steel I-beams as header

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Sparticle, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Trying to figure out what type of header to use. We have very limited vertical space for a header over the doors on the south side and 6" header would be perfect.

    Would a 6" steel I-beam used as a door way header be sufficient for a 6 foot door way opening (double doors) for a single story house?
     
  2. plowjockey

    plowjockey Well-Known Member

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    Would two nailed 2x6" do the job? 6' does not really seem like that big of a span, to require steel.

    Especially if you will be using a framed door.
     

  3. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A contractor friend told me 1" per 1' of span so 2"x6" with 1/2" plywood glued and sandwiched between would be plenty especially since it's single story and you aren't dealing with feet of snowload.
     
  4. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Oops let me clarify, there is a snow load concern. I didn't think to post that, sorry. It's an earthen roof, but very shallow at 3.5 - 4" only of soil, no gravel and a light inkadrain layer. So it'll be much less weight than a typical earthen roof.
     
  5. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ..................Could use a 2x6 on each side , then 2 pieces of 7/8 plywood with a 1x6 in the center . Maybe a little shy of 6 full inches but IF glued and screwed should be very strong ! , fordy
     
  6. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm not sure what an inkadrain layer is, but this appears to be a non-tradtional build. As such, it would be foolish of us to give you an answer as we are not enginieers and don't know squat about earth house engineering. Well at least most of us don't have common dirt roof experience. ;)

    Since you left out the dirt, you might be leaving something else as well? Seems you'd like to hear the answer you want to hear, rather than getting the answer you need to get for this particular building.

    Just saying, if you are fishing for an answer, this might be a case where you need to know a real answer, not just a guess. :)

    --->Paul
     
  7. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you've got the steel beam and want to use it I don't see why you couldn't. Nothing wrong with making a house stronger than necessary. But then I'm not a house builder and really know nothing about headers except you're supposed to have them.

    Are you building this in MO? How much of a snow load do you expect there?

    If the steel I beam is just in your way I've got a block wall where I could make use of it.
    :D
     
  8. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Not really, it was late and I had been working at re-drawing the plans for 2 days straight. It just didn't dawn on me that I left that out till someone wanted me to use wood for a header. There's not much else to tell about the roof.
     
  9. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We don't have the steel beam on hand, we just want something strong and with as small a profile as possible.

    Snow load is 20#
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  10. retire2$

    retire2$ Well-Known Member

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    Is the header going to be on a bearing or non bearing wall? If it is non bearing I wouldn't be to concerned about using a double 2 x 6 with plywood sandwiched in between. If it is a bearing wall and a heavy snow load I would think you would need to beef it up a little and use a metal I-beam or investigate the use of a laminate beam as a header.
     
  11. motdaugrnds

    motdaugrnds II Corinthians 5:7

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    I agree with Danaus29 in that it is better to overdo something than worry about whether or not it is too weak to do what you want it to do.

    I would be interested in "seeing" what you are talking about as I've never seen a house built with a "soil" top before.
     
  12. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes it's a load bearing wall.
     
  13. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I didn't mean for my comments to sound rude.

    Just without the whole design, it's really hard to say from across the country. :)

    A building is a whole system, not just one header, so it's hard to give you a meaningful answer. Some of us will guess, but - donno if that is good enough for a house design?

    There is live load, dead load, buildimg materials, etc. to consider.

    Does the 20lbs snow load mean your dirt, soaked with rain, plus any snow in your location, will equal a total of 20#? Do we need to add the weight of the building materials, and will they be heavier than normal 5/8 roof sheeting and tar layers? Will your load be on 16 inch centers, or something different?

    While small details, there are things hidden in there that make a person go, oh, no that won't work that way! :)

    Then, there are different I beams,wide web, different wall thicknesses....

    I'm over complicating it, you just wanna build it strong enough & more.

    But on a house, sometimes you gotta prove your point, and it would be good to really know, not just guess.

    But I understand, you are asking for advise & if anyone has been there, done that.

    Hope you find some good info. :)

    --->Paul
     
  14. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm really curious now. Is it going to be a sod roof with growing grass and short wildflowers? Is the building earth sheltered or out in the open? What will be your main building material for the walls?

    Sorry about all the questions. I've been kicking some ideas around in my head for when we can find a decent size piece of land where we can have critters and not worry about zoning codes for a shed. An earth sheltered house with a sod roof so that no one knows it's there would be the coolest of cool, and oh so warm in the winter.
     
  15. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ...................Look into the price of a junior beam , about one half the size of a 12 inch I beam . They are probably stronger than you'll ever need . , fordy
     
  16. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    ugh, apparently my really long reply last night didn't post. I'll try again tonight.
     
  17. Rocky Fields

    Rocky Fields Failure is not an option.

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    I-beam is overkill...use a steel right angle beam.
     
  18. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    RF, could you use a steel right angle beam over an opening in a concrete block wall? Sorry to go off topic but I've got the steel angle beams and I have a crawlspace opening I need to span with more block when I rebuild the wall in question. The steel angle is an option we never considered.
     
  19. SteveO

    SteveO Well-Known Member

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    EveningAll,
    To give you a real answer i would need to know the span of the roof and what your bearing wall is? Wood or masonry. either way a 2x6 wood header is not enough, For a framed wood roof it should be a 2x8 figuring you have a roof span of 22 feet or so.
    The 20# I believe is your soil load the snow load should be 40# per sf for a low sloped roof it could be more. a 6" 12 pound beam should be enough. For a wood wall I would have 2 studs under each end for a masonry wall 4inch of bearing min. on each end.
    If you can fill in a few more blanks i can look it up on a chart.
    Our PM me with a email and I could email the charts
    Steve
     
  20. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ok, let's try this again... to make it easier, here is an email I sent my friend's Dad, she said he might be able to help....

    We shortened the height of the North and South wall and are trying to make sure the doors on the South side will still fit under the sill plate when the header is considered.

    In order for the doors to fit, instead of using the planned for wood, I'd like to try using a 6" steel beam over the 6' double door span for it's strength and low profile. The required minimum load here for snow is 20 #, but we're shooting (temporarily) for 100# because it's an earthen roof and to account for a freak soil saturation, then ice, then 500 year storm feet of snow. The earth on the roof is very shallow at 3-4" and the wet soil and other components for the roof come in around 70# to the best of my ability to calculate.

    It is a load bearing header, but will only hold 4 joists as they are currently spaced (spacing may change, I"ll explain below) and is located on the South wall, which is a typical wood frame wall. The main support beam for the house will be on the East/ West walls and will sit on concrete filled blocks.

    Either side of the 6' door opening will have 2 @ 2x8's for king studs so the wall will be a bit thicker than normal.

    When the drawings are complete, the author of the book I used parts from will review the plans. To keep my expense down and only pay for one hour, I need to try to have as much done ahead of time as I can. I am going to ask him if we can increase the spacing of the joists and if 100# for this roof is overkill. He may reduce to 70#?

    I can't think of anything else you'd need to know, but please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you so much for any thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010