Archive for January, 2012


I wish beaming was already invented so I could beam myself to Germany to hang out with the family. But alas, it is not and this post is not about beaming but about our main house beam.

The main house beam should have been upgraded before we did any work here but since the roof was already leaking, we decided to do that project first, which evolved into a much bigger project than we originally thought. Now, almost two years after starting the roof project, one year after finishing it, we are turning our attention to this thing:

Double beam - our main beam

Our beam is a double beam consisting of 2 2×8 each with blocking in between. The load bearing wall from the second floor lands just to the side of the one set of 2×8, essentially sitting on the blocking. This has caused the beam to slightly twist and the load bearing wall to sink a bit which is very noticeable on the first floor. The span between the posts is also too long.

To fix this, A. has been spending days doing calcs and looking through Simpson’s Strong Tie catalog to come up with the plan. So far we know we will be putting in 3 additional 2×8 LVL under the load bearing wall, moving the posts a few feet to even out the spacing and doing an elaborate hanging, double post design in front of the stairway. We will cut in new footings and put additional 2×8 LVL beams underneath the beams around the stairway.We are hoping with the right timing we will only need to do minimal shoring. The load bearing wall is the only part where we will need to remove the old support system to add the new.

I am not really looking forward to this project, although I am looking forward to the piece of mind when it is all done. This is because I have reached the point in a home remodelers life where I am more interested in finishing all the interior spaces, like the kitchen cabinets, holes in the ceiling, bathroom, new rooms upstairs, etc. I do hope that we can recruit family members to help out with this beam project as it will require lifting heavy things overhead.

I think between this project and the exterior siding, 2012 is pretty much laid out for us. I don’t think we’ll have money to do anything else and we won’t have time and energy either.


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