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  1. #1
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    Default Beam ends cut short?

    Open beam ceiling - wood beams extend sidewall to sidewall of the house, but were trimmed at the exterior wall so there was none of the beam extending beyond bearing. I haven't considered this before because I haven't seen the beams cut flush like this with the exterior walls. The last two photos - look hard to see the beam ends cut to match the lap siding.
    Does the beam or connection lose integrity when the beam is cut flush with the exterior wall? Beams are typically seen with a foot or more extending out from the exterior walls. As with floor joists extended with a 3" overlap at the middle support, there is the overlap to account for: 1) movement, 2) weak end cuts, 3) positive bearing, 4)...and possibly other reasons for the overlap - so should the beam extend beyond, or overlap the bearing wall?.
    Any engineers or others with this type of experience?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Beam ends cut short?

    To me looks like the ends were decoration.
    Probably rotted at the ends and cut off.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Beam ends cut short?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    To me looks like the ends were decoration.
    Probably rotted at the ends and cut off.
    Yeah I agree that that may have been a possibility, and now the exposed ends are subject to the same damage or deterioration - any further rot will be inside. But I'm still wondering if this is a problem now with the structural integrity in any way? Hmmmmmmmmmmm


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Beam ends cut short?

    I'm sorry, I didn't answer your question.
    I am not an SE, but I do not see it as a structural problem
    Probe it for rot,
    maybe mention it in the report, maybe

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up Re: Beam ends cut short?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    I'm sorry, I didn't answer your question.
    I am not an SE, but I do not see it as a structural problem
    Probe it for rot,
    maybe mention it in the report, maybe
    Yeah, there were other beam ends with rot.
    thanks for your reply Rick.
    I appreciate the feedback.
    Chris


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Beam ends cut short?

    I will generally call out structural things if there are signs of a problem - sagging, rot in beams, etc, etc. Or, if there are signs the orignal structure and design has been modified (seems to be the case here). You don't even have to say it's wrong... just that the original structure has been modified and it's unknown if the work was done properly. We're not engineers and even if we are we're not being paid to run calcs and most SOPs actually prohibit it. The best service to your client is to alert them something was done and they should look into it further.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Beam ends cut short?

    In my opinion the beam end should not have been terminated as illustrated.

    At the very least the end should be probed for damage and if sound be capped/flashed to prevent damage by the elements through end grain penetration and through the gaps around the end of the beam.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Beam ends cut short?

    There is no requirement that a beam extend beyond the exterior wall, from an engineering standpoint. The beam must be anchored to the column/wall that supports it, or course, but that connection is enclosed in the wall so you obviously cannot make that determination.

    Thom Huggett, PE, SE, CBO

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Beam ends cut short?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Huggett View Post
    There is no requirement that a beam extend beyond the exterior wall, from an engineering standpoint. The beam must be anchored to the column/wall that supports it, or course, but that connection is enclosed in the wall so you obviously cannot make that determination.
    Just for clarification, the beam ends in question extend beyond the exterior supporting wall---not terminate at the exterior wall surface.
    So they are still exposed to the weather. Had the siding been removed, the beams cut flush with the exterior wall, siding and waterproofing media replaced to prevent the weather from affecting the beams, and the wood was good---there would be no issue.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Beam ends cut short?

    Thank you all for your replys.
    Thom, I also appreciate your perspective with your expertise. I am less concerned now, except for the exposure to the weather part, which I stated in my report. This house must have been built by a wood slayer. There were a number of funny things going on.
    You also happen to be close by to me - just across the Carquinez bridge.

    Chris


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Beam ends cut short?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Weekly View Post
    Open beam ceiling - wood beams extend sidewall to sidewall of the house, but were trimmed at the exterior wall so there was none of the beam extending beyond bearing. I haven't considered this before because I haven't seen the beams cut flush like this with the exterior walls. The last two photos - look hard to see the beam ends cut to match the lap siding.
    Does the beam or connection lose integrity when the beam is cut flush with the exterior wall? Beams are typically seen with a foot or more extending out from the exterior walls. As with floor joists extended with a 3" overlap at the middle support, there is the overlap to account for: 1) movement, 2) weak end cuts, 3) positive bearing, 4)...and possibly other reasons for the overlap - so should the beam extend beyond, or overlap the bearing wall?.
    Any engineers or others with this type of experience?
    I'm late with a response, but as an engineer I will confirm that this is not a structural problem. Probably not much chance of significant deterioration considering the overhang and drying that would occur, but I would recommend cover the beam ends with flashing or siding.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Beam ends cut short?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Goeken View Post
    Just for clarification, the beam ends in question extend beyond the exterior supporting wall---not terminate at the exterior wall surface.
    So they are still exposed to the weather. Had the siding been removed, the beams cut flush with the exterior wall, siding and waterproofing media replaced to prevent the weather from affecting the beams, and the wood was good---there would be no issue.
    Oh yeah, I didn't notice that they cut the end of the beam to match the siding at first glance. When I saw that I laughed out loud (lol)! I guess they didn't want to remove the siding to fix it correctly.

    Thom Huggett, PE, SE, CBO

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