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StructuralEng, Consultant
Category: Structural Engineering
Satisfied Customers: 6748
Experience:  Structural Engineer
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Need to design a steel beam that will support first floor

Customer Question

Need to design a steel beam that will support first floor joist.There will be a single post standing on top of this steel beam (in the middle) supporting another steel beam, W8x24, which will support second floor/attic.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Structural Engineering
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 5 months ago.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 5 months ago.
I can help
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 5 months ago.

Please provide a sketch here.

Expert:  StructuralEng replied 5 months ago.

Let me know exactly what information you need and I will tailor the offer for that information and I will work with you to get all of it to you today. I will provide sketches where appropriate, but nothing can be stamped.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Attached is the sketch of first floor and second floor joist.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Stamped means?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Here is another first floor joist sketch. I marked a location where a post will need to be placed to support 2nd floor w8x24.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I need to1) re-design basement steel beams if necessary. Ideally would like to stay with W6 as headroom if a problem in the basement as is. Contractor says I probably have a W6x18 right now.
2) the second floor steel beam(W8x24) will be supported on one side by steel post standing on top of bsmnt beam and on the other side I am not so sure right now... Need solution . I would like to use 2x4 standing on foundation to support the other side of the W8.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
3) probably would like to put the second floor joist W8 in between the steel to save on headroom in the kitchen . But one contractor said that if I have steel in between joists and I cut my 20' beams in half , then half the weight of ceiling joist will start pushing on the steel beam. The contractor said its better to support the joist from under the bottom. That way all the weight of the beams falls on foundation instead of steel beam. And he said I wouldn't need such a powerful steel beam as W8.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 5 months ago.

Ok. I can help with all of that. I have a couple questions to ask before I submit the offer so I can determine the level of effort.

item 1) For the basement beam, will you be reinforcing the beam that is there or removing it and replacing it with a new beam?

Item 2) Do you need the post sizes or details for how the beam connects to them, too?

item 3) You can definitely put a beam in the plane of the joists so that it doesn't extend below the ceiling. The beam will support the joists in either case, because as the joists are loaded the beam will prevent the deflection which will load the beam. It doesn't matter where the beam is for that. Depending on the span of the beam, A W6 may work, but I won't know until I run the numbers.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
item1) if I need to replace it then I need to replace it. Hopefully I don't need to replace both basement steel beams.
But if I don't have to replace and there is another way is great. I really don't want to make it W8 as I have to kneel down to walk under it.
My contractor said though that the screws that I have now attaching two steel beams together are not good and I need to replace them.
Maybe just adding a post under existing W6 will work?2) I have posts now and if I need different posts then I need that info. How do I put steel beam on top of another steel beam is what I want to know but maybe contractor knows. Do I screw it on or is it just freely standing?3) My 3x6 fit into my existing bsmnt steel so if it's no good in bsmnt I hope I can use it upstairsI need as much info as I can get. Some of it maybe just for my information and I am sure contractor knows this stuff but I want to confirm its done properly I guess.I appreciate your work but I already feel like prices are growing. Please take into account what I've already spent on this topic. Thanks.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 5 months ago.
I will be fair with the offer with the level of effort required.
I will assume that any fix for the basement beam will be just adding a post
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 5 months ago.
If it's needed
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 5 months ago.

I am getting ready to submit the offer for this. If you accept the offer, I will need until tomorrow evening to finish everything and get all the sketches ready. There is quite a bit to do here. I may also have some additional questions for you.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Can you at least count in the money I have already spent on this issue? Because it looks like you will have to resize the upper beam.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 5 months ago.

There was only one other question on this for $9, correct?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
No I already spent $36 on the calculation second floor beam using your services. Please check on August 16.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 5 months ago.

But I'm resizing the upper beam. It's not like it's already done.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
You gave me a size of W8x24 to support the second floor joist. Right now it sounds like it was all a waste.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 5 months ago.

Is that the beam size you want to use? If so I will remove that from this offer and adjust accordingly.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
No, I don't want to use that size. If possible I want something lighter.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Also will you provide to me all the details about fitting joist into the steel beam ? I don't want more extra charges. Every time you want add'l money and increase offer price.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 5 months ago.

Lighter means taller, not more shallow. The W8 is the right size beam for that span and loading supporting the floor and attic.

Yes, I will include the detail for having the steel beam in the same plane as the joists for that offer.

I only changed the offer amount when the scope (and effort) changed.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
today I also paid another 36 , so that is not included either in your offer?
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 5 months ago.

It is. I took that into account when making the offer today. I really don't want to argue with you about it, that is not my goal. My goal is to provide you with the information you need in a way that is fair to the time I need to spend on it.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok I want to cancel our current deal and get the 36$ back.
Expert:  StructuralEng replied 4 months ago.

No problem. Good luck with your project.

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