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Author Topic: wood beam vs steel beam  (Read 22830 times)

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Offline r.holstein

  • Posts: 2
wood beam vs steel beam
« on: February 28, 2011, 04:24 PM »
I presently have a tripled 2x6 for a main beam in my basement i also have 2 teleposts supporting the beam. My house is about 27ft long and i have noticed that the beam is sagging where there is no telepost. I dont have a lot of head room to replace it with a tripled 2x10 to 2x12, so was wondering if a 6 inch or so I beam or H beam would be enough to support the weight. I have no problem with putting the posts under the steel beam to help support it. I looking for someone to tell me that a 6 inch steel beam is stronger than a tripled 2x6 wood beam

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Offline r.holstein

  • Posts: 2
wood beam vs steel beam
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2011, 04:30 PM »
I presently have a tripled 2x6 for a main beam in my basement i also have 2 teleposts supporting the beam. My house is about 27ft long and i have noticed that the beam is sagging where there is no telepost. I dont have a lot of head room to replace it with a tripled 2x10 to 2x12, so was wondering if a 6 inch or so I beam or H beam would be enough to support the weight. I have no problem with putting the posts under the steel beam to help support it. I looking for someone to tell me that a 6 inch steel beam is stronger than a tripled 2x6 wood beam

Offline jonny round boy

  • Posts: 2894
Re: wood beam in a basement
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2011, 04:32 PM »
I presently have a tripled 2x6 for a main beam in my basement i also have 2 teleposts supporting the beam. My house is about 27ft long and i have noticed that the beam is sagging where there is no telepost. I dont have a lot of head room to replace it with a tripled 2x10 to 2x12, so was wondering if a 6 inch or so I beam or H beam would be enough to support the weight. I have no problem with putting the posts under the steel beam to help support it. I looking for someone to tell me that a 6 inch steel beam is stronger than a tripled 2x6 wood beam

I'd say it probably will be, but I think you need to get in touch with a structural engineer. Welcome to the forum BTW!
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Offline norwegian wood

  • Posts: 130
Re: wood beam vs steel beam
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2011, 04:35 PM »
you might consider some 1/2" steel plates between some lvl beams all bolted together instead of a steel h beam. it may be easier for you to get in your basement and installed piece by piece instead of one big steel beam. as for sizing of the beam i use an engineer for that so they can sign off on it not me. lol local lumber yard might be able to help you with info from the lvl manufacturer. also most steel beam suppliers can tell you how much and what size steel beams hold what.

Offline jmbfestool

  • Posts: 5999
Re: wood beam in a basement
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2011, 04:37 PM »
Structural engineer would be the best person to ask. But steel will be stronger im sure!


Jmb
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Offline norwegian wood

  • Posts: 130
Re: wood beam in a basement
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2011, 04:38 PM »
you might consider some 1/2" steel plates between some lvl beams all bolted together instead of a steel h beam. it may be easier for you to get in your basement and installed piece by piece instead of one big steel beam. as for sizing of the beam i use an engineer for that so they can sign off on it not me. lol local lumber yard might be able to help you with info from the lvl manufacturer. also most steel beam suppliers can tell you how much and what size steel beams hold what.

Offline jmbfestool

  • Posts: 5999
Re: wood beam vs steel beam
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2011, 04:40 PM »
Why two topics?
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Offline norwegian wood

  • Posts: 130
Re: wood beam vs steel beam
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2011, 04:43 PM »
so he would get two answers or the answer he was looking for? lol

Offline kdzito

  • Posts: 224
    • Buckeye Construction Inc.
Re: wood beam vs steel beam
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2011, 04:52 PM »
I presently have a tripled 2x6 for a main beam in my basement i also have 2 teleposts supporting the beam. My house is about 27ft long and i have noticed that the beam is sagging where there is no telepost. I dont have a lot of head room to replace it with a tripled 2x10 to 2x12, so was wondering if a 6 inch or so I beam or H beam would be enough to support the weight. I have no problem with putting the posts under the steel beam to help support it. I looking for someone to tell me that a 6 inch steel beam is stronger than a tripled 2x6 wood beam

It depends on the physical properties of the steel beam.  Do an internet search for a brochure titled "Structural Steel in Housing" and you find some applicable information.   
To build with my two hands is a creative outlet.

