I want to remove a load bearing wall. I am sure I will have to install a beam to do this. It is about 20 feet. Looking for information on how to get started.
The best thing to do is to hire an engineer to evaluate the situation and give you the sizes of the beams, posts,...etc. then get 3 quotes from different reputable contractors that are familiar with structural construction project then hire one of them based on your personal evaluation.
How do You start #1 is to hire experienced Contractor who does have structural Engineer, this is not a joke, this is very serious project and somebody can get keeled. Just think when You are walking on the street on the windy day what pressure You fill on your body , can You imagine what pressure is on the House and vibration, just think about it.
First you need to support the load so the easiest way is to build a temporary wall on either side if it's possible.
Then you can remove the wall.
Now for a beam you should get it designed by an engineer to ensure the right size, and the right bearing posts.
The post need to be solid rest on a foundation wall or footing carried down with blocking between joists.
This is a fairly significant structural modification. A 20' long beam would be outside of the span tables in the Building Code and would therefore require an engineered beam (steel or LVL). Suppliers of these products can size them for you using engineered software. Of course you will need to get a building permit and the plans examiner and field inspector will also be checking for the proper engineered design as well as the correct transfer of loads down to bearing (footings). As others have said you can provide temporary support with a temporary wall or walls depending on the situation and whether it will be a flush beam.
You will need to create a support system at both the corners to hold the load otherwise you risk the load either falling down or it might bent down from the running corner by at least a couple of degrees. Better to hire a contractor, ask for a quote, do a market check with multiple quotes and then hire the contractor based on the quality of work, rates, past experience for similar complex construction renovations and a good ref check.
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