View Full Version : main balancing beam

06-20-2008, 07:23 AM
did this house yesterday------have never seen this type of balancing beams before----ninety degree turn with one beam ontop of another--and then the second photo is beam in crawl space---anyone seen this before and does it look ok

no grammar corrections please--i am what i am

Michael Thomas
06-20-2008, 08:20 AM
A closer look:

Jerry Peck
06-20-2008, 09:20 AM
not sure-----what you mean by------balancing beam-----you mean where one beam is bearing on another-----all depends on the bearing-------and it attachment-------however-------that one beam does look to be balancing on the other beam

(extending you the same courtesy you are extending us)

(no comments back please)

Cary Seidner
06-20-2008, 09:20 AM
Are both beams steel? In Michael's enlarged photo it looks like the top one is wood. Structurally it looks fine, but I can't tell what the connections between the post/beam/beam are like. Is there something there that will keep the top beam (and bottom for that matter) from twisting, like the 45 degree brace in the 2nd photo?

Nick Ostrowski
06-20-2008, 09:44 AM
I've got a call in to Mary Lou Retton. She's the expert I refer to when I have questions about balancing beams.


Rick Sabatino
06-20-2008, 10:12 AM
From what I can make out it looks like wood between the two beams. This could compress. I wonder why they would not have used a larger beam or a steel spacer if it needed to be raised.

brian schmitt
06-20-2008, 11:34 AM
steel beams and steel structural components make the situation fall directly out of the bounds of conventional construction provisions. an engineer should be recommended to analyze the situation if you are concerned. any opinions otherwise aren't worth spit and i don't sweat speling eather:D

06-20-2008, 11:49 AM
your so funny jerry

that is a steel shim between the beams and they are attached,,i just have not seen this before----again it passed construction inspection,but we all know what that means $$$$$

Jerry Peck
06-20-2008, 02:49 PM
your so funny jerry

charlie----not intended to be funny-----intended to be serious

06-20-2008, 03:02 PM
about what jerry

Nick Ostrowski
06-20-2008, 04:42 PM
Who's on first?

Jerry Peck
06-20-2008, 04:45 PM
Who's on first?

Charlie was, his thread. ;)

06-20-2008, 05:14 PM
so silly,can't we all just be helpful and not mock or correct the way we write or communicate, and just read the thread and help. Jerry you are so helpful in what we ask---just leave the grammar class out and stay to helping--my IAM WHAT I AM --was humor--can't correct my computer writing --does that make me a bad contributor, i don't think so-please lighten up

Jerry Peck
06-20-2008, 05:23 PM
so silly,can't we all just be helpful and not mock or correct the way we write or communicate,


not mocking you, just showing you why, when you ask questions you just do so in a way which is considerate of those you are asking------otherwise you should expect a reply of the same kind----and not complain about it

everyone else seems to be able to-----write in complete sentences and get their point across----I yam what I yam----thats popeye the sailor man


I really do not see what you are complaining about.

You chose - yes, chose - to not communicate in a manner considerate of others and in which it is easier to understand ... i.e., in complete sentences.

By that choice, you are in no position to complain about the context or content of the answers.

You expect more consideration than you are willing to put forth? Why? Now THAT is really funny.

06-20-2008, 08:28 PM
this has gone far beyond what my opening thread intended---everyone states their questions and help on this web differently--
i have posted many good threads and maybe you all should get use to ones writings.LIKE MINE and accept them or ignore the non professional author type writings--- and just get read the guts of the request

the opening thread here asked for thoughts from others and jokingly said please don't correct my grammar, i have made it this far successfully in life, thirty one years at AT&T, and now sucessfully in the HI industry.dotting my i and crossing my t's the way i know how ,so give me some slack. everyone
i haved tried to be a contributing addition to this web-but my writtings are critizised by lack of comma"s and capital letters-and it makes someone want to sit back and not contribute because he doesn't cross his t's correctly or the way others want him to--is that more important then the questions and context of his threads.

you are very knowledgeable in many areas and your input is very important to me --don't care about what others think, but let me write the way i can best express myself, and read what i have to say instead of correcting how i say it.
thank you for your respect and input
lets move on and help each other OK

Cary Seidner
06-20-2008, 08:38 PM

Your writing style on the board does not bother me. I sometimes write on these boards in a more casual way too. Kinda like the way I speak. Keep it up! Contribute! Don't be discouraged by the critics. I've seen a whole lot worse. :cool:

Steve Frederickson
06-22-2008, 06:10 PM
Charlie, don't lose heart. I don't know why all of the fuss. I didn't think twice about writing style when I read your post. You're question was legible, which is all I ask.

Back to the point, I'm a P.E. and I've never heard of a balancing beam. The photos aren't enough to tell what's going on, but it looks like you have two beams at 90 degrees to each other, over a steel post. This is usually done when the floor framing that the beams support spans in different directions and/or there's a change in floor elevations. My only comments, based on what I can tell from the photos, are that there are no web stiffeners (not necessarily a problem; residential loads are usually relatively light) and it doesn't appear that there are any mechanical connections (beam to beam or beam to post).

As a home inspector, you should probably just note that you have some questions and possibly recommend a P.E. to evaluate. This might be overkill, though, if the house is older and there are no signs of movement (wall cracks, etc.).

Ken Bates
06-26-2008, 09:28 PM
Dear Charlie,

A picture is rarely worth a thousand words. Words can hurt as you have expressed.

Putting all that aside, I can say that the execution of whatever the hell it is looks very impressive.

And if the work is in fact as impressive as it appears then you have little to fear vis a vis E&O claims.

I have encountered some high tech construction that you won't find "show and tells" about in the JLC or text books, etc. and after a limited amount of studying came to the conclusion that all is well. Your risk of derision, repudiation, and other forms of humiliation ( and legal action leading to serious monetary damage ) is much greater if you call into question something that appears to be professionally and exquisitely engineered as opposed to demurring that it is probably all right; but you can say to your client, <if you want further assurances and don't mind spending money go ahead and get a second opinion.> ( Better to keep your mouth shut and be suspected of being a fool, than to open it and leave no doubt --Samuel Clemmens )

daniel nantell
06-27-2008, 06:00 PM
In the one photo it shows the I beam being blocked in place with a diagonal 2x4,, is this acceptable as i saw one the other day without any bracing, resting on the end corner of the foundation wall. thanks