My in-laws recently had a kitchen renovation which involved removal of a loadbearing wall, replacing it with a 3-ply beam. They sent us images of the work and I am wondering about the work done. There are 2 posts (a single span) and there is a join in one of the three members fairly close to the middle of the beam. Just wondering if this is correct. The contractor claims to have a background in framing carpentry. Another friend of mine looked at the pictures and thinks it may be wrong.
Hi Chris: Joins in beams are only permitted if the beam spans 3 or more supports, in which case a joins is permitted within 150 mm (6") of the quarter point provided it is not at the ends of the beam (there's an illustration in the Appendix of the Code). In the case you describe the compromised lamination would be disregarded.
However it is possible that depending on the situation the lintel tables can be used rather than the beam tables. Lintels start at 2 ply (whereas beams start at 3) when dimension lumber is being used.
The required lintel size is determined from the span tables based upon a combination of floor, roof and snow loads.
It should be possible for anyone experienced in reading the tables in the Code to figure out if you do have a potential problem and you can always consult with your municipal authority.
Safety Codes Officer - Building
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