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32 votes
Accepted

Why did they hammer nails in half way and bent them over to secure supports?

The nail heads aren't big enough for the holes. At that time carpenters didn't enjoy the vast array of fasteners and installation tools that we do today, so they may have used what was available at ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 126k
29 votes
Accepted

Is it safe to remove old rusty nails from a wooden beam?

Nails can be removed, even lots of them. Why? Wood fiber Driving a nail into lumber is different from drilling holes of the same diameter: a nail will "squeeze" in, pushing the wood fibers ...
P2000's user avatar
  • 15.7k
29 votes

Is it safe to screw into a single support beam holding up an entire house?

First that post is not carrying the load of the whole house. The beam is and the beam is attached on both sides. The post's job is to keep the beam from sagging and act as a point load. I would ...
DMoore's user avatar
  • 47.7k
25 votes

Contractor cut joist hangers to make them fit

No, it’s not acceptable to cut the joist hangers. In order to determine if they are acceptable anyway, there are several issues to review: 1) hangers are notched, 2) incomplete nailing, 3) wrong ...
Lee Sam's user avatar
  • 23k
24 votes
Accepted

It appears this support beam is shifting and the drywall is buckling underneath its weight, what would cause this?

Yes, this should be inspected by a competent professional as it could be something serious that needs to be addressed immediately. Water damage could cause this or wood degradation caused by termites ...
matt.'s user avatar
  • 1,808
18 votes

Can I replace a 4x6 for a swing with a 4x4 sandwiched with a 2x4?

You could, but a pair (or triplet) of 2x6s would be more appropriate (and probably cheaper). The strength and stiffness of a horizontal structural member are far more affected by its height than by ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 126k
17 votes
Accepted

Do ceiling joists need to rest on cross beams?

This is fine. It's a wooden open web truss system. The weight is transferred to the column at the one top point. The lower bar and diagonal bracing are to prevent the top bar from sagging over a ...
Zach Mierzejewski's user avatar
17 votes

Is it safe to remove old rusty nails from a wooden beam?

It's the first thing I do when I buy a new place--remove the zillions of nails, screws, hooks, picture wire, and other random crap that the previous owner stuck everywhere throughout the garage and ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 126k
17 votes

Removing Load-Bearing Wall in Timber-Framed House

What you're proposing and/or actively doing is a major structural change to the building. As such, you need to be sure that it's both safe and building code compliant. There is no way any random ...
jwh20's user avatar
  • 23k
14 votes
Accepted

Why mate two boards instead of using one thicker board?

It has to do more with the quality of the the 2x6s vs the 4x6. A 4x6 x 12 board would have to be clear all the way through, with no cracks or knots. Most softwood logs won't produce this board, and ...
gbronner's user avatar
  • 5,088
12 votes

Contractor cut joist hangers to make them fit

Cutting a hanger is never a good idea and should never be accepted. It's shoddy workmanship by the contractor and there were numerous solutions that could have avoided this (starting with properly ...
indianajonesy's user avatar
11 votes

Is it safe to screw into a single support beam holding up an entire house?

At least in the area where I live, that type of support post is used when a house is modified (wall was removed, to prop up a sagging beam, etc). If the house was designed to have a support post ...
bta's user avatar
  • 1,697
10 votes

code approved way to cut 5"x30" out of a 8" x 10" support beam

If you really have an 8"x10" beam in your basement it is probably supporting a huge amount of weight. Please do not even consider cutting into it without getting an engineer to determine what kind of ...
Hank's user avatar
  • 14k
10 votes

What size beam do I need, and can I build one from lumber and steel?

