Structural Engineer | Wall Removal | Basement Engineering

by birtanpublished on August 29, 2020

Hi I'm Jeff from home renovation DIY your YouTube general contractor today we are here to talk about how to install a load-bearing beam that's right we're going open-concept modern rustic baby got to rip all this out and put in some serious structure we're gonna talk to

Our structural engineer about how to do this how to remove the collar ties these pieces here so we can have a vaulted ceiling and of course we have to be in the basement where you're going to be talking temporary jack posts footings

Point load-carrying beams cantilevered beams flush mount recessed beams my goodness we've got all kinds of stuff going on the difference between concrete foundations and stack stone foundations and all the challenges are gonna face if

It has to do a structure it's in this video coming right at you so I'm here with my structural engineer Ethan from Star engineering I've been using Star engineering for the last few years Youth is the first time we've met yes

Okay I usually was working in East End of Ottawa so I worked with the guys out of the other office okay okay we're in the loft here and we want to get rid of the color ties and that's these big things up here and I was just having a

Quick conversation with Ethan about if I want to open the ceiling completely to the top you're suggesting a ridge beam and we can put one underneath all the points of this ceiling yeah your best bet here is to put the ridge beam up

Right tight to the right underneath the peak okay and then that will run all the way to the outside balloon well yeah the outside of the house here that's balloon construction how much do I need to be able to carry that down it depends on

The size of the beam okay how much weight is on the beam so if in this case we're maybe 20 feet or so mm-hmm you're probably looking at a 4 2 by 6 post somewhere in that range ok so then I'm gonna have to open up enough of this

Space to get a 4 2 by 6 post down right down to the bottom yeah it's gonna have to be continuous from the peak of the roof all the way down and supported on the foundation foundation so that the last floor joist in this package won't

Be good enough it has to go right to the foundation so it can be done in two separate posts one one from the the bottom of the here to here to the floor level and from there down then underneath the floor down to

The foundation okay that's a lot of work and then over here we'd bring this over here now I've got plans for a Murphy bed in here and a bookcase okay so if I was to bring up a structural post here in here and then carry it across and bring

It down as that work so to do a post beneath the B bring a post down and then carry it over to two other point loads onto the not a problem at all okay you can do it that way and there's an opening below us under this wall anyways

We have so the structural support for that opening is behind this this cladding here so I actually want to bring all that load on to that part of the wall behind this cladding then directly right yeah that's that's the

Best I just do it cut open that roof which is the existing roof can you believe this well cut this open find that beam and then bring that load to there yeah same sort of idea on this side you have

A post from the bottom of the beam and it can come right into this wall that strip down here yeah yep so you can do that or like you were saying you can do a beam across with two posts okay so I actually want to restore this so I can

Open up from the other side to get my beam in not a problem okay good now if I wanted to not put in a ridge beam I've actually seen a couple of different options I've seen people put in like Steel ELLs and just tie that all

Together so that it can't flex and bolt through the wood is that an option it's something we can look at it's a little more design intensive right because essentially right now we have these collar ties nailed into all of the the

Rafters sure we're asking a lot from this really 140 year old wood exactly under nothing bolt and it's a lot it's a lot easier to hold it together when you bring this tie further down okay so the lower it is the more strength to get so

The more ceiling I want the more engineering I needed basically yeah so if I was to sacrifice let's say moving the collar tie up two feet okay and put the collar tighten at that point I'd be looking at going more like to eight

Or two by twelve maybe galvanized bolts two times that that's the idea that is that a doable option it's something I have to design by the office but it's it's definitely feasible okay so then I could go with the ridge beam for full

Exposure yep it's labor intensive yeah or we could maximize a little bit of head space and get Mormon nine or ten foot ceiling here with something a little bit simpler okay I'm gonna probably look at both

Options just because I'm curious yeah we can definitely look up awesome and is there anything like what we're doing over here we're basically adding wood so we can get proper insulation and we want to go

To our 20 yeah okay but we're adding this 2×4 and this 2×2 here we actually cut on a 45 so that all of this downward force is sitting against that wall we're just trying to give a little bit more rigidity in this

Thing that doesn't factor into your equation at all does it it's really not because these so these roof rafters now we're not changing this ban at all so it comes to sew and load and everything is kind of grandfathered in because we're

Not adding anything new okay so because it's existing we keep the support essentially the same so it's supported at the top and at the end okay so anything you add whether it's to increase the insulation or or just add

Some extra nail changing and rigidity it's not going to change any design okay a quick question because I have a crazy plan for the future Ethan I would love to cut a piece of here and open up a dormer okay alright yeah if I'm thinking

