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Thread: Building a Beam

  1. #1
    Associate Engineer
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    Question Building a Beam

    Hi all,

    I hope you are all doing well. If this post is not allowed or should be in a different group please let me know.

    I have spent a few days looking around on the Internet with little success, so please forgive my question is it is super easy.

    I have a 62x90 metal building being built and I will be building out about 1,800 sq ft of living space. I wanted to have a nice open concept so I designed the living room, kitchen, and dinning room to be 10 ft ceilings and completely open. I will not put any storage above this area, so the only thing that needs support is the sheetrock, lights, and ceiling fans. I will have open cell spray foam between the ceiling joists.

    I planned to build a beam by placing 2x12s together, but I don't know for certain is this will be acceptable and how many 2x12s I would need to glue & screw together. The clear span is 30' 5" and I was planning to use 2x10s as the ceiling joists hanging on the beam. These will be 15' each because the clear span in that direction is 30'.

    If I did not provide enough information please let me know and I will be happy to share more information. Thank you in advance.
    House.JPG

  2. #2
    Administrator Kelly Bramble's Avatar
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    You should first look to local building codes for design requirements.
    Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly Bramble View Post
    You should first look to local building codes for design requirements.
    Thank you for responding. I am building in the middle of nowhere Guthrie, TX. No one is going to know what I am doing out there, but I don't want my ceiling falling on me. :-)

  4. #4
    Administrator Kelly Bramble's Avatar
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    The thing about building codes is that they provide design and building guide lines to non-engineers like construction framers and DIYers on how to build a structure without having to have knowledge or the skill sets of complex engineering analysis.

    Most importantly the structure will be built such that there is not an unnatural failure like the “ceiling falling” on anybody.

    Moreover, reasonable building codes can protect the property value, prevent resell inspections from failing, ensure total lifespan of the structure is achieved and prevent future related failures (like hanging a heavy ceiling fan) from occurring.
    Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

  5. #5
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    Didn't you Texas folks just have tornados yesterday? Build the thing right...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly Bramble View Post
    The thing about building codes is that they provide design and building guide lines to non-engineers like construction framers and DIYers on how to build a structure without having to have knowledge or the skill sets of complex engineering analysis.

    Most importantly the structure will be built such that there is not an unnatural failure like the “ceiling falling” on anybody.

    Moreover, reasonable building codes can protect the property value, prevent resell inspections from failing, ensure total lifespan of the structure is achieved and prevent future related failures (like hanging a heavy ceiling fan) from occurring.
    I will see if I can find any building codes to help, but will they provide the level of detail I need to design a beam? Sorry, I can build stuff without an issue, but I just don't want to make a mistake on something so important.

    I would be willing to buy a LVL beam as well, but I cannot figure out what size I need, so when I call to order one they will not help me. I asked the structural engineer that did my slab and he said since there is really no load I don't need much to hold up the ceiling, but that wasn't helpful to be honest.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackalge View Post
    Didn't you Texas folks just have tornados yesterday? Build the thing right...
    I want to build it right, which is the reason I am asking how I size the beam properly.

    The actual metal building is built to handle high winds due to the area. The slab was just over 190 yards and has some serious steel in it. Each columns sit on a yard of concrete 3x3x3 with 2 foot anchor bolts. If that thing goes, then the house isn't saving us. LOL

  8. #8
    Principle Engineer Cragyon's Avatar
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    Not a simple calculation - several hours of collecting engineering information on materials, options, etc.

    These sorts of questions are interesting but you're asking a lot. Kelly's advice is solid get the right local folks that can look at it and do the analysis or reference the code.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cragyon View Post
    Not a simple calculation - several hours of collecting engineering information on materials, options, etc.

    These sorts of questions are interesting but you're asking a lot. Kelly's advice is solid get the right local folks that can look at it and do the analysis or reference the code.
    Thanks for the response. Interesting, I assumed this was one of those things if you knew how it was pretty straight forward. Guess no one like a challenge. LOL

    Guess I will try to fine another way to figure it out.

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