You need an engineer's advice on what the load is and what is required to support it. And no, you really can't make a mixed materials i-beam.
keshlam's user avatar
  • 25.9k
10 votes

Floor Joists Knot

It always happens and was a total miss by the framing crew. But, unless you're springy upstairs it's not really a problem. The adjacent joists will assist just fine for normal empty area loads above. ...
Iggy's user avatar
  • 10.3k
9 votes

Contractor cut joist hangers to make them fit

You never cut hangers unless they are made for cutting. Call in a inspector who will advise you or the engineer who done the design but don't under any circumstances let this go without it being ...
Geoff Foster's user avatar
9 votes

Is it safe to screw into a single support beam holding up an entire house?

Notice the post is not just supporting the beam, it’s holding up ends of the boards that make up the beam! Would strongly recommend consulting an engineer ASAP and having the beam supported correctly. ...
GB540's user avatar
  • 416
9 votes

Cannot figure out how to drywall basement wall underneath steel beam!

You really just have two choices here. The first is to frame some wood structure over the steel beam that you can then attach drywall to. This does lead to a "jut out" as you called it and ...
Michael Karas's user avatar
  • 64k
8 votes
Accepted

How big of a beam for a load bearing wall

When modifying load bearing walls and betting your house on the results, you are well served to hire a civil engineer to analyze the situation and tell you what will work, rather than guessing. It ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 193k
8 votes

Why did they hammer nails in half way and bent them over to secure supports?

Because it is easy to remove the nails if required to move the post. The nails mostly hold the post in position until the overall weight of the building bears down a lot of pressure on the post. At ...
Michael Karas's user avatar
  • 64k
8 votes
Accepted

Hurricane ties installed using joist hanger nails top AND bottom. Should I yank them out?

Nah - most of the strength is in shear, and joist hanger nails are nice and fat so they have good shear strength. also, yanking them is likely to be harder than you think. The actual nailing ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 193k
8 votes
Accepted

Support Beam Splitting

This is not meant to be an authoritative answer, but I have worked in many homes and buildings of similar age and you almost always see some cracks in the beams, they are usually there for decades, in ...
batsplatsterson's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Where can I find information on making footbridges with a long span?

The Scout Pioneering website contains information on how to build several bridges. I am guessing that most of these are more complicated than what you had in mind, so if you want something simpler, ...
eirikdaude's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

What torque value for bolts that are holding a steel beam to reinforce a wood floor beam

You have done a lot of research as to torque specifications. However they all relate to the strength of the bolts and nuts. That is not the issue. The torque specification you are looking for is ...
RMDman's user avatar
  • 22.3k
7 votes

Why mate two boards instead of using one thicker board?

Boards that are laminated in some fashion get an overall durability increase (not necessarily net strength increase) because they no longer suffer from a single grain dimension through the thickness. ...
Jeff Meden's user avatar
7 votes

Can I move the posts under the beam in my basement?

Possibly, but you should consult a structural engineer. For the cost of less than a day's work for an engineer you will get an answer that you can rely on. I know, it's unfortunate that you'd have ...
Keith Procter's user avatar
7 votes

Elegant way to jack two materials apart, applying spreading pressure to pin them in place?

Power Wedge with Wing Nut Build a power wedge from some wooden wedges, a bolt and a wing nut. It will be strong, simple to tighten, and seismically safe when the bottom wedge is fastened to the top of ...
P2000's user avatar
  • 15.7k
7 votes

Is this wall removal safe?

No one here can tell you it's safe. That has to be done by a structural engineer doing a site visit and examining the building plans. If you're terrified, go to your home store and rent a few ceiling ...
JACK's user avatar
  • 77k
7 votes

Can this post supporting a roof beam structure be moved?

The vertical bit is called the post, which is holding the horizontal beam. Any such changes require consultation with the original architect/engineer or a new engineer. This needs to be stressed, ...
Rohit Gupta's user avatar
  • 4,630
7 votes
Accepted

Can this post supporting a roof beam structure be moved?

Wow... I totally missed the detail that the post is to be moved not removed. Much of this answer is still appropriate but changes to relocating the "green" beam instead of beefing up the &...
FreeMan's user avatar
  • 40.8k

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