove some sheathing, install hold downs and then sheer nail the entire wall
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
It looks like the hold downs are located to respect windows and doors.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But is all that because the dining or the deck? Regardless.....again....if you agree then so be it.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
I'm sure it's a result of assign wind area. It's the safe thing to do, but not always economical. I would do the same without knowing the specifics of the construction. Otherwise he is taking ok too much risk for construction he doesn't know anything about.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dick........ha ha ha just kidding. Yeah, I guess I get it a little bit.......but I just think it's way overkill and would have never thought it would need this. What about the continuous 2 story posts, did he not catch that? I see he wrote it; but how can it continue up with the Simpson brackets he called out?
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
Yeah, there is always risk management
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What about the continuous 2 story posts, did he not catch that? I see he wrote it; but how can it continue up with the Simpson brackets he called out?
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.
Which two continuous posts?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The only 2 continuous posts, the 2 that are going to hold up the beams on the outside end of the roof structure for the deck. If you look at my drawings, I called out for the ones you suggested and now he has something that won't allow the posts to continue up
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, he's calling them 2story posts

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