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Thread: Need To Span 10 foot opening in support wall...

  1. #1
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    Default Need To Span 10 foot opening in support wall...

    Would one of those super joists, the ones with the plywood webbing be able to span a 10 foot space while holding up a supporting wall of a townhouse?

    Or should I do the three or four 2x8's route?

  2. #2
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    It depends what is being supported by the support wall, 2nd story or what? Give me an idea and will look it up in the building code. You may also be able to put the beam into the ceiling and use joist hangers which always looks a little nicer if there is a room on each side.
    Brian
    " It is nice to be important but more important to be nice"

  3. #3
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    It looks like this is a common support wall all the way up to the second floor. I have attached two pics I took of the wall...you can see the concrete footing the wall sits on...I was hoping to be able to take out that concrete when I make the opening.

    If had to could always put a steel support pole at the midway point but would be nicer if had all open.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
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    The photocopies of my outdated BC Buliding Code Appendix tables derives the lintel based on:
    • type of material (steel, glulam, spruce, fir, hem, larch or combo's there of)
    • will the lintel be structurally sheathed.
    • grade of lumber (#1 or #2),
    • snow loading (in kilopascals) .. specific to your area
    • inside or outside walls
    • # of outside walls (roof+ceiling only, attic storage, 1 story, 2 story, etc)
    Only a few of the biggest combo's make over 3m in span (dual 2x12, sheathed no stories above, #1 grade, lowest snow load, etc)

    Residential framing by William Spence has a summary table that indicates that two 2x12 will span 8ft to 12ft assuming a certain strength of lumber and specific live and dead floor loads ... which, by code, are not applicable here in Canada.

    A 10ft supporting wall span is a serious gap. If it was me ... hmmm ... probably a structural engineering review or dual 2x12s with a 1/2" plywood (or 1/2" steel plate if any stories above) bolted in between or glulam/parallam beam .... hmmm ....

  5. #5
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    so this is the basement wall and you have the main story then a top floor above this?

    what is on the other side of this wall?

  6. #6
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    It's difficult to get oriented in pic 2 as to which wall you are considering opening. If it's the one on the right (with the peg board?), doesn't look like a bearing wall to me. Typically, floor joists abut, terminate or run perpendicular to bearing walls.
    You mentioned townhouse, I'll mention "covenants". Are you permitted to make interior structural alterations?? I certainly would not do so without a structural design plan (stamped by a prof engr), a building permit and a letter of approval from the townhouse corporation as a start. Could be a very messy can of worms. Not the sort of thing you want to do and then seek approval for later.

  7. #7
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    Default Load bearing wall

    Do the joists that we see the end of continue to an adjoining wall or are they just put in as spacers to hold the top of the wall with the peg board in the verticle position. The concrete on the floor is a strong indicator that it is a load bearing wall unless it was just poured on top of an existing floor. If you call a company that sells structural steel they will give you the specs on what size of a steel beam you will require. They usually have an engineer on staff that will give you the info over the phone.Spencer Steel in London provide this service. Is there a second story on this condo above the basement.

    Brian
    " It is nice to be important but more important to be nice"

  8. #8
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    Default Insssulation

    Has anyone noticed that there is insulation only above that wall...why????

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CheapScotsman View Post
    so this is the basement wall and you have the main story then a top floor above this?

    what is on the other side of this wall?
    The other side of the wall in a long rec room affair. The ends of the joists in that pic run all the way over to the outside wall. This wall is common all the way to the top of the building...2 stories...so most likey its a load bearing wall . Not sure why the insulation blocks are there..usually they are over at the outside wall, but on the other side of this wall in the rec room area, the ceiling is finished, so no way of knowing what kind of insulating job has been done there.

  10. #10
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    Todd Robert

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    A couple of thoughts for you, if what we are seeing is the ends of joists that are sitting on the wall and nailed into the joist that is running perpendicular to them. You should be able to add joist hangers to them and also double up or triple up on the left side of the joist that has all the other ones tied into it. There is a chance that you may have to add joists on the right side of the existing one also depending on if the upper wall is directly above the wall shown. If so you may have to build a temperary wall on the recroom side of the existing wall before removing it and then cut the ends of the joists back as needed to insert the buildup joists. These joists would have to span the entire length as the existing one so that the ends are supported at both ends weather they are sitting on walls or beams. If they are sitting on walls then studs will have to be add in the wall directly under each joist for the load to be carried down to the floor. The other thing that needs to be considered is that the built up joist need to be nailed every so often to hold them together. For the quantity of nails and proper spacing as well and if this way will be accepted you should contact your local building department they will be able to tell you as to what it necessary to do this project. You may also be able to use a paralam wood beam but heavier to work with then dimensional 2 by material.

