Replacing ceiling beam

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Old 03-04-17, 07:36 PM
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Replacing ceiling beam

I have an exposed ceiling beam in the living room held up by 3 columns. I want to replace it with a lvl and get rid of the columns. The span is 30ft
I consulted an engineer and he specified 3 1-1/2 16" 30ft Lvl beams.
My question is. The beam is at what used to be the outside wall of the house, they built a porch and enclosed it, then built another porch outside that. So the beam is about 10ft from what used to be the center of the house and about 10ft from the new outside wall which is mostly windows. Looking inthe attic the house is stick built and rafters run from the old center of the house to the new outside wall 20ft. With the beam at 10ft. On top of the rafters there is for a better word a ladder beam (looks like a ladder on side) sitting on the existing beam and the roof is sitting on top of that.
If I build walls on each side of the existing beam and then remove the old beam, everything is ok. However as soon as I cut the rafters to put up the lvl inside the attic, those walls I just built are not holding up anything but the tail ends of the rafters. I cant see that they are really supporting any weight except the ends of the rafters. Also that ladder beam will not be supporting the roof anymore until I get the new beams up and a new ladder wall built on top.
I cant see how this can be done without having nothing holding up the ceiling. The only way I can see is to leave the old beam in place, cut the rafters on one side. Raise one lvl beside the old beam and build a new ladder wall on top of it then remove the old beam and put up the other 2 lvls. What do you think?
 
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Old 03-05-17, 03:13 AM
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A picture or two will certainly allow us to see what you see and make the paragraph description more viable. It is difficult to understand your situation. LVLs are great for support, but we need to see it, too.
 
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Old 03-05-17, 04:25 AM
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From what I am reading it looks like you are making changes to the major components that affect the structural integrity of your house. I realize you might be on a tight budget, but I really think you should seek professional help from a company with a solid well known track record for that kind of work. I know of a few stories where similar work was done by DIYers, they got it wrong and later when the big bad wolf came he blew the house down.

Now maybe you're well experenced yourself, and have this pretty much figured out, and just looking to clarify some thoughts with others on here. I'm an amateur, so my comments above are all I really can say, and I felt I needed to in case your more like me, than others on this forum.
 
