03 Oct 2013 How to install an 850 pound beam
Creating an open living space in an older home is often one of the key facets of a renovation. While on the surface it can seem straight forward – [take out that wall and those posts and patch the ceiling], the reality is that often there are structural demands that require an engineers input.
This South End Halifax home had three posts dividing a large living room. A previous addition to the home extended the living outward and the posts were installed to support the beam. In order to remove the two middle posts, an engineer specficied installing a 22′ x 18″ x 7″ parallam beam to span the room. Easy right? Yes and no.
We built two supporting walls on either side of the old beam, both on this floor and down below in the basement. These temporary walls will provide support while the old posts and beam are removed.
Steevo uses a sledge hammer to remove the old posts.
The old beam was sandwiched between the old floor joists and the newer ones from the previous additions. The red pipes are from the in-floor heating.
In the photo below you can see the empty space between the floor joists. The area was widened to ensure a proper fit for the parallam beam.
The two beams together weighed around 950 pounds before we cut them down from 24′ to 22′.
Six guys moved each individual beam into place. The beams were temporarily supported and then laminated together in place.
The new posts on the end of the beam are also parallam. Parallam is made from clipped veneer strands laid in parallel alignment and bonded with adhesive. In modern design the beams are often left exposed. Stay tuned for an update of the completed space once the floors and walls are complete.