    Another option is to put a header in the wall and support the ends as needed put this may not give you the head room that you may want. So the first option might be the best way for you to go. Myself i would go with my first suggestion and stay away from steel which is heavy and difficult to work with in a renovation type job. Also unless you know of a structural engineer that won't charge you, i would just enquire with your building department or possibly a builder in your area they should know the codes.

    I hope that this might help in your decision, good luck with the project
    Last edited by Todd; 12-11-2007 at 06:02 PM.
    If you want me to make it i need this new tool first

  11. #11
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    I think it's best you get some professional advice on this. It may or may not be a load bearing wall. It's hard to say with those pics. A common wall going all the way up, the concrete footing and the joists perpendicular to the wall are all good indicators it's a bearing wall but not necessarily proof positive.
    The common Wall might just be a wall.
    The footing looks like it was poured afterward but It's hard to be sure from the pic. It may have been put in to protect the rec room from water damage if the pictured side of the wall is a laundry or utility room.
    That joist configuration is not out of the ordinary for a non load bearing wall.
    It is more common to see beams and posts bearing the load in a basement then a bearing wall... but not unheard of.

    I spanned a 13' 4" bearing wall on the main floor of a two story home with 3 2"X8"s. It passed inspection and never showed any sign of movement at all in 13 years. Each end of the beam was supported down to the pillars in the basement.

    FWIW
    J.P. Rap Mount Hope Ont.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Blade View Post
    It looks like this is a common support wall all the way up to the second floor. I have attached two pics I took of the wall...you can see the concrete footing the wall sits on...I was hoping to be able to take out that concrete when I make the opening.

    If had to could always put a steel support pole at the midway point but would be nicer if had all open.
    It looks to me like the blocking in between the joists help support the wall that is studded directly above this one. If I were you I would get a P-lam beam the same thickness as your floor joists --- 9 1/4" x 3" or 4" thick and take out the wall and blocking above and replace it with the P-lam. with some cripples on each end to hold the weight. I opened up a 12' opening in a dining room to kitchen with this method and the wall carried the second floor and roof. You can phone a truss and beam place and they will give you the specs.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wally in Calgary View Post
    It looks to me like the blocking in between the joists help support the wall that is studded directly above this one.
    Wally... I think you missed this one.

    The other side of the wall in a long rec room affair. The ends of the joists in that pic run all the way over to the outside wall.
    He's referring to the "blocking" you're referring to.
    J.P. Rap Mount Hope Ont.
    Carpe Ductum (Seize The Tape)


    "In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. Elwood P. Dowd

  14. #14
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    Now that I look at it again...I will only be looking at and actual opening of 7 feet, so that's even better...less load coming down on either side.

    So I sandwich a 1/2" piece of plywood between two 2 x 10's as a header for the opening, have them rest on three 2x4' jack studs on either side...glue and nail the header really good...wife always complains that I overbuild things, so that shouldn't be a problem

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Blade View Post
    Now that I look at it again...I will only be looking at and actual opening of 7 feet, so that's even better...less load coming down on either side.

    So I sandwich a 1/2" piece of plywood between two 2 x 10's as a header for the opening, have them rest on three 2x4' jack studs on either side...glue and nail the header really good...wife always complains that I overbuild things, so that shouldn't be a problem
    A word of caution. Earlier in the thread you mentioned that this was a townhouse. The ownership, obligations and responsibilities usually aren't the same as with a normal detached house wrt what the owner/occupant can and can't do especially for things like structural changes. If you require approvals, make sure you get them in advance, and that includes building permits.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.P. Rap View Post
    Wally... I think you missed this one.
    He's referring to the "blocking" you're referring to.
    Yes ---I guess I did!!!! LOL.

  17. #17
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    In Town house ( strata buildings) you can modify the inside of the structure so long as it doesn't compromise the structural integrity of the building. What you are suggesting to do would do just that and you might want to talk to the strata first before doing anything. I am sure that you will be required to hire a skilled and reputable company to do the work. That is just how the strata's are run so that it protects the other members of the starta. It sucks and that is one of the reasons that I left the last strata I was involved in and i am a journeyman carpenter who does this stuff all the time. Just too many headaches to deal with strata's. To answer youre question though you can do a couple things. Para lams are the material of choice now to deal with clear spams as they are engineered Or you can use 3-2x10's or 2-2x12's to clear that span. You would have to take out a permit and have all this oked by the local building inspectors before any work is done. ( this protects your butt) Ok maybe not the answer that you are looking for. Hope this helps

    Drew

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