Bearing Wall

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Posted by: from Mississauga
7/3/2012 at 12:44:44 AM

What size beam do you need to span 11 feet for a bearing wall?

The house is a two story and we are opening up the kitchen area and taking down the bearing wall. Is there a web site or beam calculator site for this?

We were thinking of using 3 2X10 fastened together and then supported by 3 2X4 posts at each end.

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Date/Time7/3/2012 at 1:17:25 AM

Hi Paula:

I would check with your local building inspector before coming to any conclusions. Most likely, you will have to have an engineered beam put in place. This will have to be designed by an engineer, and he will be instructing you on how to remove the old supports and what you might require for bracing untill the new beam is put in place. Any time that you make a structural change, it is not only wise, in most cases it is mandatory to have an engineer design what is necessary.

You might be very smart to consult with a couple of contracting firms for this work. Get quotes from home renovators. They generally have experience with this type of project


Meadowood Homes

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Date/Time7/3/2012 at 7:26:08 AM

Does the wall support only the second floor, or the second floor and the roof? What is the length of the supported span?

What are the 2x4 posts sitting on? Will they go all the way to the basement floor - in which case the qestion is, is the floor thick enough to support the load from thr posts? If it lands on a steel beam, is the beam strong enogh to support the load?

An engineer would be the best person to answer these questions, although a house designer or a design build contractor may be able to answer them as well.

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Date/Time7/3/2012 at 11:19:36 AM


I would strongly suggest that you contact an engineer to size your beam. The beam that you have suggested may in fact be sufficient but it would be prudent to have the beam sized properly as the engineer would take into account any structural loads that the beam would support and also design the posts/columns that will carry the load into the basement or whatever is used to support the the beam.

Either the contractor you hire would suggest an engineer and they could contact the engineer to provide the necessary information and design work for the beam or if you are doing the construction work yourself then contact a Structural Engineer that is listed with their Association to prepare and design the beam complete with a plan and any information as necessary that can be taken to the building department for an application for a building permit.

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thanks and have a great day,

Lou Frustaglio



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Paula in Mississauga
Date/Time7/3/2012 at 12:48:58 PM

Thank you for all the replies it seems like we need to get an engineer.

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Date/Time7/11/2012 at 12:13:18 PM

A combination of 2 by 10 or 2 by 12 material will probably not work. In this case you need either a combination of L.V.L's or steel beams and columns. I would have a structural engineer design this for you. It is not as simple as reading a chart.

The cost should be about $3 to $400.00 for the engineering. You could do a lot of damage if you dont install the beam correctly.

I would hire a contractor with appropriate liability insurance to do this. If you understand the structural principles involved then you will have no problem doing the installation.

Paul Justice

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