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Old 03-05-17, 11:43 AM
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This house was built by a father and son in 1964. Its about 2600 sq ft now a little bigger. Since I bought it in 2008 there had been 3 other owners.
I have gutted the kitchen and removed a wall to allow access to the utility room which was a dead end and replaced a wall and added a door. All new custom built cabinets (provisional built and installed) Granet counter tops (pro installed) tile back splash I installed, I replaced all the appliances, new floor, new insulation in that wall.
I replaced all the doors on the house. I replaced the window wall in the living room by removing old double thick glass frame windows and 3 large windows all were sitting on the brick work instead of the house foundation, the brick was bulging at he bottom so I put the new ones on the house frame. Also new insulation. 2 6' x 6' windows, one 6' x 5' and one 6' x 4'.
I put down laminate floor in the living room where there was carpet covering the original plywood sub floor in 1/2 the living room and a concrete slab in the other half by the windows. I raised the bedroom floor which used to be the garage and was on concrete and 3 steps down. Now its the same height as the rest of the house, I also put laminate floor in there.
I gutted the master bathroom which used to be 3 steps up, and moved the toilet and clip corner shower and added a capsule steam shower, moved the door so you couldn't see the toilet if the door was left open. New tile, removed the wallpaper and removed a clipped corner where the toilet was mounted on the wall and put in a floor mount toilet.
I redid the utility room by moving the washing machine and dryer and added a water softener and sink, moving a wall in the process and adding a door to the kitchen where there was none.
I removed a built in drawer set in the bedroom extending into the closet and built a tornado shelter in the bedroom closet attached to the concrete floor. I redesigned the closet with a shelf system and added a pocket door in place of the he standard door.
I removed the tiny deck off the bedroom and added a 26 x 16 ft room and replaced a french door that was falling out with a sliding door. I paid window world to replace all the windows in the house, then had them come back and remove them all and do it right. I added 10 ft wide steps off the back of the living room deck where there were 6" tread and only 3ft wide I removed the glass walls (4 seasons room) from the deck and used it for the new room 2 walls.
I removed all the propane heaters they had due to bad windows and no insulation beside them in the back. 1/2 the living room is a slab and was sinking, the 30x 10ft slab had a broke footer on one corner and was sitting on 3 - 8" block columns and a 4" solid block wall around the perimeter. I hired a foundation company who redid the footing with rebar and added 32 double 8" block columns with cement bases to hold up the slab.
I gutted and rebuilt the 2nd PINK bathroom, removed all the wall tile, pink tub and sink and toilet and added a new tub, shower, toilet, floor, vanity, lights and wall tile. I redid the 3rd full bathroom but did not gut it. All new pot ceiling lights in the kitchen and LR.
I also built a 27 x 19 ft garage with 9' door for my small motor home and car.
I removed the galvanized pipe under the house and some copper and replaced it with PVC. I split the water system into 2 parts, one section for the 2 full bathrooms with instant hot water heater and the other section for the kitchen, bedroom and laundry room with another instant hot water heater. I also replaced the rotting cast iron sewer pipe under the house with PVC. I built a 28 x 28 ' room for my small business and built a walkway from the sun room (the one I built) to the office. I put crown molding throughout the house. I built a concrete porch to the side door to replace a 2' deep and 4' wide with 4 small brick steps and made it 4' x 4' and 3 2 ft wide and deep steps. last year I painted the outside brick which was already painted white. Now its 2 tone beige to match the garage. I still have to finish the fireplace which was white painted brick and now wall board I am building a full surround and mantel with wainscot.
Our last house, I bought a precut kit 2 story that I changed the design, from a company and hired a crew to build it from foundation to dried in, I did the inside and plumbing. 2600 sqft. I also did the insides except wall board, all floors, doors, kitchen except the cabinets, all floors and tile, bathrooms 3 of them. I added a 50ft tower on my 50ft long x 14ft rear deck so I could get TV from 60 miles away.

So I have a little diy experience. I did hire a construction engineer to figure the beams and supports. I will attach pictures later tonight.
 
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Old 03-15-17, 08:10 PM
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Sorry it took so long.
I did find out that I cant order a LVL of 1-1/2" they are 1-3/4"
The engineer specified 3, 1-1/2 x 16" x 30' LVL. I know I can substitute the 1-3/4. Does anyone know the load factor of a 16" 1-1/2 LVL vrs a 18" 1-3/4 LVL?
I found that 3 1-1/2 16" beams carry less than 2 1-3/4 18" beams. So I think I will put up the 2 18"
I will build a support wall on one side, cut the rafters and put in 1 beam then build a new roof support wall on top of it, then re-attach the rafters, then remove that support wall and put it on the other side of the existing beam and then remove the existing beam and put up the 2nd 18" beam beside it.

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Last edited by larrylwill; 03-15-17 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 03-16-17, 02:24 AM
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Make no mistake, you will need two support walls, one on either side of that beam to hold up the ceiling members. Build them far enough away so you can work on the tails one you cut them, and use joist hangers to attach them to the LVL.
 
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Old 03-16-17, 10:29 AM
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Since I will support one side and cut that same side rafters, the other side will be supported by the existing beam. Then when I install the new beam and build the top wall to support the roof and hang the rafters and add the 6 ft supports to hold the beam upright. That side should be supported now by the new beam. Then I move the wall to the other side and cut the rafters and install the 2nd beam beside the 1st and hang the rafters and install the beam supports on that side. I talked to the engineer and he said I could use 2 - 1-3/4 18" beams. I will always have a beam supporting the roof and rafters. The walls will be just 2 ft on either side of the existing beam. That leaves me 4 ft to wallboard.
 
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