OK to add running board next to beam?

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Old 01-30-17, 07:45 PM
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OK to add running board next to beam?

Continuing work on my basement finishing job. Have typical support beam running roughly down the center of the basement with typical steel jack posts. On top of the beam is a 2x6 and on top of that are the floor joists. Plan to box in the beam, making the box wider than beam and using the space as a chase for wiring, plumbing, etc.

Is there any reason I can't add a strip of plywood along the side of the beam, fastening it to the 2x6? I would then run romex and plumbing along the plywood. It will all be enclosed by the beam box. The sides of the box will be removable for future access to the chase. See the cross section drawing. Plywood edge is red.

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Old 01-30-17, 08:33 PM
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In your diagram it looks like the decorative side of the box would be on top of the wires if you were to run wires along the outside of the plywood.

When I did a friends house I cut the plywood to fit tightly inside the beam. The wiring was then shy of the metal beam. He used some construction adhesive although the plywood was tight.
 
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Old 01-30-17, 08:44 PM
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You would typically fasten another 2x6 to the bottom of the i-beam as a nailer. Some inspectors would not allow an open chase like that, they typically like to see solid blocking every 10' horizontally. But codes and code enforcement vary.
 
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Old 01-31-17, 07:42 AM
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There are already water pipes and a 1 1/4 gas line running along the underside of the joists a few inches away from the beam, so the box sides will be spaced away from the beam giving plenty of clearance to the plywood.

I think I will have to ask inspector about the blocking; I had wondered about it. There will be no vertical connections to the chase except at each end, and they will be fire blocked, and the bottom will be sheetrocked, so it seems like blocking isn't really called for, but I can do it if necessary.

I was hoping to avoid a nailer under the beam, just to maximize headroom. But I could bridge the two ladders with plywood if necessary and then cover with sheetrock.

Thanks guys!
 
 

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