Of doing that in the future is there anything I actually do now in advance of that so that the structure is in place like if I was to put in a dormer starting tomorrow what does my structure require

Obviously two by six doubled up you're going to need a double up at each side of the door more that you see anything across all right where I'm kind of cutting pivot like let's say I want to go to eight feet and then that's where

It's gonna live from yeah so you'll have a cross beam wherever the dormer stops right so it'll go let's say frontier here across you go across two or three yards that level is wide to be again it depends on the loads

Okay it would be something I have to design sure but you're more than likely gonna be good with a double 2×8 okay something in that range but it would have to be engineers so if I was to cheat and put in double two by six after

The collar ties are gone on both sides and then cut across a double two by six with joist hangers so that next spring I can call you up and say hey this is what I did can I open this up are you in you're

Gonna need me to pull the ceiling open or if I take pictures is that enough or should I engineer now it should be engineered now okay most of the time with the permit process you can you can include other items even if it's the

Work is not to be done right away okay so you can have that included in the package right and be specific and only work on this area or that area at a time yeah because the city only cares if you're putting your stamp on it at the

End of the day the city is normally very fast at giving you your permit yes whenever we have already taken the responsibility cuz yeah that's probably have rules right listen the end of the day the city has certain rules and if

You work inside their box you're fine they can approve it as soon as you move outside the box you need guys like Ethan to say yes we're good here's a stamp to prove it we've done the math you're safe okay

Awesome let's go talk about the main structure of the house now let's do it beautiful okay so part of my challenges as a homeowner is the fact that I've got enough experience with doing structural

Work that I'm a mine gets ahead of myself from your perspective what's more important interior structure or the exterior walls like what would say wow you got to deal with this first it's if I had to choose if I had a financial

Restriction I had to choose what would you do first shore up the outside wall or shore up the middle of that it is I would say it's a case-by-case basis depending on what's going on your politician but so I mean it's it's worth

Whatever needs it most okay so if your floor is sagging if you feel vibration when you walk up top yeah and a little living a sponge cake it's probably more important to take care of the inside okay if you're out from

Outside you see bowing in the wall you have cracking going on yep water coming in it may be an issue that needs to be addressed first so it is definitely a case-by-case basis I look at it how did it go about that but the biggest concern

Would be houses are more prone to collapse from the inside than from the outside generally I would say so okay all right so the idea here is if we renovate the inside of this house I want to get these trees in the middle lift it

Up in a position and get them permanently supported for two reasons one having the perma support in the middle of the house enables me to put in temporary support a couple feet from the exterior wall at a later date so I can

Fix my foundation for sure right and it allows me to complete the renovations inside the house so that I can increase the value of the home and put me in a position where I can get an estimate done on the value of the home so I can

Then afford to do the work on the exterior of the house makes sense which is another issue okay what kind of scenario is most ideal for dealing with trees what do you do with this every one of these is a different dimension so

It's it's not the easiest thing to work with and right nowadays they don't teach anything like that in school okay because it's they don't use it in any new construction exactly and you're not even gonna see it in old

Construction unless it's very old but there's a lot of houses I've been in late 1800s Early 1900s and they're all floor joists package right like even here this house has got floor joists everywhere else except the basement and

Everything in this house is clear span one side of the next so I'm not sure what they were thinking like there's someone invent the bandsaw the day after they put this foundation in it's hard to explain and normally when I come on on

Any site and I come down into the basement first it's normally wear the most structure is visible I'm going to assume that it's the same it's built the same all the way up right so whenever they do different things it's it always

Seems to throw me off so I'm kind of thinking like these trees were in their way when they built the house they cut them down dug a hole put up the walls and then pulled the trees back across to get started that's kind of how I'm

Feeling to put this because the lumber was already there it was free yeah it was it wasn't an uncommon technique back down right yeah you see sometimes the sizes are vastly different here at least they look it's nineteen

Cons you know it's like it's relatively the same okay so we want to do the idea of we need basically two structural loads on each side of the staircase because the house is cut in half by the stairs right you know I came in here

With a preconceived notion of the idea of putting in a point load over here underneath here going right across over top of the foundation wall and cantilevering the load coming from the second floor onto that is is that is

That wishful thinking or is that is that reasonable with today's technology it can definitely be done so again depending on what sort of weight we have coming down on the cantilevered section yeah that will limit our design okay for

For a beam down here because I know you know almost anything is possible with a big piece of steel that's right but as a DIY I'm trying my best on this channel to show people how to do things themselves so if you can come out

From the approach of laminating lumber and steel together as components once they're in the basement that would be more ideal I would rather have a piece of steel with pre-drilled holes according to an engineer drawing that I

