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StructuralEng, Consultant
Category: Structural Engineering
Satisfied Customers: 7322
Experience:  Structural Engineer
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I have a question about a support beam in the ceiling of my

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I have a question about a support beam in the ceiling of my ranch home.
JA: OK. Tell me a bit more about what's going on so we can help you best.
Customer: I removed a support wall in a 1957 ranch without initially realizing it. The wall was supporting one joist in the attic that had the ends of mutiple other ceiling joists attached to it at a 90 degree angle, as the multiple joists did not span the length of the room. A crack appeared, and a tradesman attached the main joist to the rafters in the roof above it to take the weight. This was maybe three years ago, and I am wanting to put in a support beam where I removed the wall to prevent future problems. I have eight foot ceilings and the beam would not be hidden in the ceiling. The beam needs to span 10 feet. I have received an estimate that plans to use two 1 3/4 x 9 1/4 micro-lam beams. I would prefer not to have the beam extending down 9 1/4" from the ceiling, as my ceilings are only 8'. I am wondering about how narrow of an I-beam I could get away with, if that would even be a good idea, or any other suggestion you might have for reducing the height/depth of the support beam.
JA: Is there anything else the Structural Engineer should be aware of?
Customer: I think that covers it.
How are you doing? I'll be happy to assist you
What would be the span of the beam and what is the length of the joists on each side of the beam?
Will you remove the struts up to the rafters when finished?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The span of the beam would be 10'. I am not presently at my home to measure the length of the joists on each side of the supporting joist, but I can estimate this based on my memory of the room size, unless you need an exact length. The joists are just nailed to another piece of wood that is then nailed to the rafters. I can have this removed or leave it. Do I need to do one or the other?
You should remove it after the beam is placed or the beam will have to support roof load, too
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
OK, I can do that. Any thoughts on a type of beam with a narrower profile sticking down from the ceiling? Would an I-beam be much narrower? Would that be appropriate?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Do you need the length of the joists you asked about measured?
StructuralEng and other Structural Engineering Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I finally have the answer to the question you asked. The length of the support beam (the beam visible from inside the house), would be 10'. This beam will span the 10' portion of the support wall that I removed (part of the wall is still there), and will run under the end of the main joist that is carrying weight from the multiple other joists that are nailed to it at a 90 degree angle. The length of the multiple joists are 14.5' on one side of the main joist and 6.5 ' on the other side (for a total of room length of 21'). The ceiling in this room is plaster, so I think that it is heavier than drywall. The rafters support a metal roof that was put on over a shingled roof, if that makes a difference.Also, I am wondering if there would be any problems with having metal (I-beam) on top of wood (2x4s making up the wall), and how they would be attached to each other.
Thank you.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hello. The answers to your questions are as noted above. Do you need any additional information? My primary question is whether there is a type of support beam I can use that would have a narrower profile (in terms of it's depth down from the ceiling into the room, as I have 8ft ceilings), such as an i-beam.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hello. The answers to your questions are as noted above.

I will assume it supports the roof and attic. The strut may be necessary support for either the joists or rafters. I will also assume you're in an area with a ground snow load that does not exceed 25 psf.

I will provide a steel I beam size for you. If you need connection details, I can provide that as a premium service, just let me know if you would like me to submit the offer.

I'm also assuming the "main joist" is no greater than 16' long.

You can plan for a W8x15 beam ASTM !992 Gr. 50. You will need to be sure the joists are detailed to brace the beam against lateral torsional buckling.