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I am knocking down a structural wall in my house and replacing it with a steel I-beam. Where would I get that kind of thing? I am not even sure what to google. The beam is going to be about 20' long and probably 8" thick. I don't have the tools to cut something that heavy or a a vehicle to transport it so cutting it and delivering it will have to be hired out. Would a "metal yard" do that? "Steel supplier"?

I see a few places that do metal-working but that seems to be more for finish or non-structural stuff.

I am in Boulder, CO if that helps at all.

  • This is likely one of those things where if you have to ask, you're probably not the right person to be doing it. And if you don't have the tools to cut it or transport it, how are you hoping to safely maneuver it into place and secure it there? – iLikeDirt Aug 27 '14 at 17:53
  • using furniture dollies to move it then jack posts and chain hosts, or gantry crane. secured with adjustable build columns to a poured footing and the foundation wall. do you have an answer now? – browep Aug 27 '14 at 18:07
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    You should have an engineering firm first do an evaluation. They can tell you what type/size of beam to use (metal just might be overkill depending on application), type/size of columns needed to support beam and size of footings needed for those columns. Also this type of work will need to be permitted and you will need the engineer's report and drawings for the permit application. The engineering company will probably also know suppliers for the materials you need. – diceless Aug 27 '14 at 19:17
  • i've hired a structural engineer to run the numbers and do the surveying. He should be getting back to me tomorrow with what i need. I might ask him for a recommendation. – browep Aug 27 '14 at 19:34
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    +1 for asking an engineer. A parallam beam (composite structural lumber) may be a better choice. – keshlam Aug 28 '14 at 1:24
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Yellow pages (or google, or...) and "Structural steel" (or structural steel suppliers, fabricators, erectors, etc.) Many may not really want to work with you (there's not really any classification of "suppliers of one beam for a house project" so some of the companies listed may ONLY play in the "build a skyscraper" market) but that's who you need for structural steel, and someone will supply residential one-offs, - ask for a recommendation if the company you call first can't help you directly.

Hiring the erection as well as fabrication and delivery is highly recommended. They know that they are doing and they have the right tools and equipment to do so safely. It's all too easy to kill yourself or your helpers when trying to creatively hoist heavy metal into place without experience and tooling for the job.

  • +1 "Steel" in the yellow pages. Surely there's a steel supplier in Boulder. They probably will not deliver, though, and a beam such as this is going to be very very heavy. I have a friend in Sacramento who recently took on a project just like this - it took him easily ten times as long as it looked like it should, because he's very safety-conscious and entirely aware of the lethality of a loose overhead steel I-beam. – TDHofstetter Aug 28 '14 at 1:12

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