Can put on the wood template drill the holes come back the other side install it in place Jack it all up you know just meet with one helper that makes a lot more sense for the system that I'm going with here well yeah it's not easy to

Slide a big continuous heavy steel beam in through especially with all these posts everywhere yeah like I don't have a lot of playroom and and I've been in companies where we'd call all the crews and you know 14 guys would show up we

Don't carry a beam in that's not happening on this job so we try to try to keep things under a couple hundred pounds per unit would be great yeah and install them one at a time so if we can come up with a design plan for picking

That up on both sides this wall over here has a limitation of about 10 inches that side is doesn't it's a much bigger size I haven't like 13 inches over there okay so if that makes any difference it definitely makes a difference the depth

Of the beam is really what's governing its strength you can go wider but it's really not giving you a whole lot of extra strength compared to increasing its depth really yeah would it make sense then on this side if I was to

Remove part of the foundation wall in order to let the beam go all the way out to do a little bit of a pocket yeah depending on the design for sure that could really I mean it could be the difference between a steel beam or that

Laminated Elvia okay so if that's necessary to go to the laminate it with that direction yeah okay sure fabulous so let's go back upstairs and we'll talk about we want to do two different things either one we want to

Do a recessed beam and when we want to carry the load from underneath and do a flush mount okay just so that you know we have a bathroom so we're gonna go with the coffered ceiling no need to get too fancy but on the other side of the

Room we want to put it up as high as possible and really expose all of that original ceiling so let's have a quick look let's do that all right so even we're gonna go modern rustic and

In design world that means open concept that's and everyone's doing that open ceiling so we won't expose the floor joist and the tongue-and-groove floor from above right and have it all exposed we're gonna try to move as much wiring

And heating into corners and and false ceiling action as we can but we want to have a beam and since we need a structural beam in this room we'd like it because we really don't have a tall ceiling it's a really big room for

Exactly seven and a half feet kind of lousy really I don't know how many layers are in the ceiling I'm guessing almost two inches maybe more I guess we'll find out what's their demolition right but so the secret for

Me is if I'm gonna put a beam from basically that side of the room which is that wall into this interior wall what does a building called require from me now for support for that beam so anything we do any renovations we do

Today yep have to meet today's building code right so whatever was here before once we go ahead and start trying to change it right it doesn't matter how that was built or if it met the code from 2050 there's no grandfather rule if

You're making modification that's right exactly that's exactly right so whatever we designed today any new beam has to be designed to today's code okay so if we have a let's call the exterior structure an actual floor in then my beam needs to

Breach right to the exterior cladding because from unless some group a beam a needs to sit on at least three inches of solid material is that correct yeah that's right so they can't whip off yeah this guy dia so you don't have an

Accidental force right shift it off and normally for beams you have a lot of pressure yeah at each end so you need enough bearing resistance bearing area exactly to transfer that weight without crushing

So an actual 2×4 beam means that I'm gonna have a little bit of wiggle room up there so if I if I have let's say twelve or sixteen exact feet I could get a beam 15:11 so it's easy to install with the difference on each end I still

Have three and a half inches of meat on each side to carry that I'm okay yeah as long as you have that bearing okay then we're good all right and what do we need to use to tie it all together is it just nails or

Just a gravity what are we using so normally what we like to recommend is a little above and beyond the building code requirements and it's still simple it's just a clip angle thin piece of steel from the post to the beam

Yep and l-shape and and you nail directly into each member okay instead of tone ailing if I have a post the same width as my beam do you want to have another 2×4 something traveling up past the beam so there's no rollover that's

Also a great idea then that's important when you're underneath structure what if like in this situation I'm planning on cutting all the joists out so I'm gonna need an interior wall and you're gonna spec that

Out for me right usually within two feet something that's measured and cut to fit right yes over the load and then I'm gonna cut it out I'm gonna slide the beam up I'm gonna add joist hangers for it and then Jack them all in oh my god

That's gonna be a busy day but once I have that beam in place it there's not much risk of rollover that's what I'm saying once the new beam is in between the joists right no because you'll also

Probably do a temporary support underneath the beam before the actual or the actual well yeah okay good point all right so is there any problem this rue is an actual 16 feet long is there any problem going lvl

In this situation again it all depends on on how much week we have coming from above okay is it just the floor or do we have the floor and the roof supported shit early just the floor actually yeah in this case I mean in this case if it's

Just the floor lvl I mean lvl will definitely be acceptable you have depths up to 18 inches right obviously if you're going flush beam we want to keep it as small as possible to avoid a bulkhead if I have a 2 by 10 floor joist

