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StructuralEng, Consultant
Category: Structural Engineering
Satisfied Customers: 6866
Experience:  Structural Engineer
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I have an existing wooden beam that consists of 3- 1 1/2" x

Customer Question

I have an existing wooden beam that consists of 3- 1 1/2" x 9" x14' nailed together , however two are spliced! Only see glue on one board not the other. The beam deflected about 1 1/8". Some termite damage that has been there since we purchased the house about 25 yrs ago. I want to strengthen the beam. I have it jacked up now. Existing beam is NOT yellow pine. It is for a split level house. Do I use yellow pine glued and fastened to each side or fletch it with 3/8" or 1/2" steel and bolt it with what size bolts - or use a LVL . I live in southeast Ohio. House built around 1974.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Structural Engineering
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.

Hello. How are you doing? I'll be happy to assist you.

Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.

Is this supporting a single floor and attic?

What is the joist length on each side of the beam?

Will it support any ceramic tile?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
14' joists resting on the beam. They also measure 1 1/2" x 9". Supports single floor and attic. No ceramic tile in this part of the house. Carpeted floors.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Rooms above this area -- living room and the kitchen /dining rm.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.

Is the beam spanning 14' with no post in the middle?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Correct no post. It is a finished basement -- Television area
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.

That beam has no business spanning anywhere close to that distance. That is an unsafe condition that should be addressed immediately.

Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.

As an absolute bare minimum, you need a 5.25" x 11.875" 2.0E LVL.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am beefing it up ASAP. I got more nervous the more I read about loads and beam design!!
I don't have the floor height for a 12" beam. Distance from floor to bottom of joist is 75 1/2" - before I add drywall/wood to it.Other Thoughts I have had - steel to make a flitch beam ? Another idea I read is to add 1/4" steel to the bottom of beam and lag bolt in every 6-8"-- while I have beam raised beyond level. That would be in addition to adding material to its width.
Other thoughts? I just don't have the height for extra depth of beam.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.

I can size steel channels you can then bolt to the wood. Is the beam under the joists or do the joists frame into the side of the beam?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The joists are on top of the beam. How many inches do I need at the end for support? I will need to know how wide the channel is -- one side is restricted by a door jam. I attached a photo for you -- that space is max of 2 3/4 " back in the back -- out towards the front of the support plate I have more room if it does not need to be set too far back on the support plate.
We hosted an Ohio State Football party today and just now got to emails -- sorry for the delay.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.

Congratulations on the win! I will look at this and get back to you today.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just an FYI - if you want/ need wider channel on the other side of the beam-- I can make that work - The interior end of the beam rests on top of a plate supported by a floor jack/ post. Exterior end of the beam is on top of the block wall.
Thanks !
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If you sent the dimensions for the channel I have not received them yet. Please include size and what and how you recommend to fasten it to the beam.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.

C9x13.4 on each side with 1/2" through bolts at 12" on center. The channels must bear on the supports

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
By the time I get the channel up and in the block wall then scoot it back to the other end-so it is on the other support- At the most - I think the channel will sit on 2 1/2- 3" of support. Is that enough channel on the support?
Bolt pattern can you be more detailed-- how many rows of bolts? Do I start the bolts as close as I can beside the wall? How critical is the washer size on the bolt head and nut or only one washer on the nut end? Can you sketch it out and take a picture and attach it? Any ideas on how to lift it in place-- besides getting enough friends to help muscle it up in place?
As far as 3/8 or 1/2" plate goes on both sides and bolting through --it won't be strong enough? If not, then it's not -- I did some online price of channel and it looks like approx $700 in channel which if that is the deal to be safe - then fine. Just double checking
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please read/respond to my questions above so I can continue with the project. I don't mean to be painful, but this is my largest project that I've under taken since we've owned our home.
Thanks for your assistance!
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.

Two rows of bolts. Staggered high and low. Maintain a 2.5" edge distance to the wood. 3" of bearing for the steel is ok. Start bolts at the support and use a tighter spacing in the middle, if needed. Washer size is not critical.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do I start w bolts in each corner (4) then begin the stagger pattern or just begin the stagger pattern?
Do I need to torque bolts to a certain amount?
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.

If the channels bear directly on the support then you can start staggering right away.

Expert:  StructuralEng replied 1 year ago.

Hello, do you have any other questions for me on this topic? If you could rate my answer, I would appreciate it.

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