Offline Sal LiVecchi

  • Posts: 1226
Re: wood beam in a basement
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2011, 04:52 PM »
I had a similar issue in my 43 year old home. The main support beam ( 33' ) had started to sag and doors would not close anymore.
I jacked it back up and sister plated it with 1/2 steel plate on both sides and thru bolted it.
Well sag gone and door closing.
Understand for me this procedure took abot six months as this is a two story home and  I slowly jacked the sag out as to not crack sheet rock walls and seams
Life is too short and the road is too long to drive anything less than a Festool

Online Shane Holland

  • Festool USA Employee
    FOG Administrator
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  • Posts: 7770
    • Festool USA
Re: wood beam vs steel beam
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2011, 05:05 PM »
Note: The two original duplicate threads have been combined.

Offline Dovetail65

  • Posts: 3895
Re: wood beam in a basement
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2011, 05:05 PM »
I have lifted quite a few houses. One even 24". I could crawl over the foundation and under the bottom plate.

Using a flitch beam(wood with metal plate) will work, but if you need to lift more than a inch or two and you intend on using the new beam to do the lifting go with I beam. If you are lifting and then just setting the beam in place then a flitch is fine. I have done this several ways, but the I beam always allowed for a quicker straighter lift. The flitch beam tends to roll and move about as you lift, no matter how slow you go, the I beam does not. Nothing more scary then the beam cocked at 30 degrees and looking like it is going to roll off.  :)

I had engineers look at every project before and after and in every case we were way overbuilt, so I saved 20,000.00 in engineering reports and ended up with a structure, well, much stronger and overbuilt. Because I owned or partially owned the structure(to resell) we did not need engineering reports or even an architect stamp, though in some counties the architect stamp is required no matter what you do structurally.. Had I done it for someone else one or both would have been required.

I would refer to the span charts for the current codes and then up the beam at least to the next size if not two if you are lifting with the beam, whether wood or steel. It has always worked for me in the past.

I am not an engineer or architect and do not claim to be. Please take my comments for what they are, just a regular guy that has lifted several houses in the past with no catastrophes and good results.



« Last Edit: February 28, 2011, 05:10 PM by Dovetail65 »
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline LostInTheWood

  • Posts: 125
Re: wood beam vs steel beam
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2011, 07:02 PM »
If your beam is below the joists you can always flush mount to gain headroom and/or possibly use a larger beam configuration to gain the support you need.  This will mean you have to use joist hangers on everything and if you go steel you have to pack out the web with 2x to use the hangers.  Triple 2x6 seems pretty light.  What is the distance between supports on your beam?  How manly levels to and width your house?  How many separate sections of beam are there?  You may be asked this information when you go to order your LVL or paralam or steel. An engineer would want to know as well if you go that route.

Depending on what new beam you use you may want to consider how you are going to get it in there and that may determine how many sections you use along with location of supports and size of beam/s.

Offline Chris Hughes

  • Posts: 568
Re: wood beam vs steel beam
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2011, 08:20 PM »
Is it possible to build a wall under the existing beam to disperse the weight over a greater surface area?
« Last Edit: February 28, 2011, 09:13 PM by Chris Hughes »

Offline Scott_W

  • Posts: 54
Re: wood beam vs steel beam
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2011, 08:54 PM »
A 2x6 (whatever ply) beam is far too weak, that is why it is sagging. Either hire a structural engineer, or have your lumber yard size an LVL beam. It will come with all the specs and stamped if required for the permit.

As for adding extra posts or a wall under the existing beam, you will also need a properly sized footing. You cannot just bear on the floor.