Package up here which I think I do which is not acceptable no matter what's going on not not as if I if I put an lvl 2 by 10 in is a triple enough over Sene feet or my better to go 12 and then trying to cap it all with something

Decorative after the fact you're probably going to be looking at 12 okay just based on my experience but again every case is different so I'd have to run the numbers but it's good for me to be thinking don't be disappointed if we

Have to go 12 that's right okay so from my design that I'm gonna think I'm gonna I'm gonna clad the beam itself anyway so I can cover all of the joist hangers and then when I'm finished I'm gonna have a painted ceiling and then an exposed raw

Finished beam takes a little extra work but I think it's gonna be pretty and it better be safe than sorry okay let's go talk about the other beam because it's totally different so you have to carry and load and then we see if we can cheat

A little bit over on this yeah let's look at the other side so Ethan more over here in the in the I guess we're gonna call it living sitting area slash kitchen we've got a beam here and I don't have any idea how it's done

Not happy with the structure or load because the point load here doesn't actually go anywhere it's just sitting on the floor which we know is already it's a disaster and and and and I look really short right now but you know like

Okay we're dropping I think somewhere around 2 to 3 inches over the last couple feet here the house is collapsing in the middle our plan is to remove the entire wall from beside the stairs where we know we have structure going clear

Span to the outside wall same as the other side yeah only in this situation because above us is a bathroom we're not going to go expose ceiling we're gonna go with a coffered ceiling look so we're gonna allow ourselves the luxury of a

Beam underneath all the joists package which simplifies my easier to install easier to install right so there's a definite cost difference in time difference in that engineering it relatively the same same loads baby it's

It's the same thing except we're not worried about joist hangers yeah this case the joists will just sit right on top of it yep and the beam goes in almost the exact same sort of calculations go into designing this one

As at the other side okay so the assumption is that Joyce are clearspan yeah I don't even know like I didn't know they made 20-foot joists in the old days is that common enough that we can assume that or

III would say for a house this age it's a good assumption really okay but even if they're not as long as both joists bare on the beam in this bulkhead okay so as long and the new beam is going worst-case scenario I've got a joist

Coming from each end and it butts up together how much how much beam do I need on each side of each joist to carry that for joist do you want to have a minimum 1.5 inches okay that's the bearing requirement most likely if you

Do have to joists yeah they won't butt up they usually overlap they usually overlap but my worst-case scenarios they butt up and in that case if they all butt up and they're in the line then a double is

Enough then a double would be enough if they're perfectly in line so when I open all this up if I call you up and say hey thanks for the beam it's a double lvl by 12 however my joists are but up and they're not in line I need to make this

A triple is that a phone call or is that a site visit a phone call would be fine in that case okay most of the time if we have specified a double after we've done our design yeah and you need to add in a third ply sure there's not going to be

Any issue as long as we add a third ply on the point loads as well yeah as long as we have that minimum bearing condition mauka all right adding extra strength to the beam is not gonna raise any flags

Hopefully with anybody so our process here is site inspection today you're going to give me a plan to follow and as long as that plan meets all of the conditions of bearing load and transfer and movement we're fine if there's any

Adjustments we'll call you up and let you know and if you have to make another site visit to modify something then we'll do it at that time sometimes that's necessary especially in older homes if if the ceilings are always

Surprised you never know what you're gonna find when you open up these walls okay do you do a last visit to inspect before you stamp No so our design will be stamped based on

Just this visit and of all the information we've talked about all right we will have the bearing conditions and other stipulations you're sure that that we've kind of discussed here kind of so that it really falls on me if anything

Falls out of line with that exactly so we have to there'll be a note and we'll say something like contractor or owner to verify this condition has met that condition right if these are not met call engineer before proceeding with

Work so in the world of liability you're you're covered with your stamp because you're now placing responsibility on the person doing the work to make sure they comply with all of those limitations yeah exactly

That's good to know as a homeowner like just because you've got a plan from an engineer doesn't mean you can do whatever the heck you want after that you still got to comply with what he says all right Ethan pleasure having you

It's anybody all right thanks Jeff and look forward to getting these plans what kind of timeline do you expect therefore turnaround once you do a site visit to having plans available is so normally at our firm we're looking

At between one to two weeks turnaround time wow that's a visit okay yeah Wow how about that all right well now you go now you've had a complete walkthrough you've got the structural engineer you have an idea of the hell that I'm living

In what I got to get done we are gonna see you again for step-by-step reconstruction of the entire house can't wait to show you the finished product make sure to check out all the videos on our modern rustic farmhouse remodels if

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