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How to tell if a beam is load bearing

EarlAJ
New Contributor

How to tell if a beam is load bearing

We are renovating and would like to remove a wall section that sticks out into a bedroom, however I don't know how to tell if the corner beam is load bearing or not. It certainly looks pretty solid (see photo), but from looking underneath the house, it doesn't seem to be resting on top of any beams beneath, just straight onto the floor boards.

 

Do I need to get an engineer in?

 

Beam.jpg

Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: How to tell if a beam is load bearing

Welcome to Workshop @EarlAJ. It's fantastic to have you join us. I hope you have plenty of fun on the site, and learn a thing or two from other community members. 

 

I'm sure our resident engineering expert @BIM_Engineer could provide some assistance with your question about the beam.

 

I'm also keen to read more about what you are planning with your renovation.

 

Jason

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BIM_Engineer
Valued Contributor

Re: How to tell if a beam is load bearing

Hi @EarlAJ
All structural member/component designs require good sound Engineering principles
Having said this its a bit hard to tell from your photo? Basically the quality of the engineering/design advice that is given will be reflected by the quality of the information and photos that is provided. heres a fews tips
Provide a wide shot for perspective, close ups are great for details and rough sketches show hidden items and provide insight to what your are trying to achieve. This also assists others and becomes a valuable resource.Cheers

Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: How to tell if a beam is load bearing

Hi @EarlAJ,

 

Thanks again for joining Workshop. Just wondering if you could provide some more detail and photos so that @BIM_Engineer can assist as per his helpful message earlier in the week?

 

Jason

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Andy_Mann
Trusted Contributor

Re: How to tell if a beam is load bearing

G'day @EarlAJ, a big welcome to the Workshop family, you're going to love it here, & we can learn from your adventures.

 

@BIM_Engineer's put up his hand, & he's just the bloke to give you the answers in structural engineering.

 

From your photo, I'm wondering if it's been transposed by 90degrees, going by what look like being the cornices on the lefthand side. It may also be helpful when you send @BIM_Engineer your next batch of photos, if you remove the drywall at/near beam intersections etc.

 

Good luck with your renos, I'll be tuning in to see how it progresses.

Brad
Valued Contributor

Re: How to tell if a beam is load bearing

@Andy_Mann I think you are right. the picture does look sideways.

Not sure if @BIM_Engineer will agree with me but that joint should be in compression where the photo as is shows as shear...
BIM_Engineer
Valued Contributor

Re: How to tell if a beam is load bearing

Roof Inspection Sketch.jpgGuys, Its a bit of a guessing game so a roof inspection is required without this additional info it is difficult to determine what type of roof/wind loads are transferred to the wall ->the door jamb->joints-> crack-> ground?
@EarlAJ try to determine the load source first and then the load path to the crack
If you are able to carefully/safely inspect the roof frame/truss structure note down the position of struts/bearing for future reference.. this is easily done when building a new house from the ground before the ceiling goes in..great for identifying load sources->Potential future crack/hazards/etc
If you are unable to inspect the roof frame /truss get someone competent who can.
A roof structure inspection sketch plan is attached .HTH

Andy_Mann
Trusted Contributor

Re: How to tell if a beam is load bearing

@EarlAJ could post some photos of your roof setup, & your underfloor where the problem wall is mate? It'll help @BIM_Engineer make more sense of the situation.

 

From your original post, "We are renovating and would like to remove a wall section that sticks out into a bedroom, however I don't know how to tell if the corner beam is load bearing or not. It certainly looks pretty solid (see photo), but from looking underneath the house, it doesn't seem to be resting on top of any beams beneath, just straight onto the floor boards."

 

To me, it's kinda weird to me that it'd being resting just on the floorboards, without any subfloor support.

 

Mind you, I saw a brick veneer home that was in the final stages of Gyprocking, it had a fibro column, that was for no other reason than for visual effect. I can say that with confidence, because there was a gap between the column & ceiling Gyprock, the only connection was via flimsy angle brackets, & tiny screws.

BIM_Engineer
Valued Contributor

Re: How to tell if a beam is load bearing

Thanks @Andy_Mann... I must have skipped through that bit it sounds like a non load bearing partition wall
@EarlAJ have they compensated with larger joists or closer bearers beneath in the floor under the wall and which way do the structural support members span..?

Andy_Mann
Trusted Contributor

Re: How to tell if a beam is load bearing

quote @BIM_Engineer:

 

"@EarlAJ have they compensated with larger joists or closer bearers beneath in the floor under the wall and which way do the structural support members span..?"

 

Very good points @BIM_Engineer, I'd hope that at the very least, the floorboard supports (structural support members) would run across the line of the wall in question, but that may kind of add doubt to whether it's a load bearing wall.

 

What are you thought?

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