Again, this is all information the inspector will ask for prior to any building/replacing.

scott

Offline rookie08

  • Posts: 198
Re: wood beam vs steel beam
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2011, 09:52 PM »
I've have not used these yet but plan on doing so for a second story addition over a 35 by 22 garage.   

http://www.finehomebuilding.com/item/8565/lightweight-structural-steel-beam

Might be worth a look, ay. ? [laughing]

Cheers

Offline Ken Nagrod

  • Restricted
  • Posts: 3438
Re: wood beam vs steel beam
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2011, 02:07 AM »
While I appreciate that members are willing to offer the OP help, I don't think it's a good idea for this post offering up stuff, like Dovetail  [poke].  I know you put in your disclaimer, and I've done structure and jacking in my professional career as well, however, due to the serious nature of this and like some have said, contact a structural engineer or architect.  This is pretty much like going on a medical forum/website and saying, "I'm in the middle of doing surgery on myself.  Does anyone recommend cutting here, or here?  [blink] [blink]   OR like when Shane just tells people with tool problems it's best to contact the service department.

My advice to other FOGgers, stay away from this one.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2011, 02:10 AM by Ken Nagrod »

Offline justinmcf

  • Posts: 712
  • Queensland Builder
Re: wood beam vs steel beam
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2011, 02:15 AM »
hi r. and welcome to the fog!

i whole heartedly agree with kens post.

i highly recommend that the original poster get in touch with a local structural engineer, who will be up to date with current and local council requirements.

here in australia, we have the yellow pages, which i use on a daily basis for different trades.

i am sure you have something similar in your neck of the woods.

regards, justin.



Offline Leland

  • Posts: 16
Re: wood beam vs steel beam
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2011, 03:13 AM »
As a licensed egineer, I recommend that you seek assistance from a local stuctural engineer that can propery assess the situation better than anyone can over the internet. 
 

Offline Chris Hughes

  • Posts: 568
Re: wood beam vs steel beam
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2011, 06:56 AM »
I tried to stay away after the "legal" advise started to be thrown about but I couldn't.  We like to make things way more complicated than it needs to be.  The issue at the core is very simple, don't lose sight of the question.  What am I lifting and holding in place?

Like Nick, I have lifted more than a few house, heck I have moved three houses at least 10 blocks each.  Though when that occurs I have a house mover and his equipment.  When we move a house we do not consult an engineer for the lifting portion.  Again the lifting part is the easiest mathematically and the weight involved frankly is not that much.

In the old days we used a bottle jack with a heavy duty column, a dry line, and a turn jack to follow the turn jack.  We would set the line parallel to the bottom of the beam so that we could measure the deflection of the beam to the straight line.  It is a good idea to start near a existing post.  Aply force with the bottle jack column, while using the turn jack follow the beams movement.  It is important that the posts be plumb, in some instances, under heavy load a post can deflect and roll out.  That is why we use a jack to follow.  Try not to over lift at one post, move the length of the beam and apply as equal force as possible both so you don't knock things above you to far out of square. 

On older houses we sometimes do this process to try to get back to plumb, square and level after demo and before a major remod.  I don't like to shim my base cabinets 1 1/2 " as I set them.

Be careful, be safe, and if you are scared or unsure, call a pro, we do this stuff all the time.

Offline fdengel

  • Posts: 804
Re: wood beam vs steel beam
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2011, 07:10 AM »
I'd agree with consulting an engineer on this one, but will just add that in the meantime, if it's sagging already, you should probably put something, even temporary, underneath that to help hold it up until a more correct solution is in place -- wedge the right size something underneath it (vertically) as a support where it is sagging...

Offline WarnerConstCo.

  • Posts: 3394
    • WarnerRemodeling
Re: wood beam vs steel beam
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2011, 07:32 PM »
You just need some to do the calcs on your spans and loads and they can tell you what size/type beams to use.

Guessing is not good.