Foundation Stabilization and Repair/adding a carring beam

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Question
I have an older cottage which I have jacked up approximately 12 to 14 inches in the last couple of years. I replaced old rotten beams with laminated 2x8 pressure treated lumber ( 4 runs of 2x 8 nailed together ). The cottage was built at two different times , the first was 16 x 20 feet and several years later an add on the front 14 x 17 feet.There are 5 laminated beams under it and now I want to run 3 heavier beams under these to help level the cottage. The add beams would be 30 feet long. Question is should I use steel H beam or is there a way to build them out of wood ?
Thanks

Answer
Jon,
The loads and load points would need to be calculated but as a general rule steel will
provide a higher capacity than timber relative to size. In other words, the height of the beam
would be much less with steel as opposed to timber. The steel beam will be heavier but most likely less expensive.
Wide Flange beams for example will have designators such as... W12 X 22 which means the beam
depth is 12" and the beam weighs 22 lbs per linear foot.
Built up laminated type beams can be designed by suppliers who typically have a tech support
engineer who can assist in beam design/selection.
This would be a route to go in considering timber.
I would suggest that you have a local engineer specify a beam to save time and frustration.
It sounds like the load points will be under the previously installed dbl 2/8 beams which will
dictate the beam size to allow for the specific load points along the length and at the end bearing of the beam.
At least make a phone call and get an estimate to have an engineer spec the beam.

Good luck with your project.

Randy  

Foundation Stabilization and Repair

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Randy Dikeman

Expertise

Any question regarding foundation repair, methods, new construction foundations,crawl space,soil retention walls,foundation maintenance, helical anchors and piers, push piers and resistance piers.

Experience

37 years of construction experience, 23 years specifically in the foundation repair industry. 13 years as a foundation repair contractor, 10 years as a national training manager for several major steel pier manufacturers

Organizations
Deep Foundations Institute

Education/Credentials
Nathan Hale High School, Tulsa, ok Oklahoma State University (no degree) Certified Installation Trainer with Several Manufacturers Licensed Insurance Adjuster - Texas

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