What size steel I-beam do I need for ceiling project?

Answered by Brett ~ October 21, 2010 ~ No Comments

I have a floor with about a 1 and 1/2 sag in the middle. It has a bedroom above. I want to install a steel I-beam and span the 24 foot ceiling, removing the center post opening up the entire room. What size I-beam do I need to do this? Above the center post are 4 2x8s running the span of the ceiling.

Jim ~ Springfield, Ohio

Brett Kulina

Jim, if you want to remove a load bearing center post from within your home, then you need to hire a structural engineer to evaluate your situation and calculate the size of any needed replacement beams. Remember, the structure of your house is unique, and replacement beams will vary in size from house to house depending on lots of different criteria. While a large steel I-beam should be burly enough to span your 24-foot wide room, a structural engineer needs to inspect your home's walls and foundation to ensure that they can ultimately bear the load which will be carried by the new I-beam.

I would contact a structural engineer who works in the Springfield area and schedule a time when the engineer can carefully inspect your home. Once the engineer calculates the various loads carried by the center post that you want to remove, then the engineer can accurately size the new steel I-beam. The engineer can also help you formulate a plan for installing the large beam, which may not be able to be carried through your front door! Good luck with your project.

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