I have two spans that will run perpendicular to each other. The largest span is loadbearing at about 26ft, the smaller is non load bearing as about 15ft and rests in the middle of the larger span. My first assumption was I would have to support the load bearing span in its entirety with a sizable beam and then butt the non loadbearing beams to that. However, is it possible to beef up the shorter span beam and have that be the continuous support and split the 26ft span in half to more manageable 13 ft sections?
Yes, you can support the longer span beam with a cantilevered shorter span beam, but 1) size of cantilever beam will be significantly bigger, 2) length of cantilever beam will be significantly longer, 3) support (post) under cantilever beam will be significantly larger, 4) footing under cantilever post will be significantly larger, 5) appearance may look unusual.
1) The cantilever beam will be supporting one-half the load from the larger beam.
2) A cantilever beam will need to be longer in order to keep it from rotating. In fact, the connection at the other end may need to hold the beam “down”.
3) The post under the cantilever beam will be larger and similar I size the what would have been under the 26’ span beam, now that it’s no longer load bearing.
4) New footings will need to increase in size. In fact, the footing at the far end may need to increase in order to provide enough weight to hold that end down, rather than hold that end up.
5) Having a short beam larger than the longer beam will appear unusual. If the beams are exposed, it could make the space feel “uncomfortable”.