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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    ontario
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    2

    Default bearing steel beam supported by a couple of wood blocks

    Hello,
    I've bought a house from a builder in Ontario and it is now under construction. It was framed already and has a roof. I noticed that the steel I-beam bearing the house weight in the basement is supported by a couple of wood blocks at one end. The second end seems fine and rests on steel plates in a concrete wall pocket. The 3 last pictures are of the "wood block" end. The last picture is from the outside of the house, where you can see the tops of the wood blocks supporting the beam. My question is, whether this is a normal thing or has to be fixed by the builder? What would be the best way to fix this? Thanks
    IMAG0677.jpgIMAG0678.jpgIMAG0679.jpgIMAG0680.jpgIMAG0681.jpg

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  2. #2

    Default Re: bearing steel beam supported by a couple of wood blocks

    Wood shims are used extensively in manufactured home leveling but I would worry a little about it being used for more than a leveling shim.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,480

    Default Re: bearing steel beam supported by a couple of wood blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by marina shkarovsky View Post
    Hello,
    I've bought a house from a builder in Ontario and it is now under construction. It was framed already and has a roof. I noticed that the steel I-beam bearing the house weight in the basement is supported by a couple of wood blocks at one end. The second end seems fine and rests on steel plates in a concrete wall pocket. The 3 last pictures are of the "wood block" end. The last picture is from the outside of the house, where you can see the tops of the wood blocks supporting the beam. My question is, whether this is a normal thing or has to be fixed by the builder? What would be the best way to fix this? Thanks
    IMAG0677.jpgIMAG0678.jpgIMAG0679.jpgIMAG0680.jpgIMAG0681.jpg

    Marina,

    The pics are rather dark and it's difficult to get any real information from them. I would suggest you take a look at the building plans and specifications to determine how these girders are to be supported. There should be a detail or some documentation specifying exactly how that support and connection should be made. You might want to consider hiring a local home inspector to review the building during construction. More folks are doing this these days and many home inspectors offer new construction phase inspections as an ancillary service. Getting a consultant to do phase inspections will help to ensure quality control.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    ontario
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    2

    Default Re: bearing steel beam supported by a couple of wood blocks

    Thanks!


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    MONTREAL QUEBEC-CANADA
    Posts
    1,842

    Default Re: bearing steel beam supported by a couple of wood blocks

    Steel beams should be supported with steel shims or a material of equal compression strength/resistance.
    Steel shims should be fastened/attached/welded to the beam to avoid movement..
    IMO, wood shims under steel beams often creep.
    The steel can settle or fall out of square/level.
    The wood columns are another story, unfortunately the same story as the wood shims.

    Even the fastening is armature.
    That my view.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: bearing steel beam supported by a couple of wood blocks

    That beam has been put in place after the fact. The question is why? Was it not properly sized?

    As with Robert wood shims are frowned on and should be steel shims, and steel supporting posts.
    Beams should be pocketed and grouted in place.

    Steel shims ideally should be welded to beam so that they don't move

    The beam ends should rest on 7.5 inches of solid masonry.

    Have you contacted the builders warranty rep and asked for comment/correction?

    This matter should also go on your Tarion Pre-Delivery Warranty documentation sheet.

    If you get nowhere with the builder also contact the local building department inspection services of your local municipality.

    http://www.tarion.com/Warranty-Prote...%20Jan%201.pdf

    You can obtain an inspector who has new home inspection training from the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors and use the find inspector search function.
    Home - Ontario Association of Home Inspectors


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    MONTREAL QUEBEC-CANADA
    Posts
    1,842

    Default Re: bearing steel beam supported by a couple of wood blocks

    All good points Ray.
    New Homeowner provincial warranties.

    As for the beam. Just a thought mind you. Maybe the beam is temporarily supported in place. Construction holidays either the 15th, or last 2 weeks of December bring everything to a halt in QC.
    Could be the columns are back ordered. The steel is not yet completed.
    No use going off half-caulked at the builder ....yet.

    I suspect the steel beam protrusions are for bracing an outer component. Deck, balcony or staircase.
    Just inquire. I am sure the builder is going to do a good job.

    Ray, a link to steel beams bearing 7.5 inches please.
    Much appreciated.

    Lovely property pic you posted on Brian H,s Merry Christmas thread.
    Must be wonderful to injoy such a natural view.

    Last edited by ROBERT YOUNG; 12-27-2015 at 04:10 PM.
    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: bearing steel beam supported by a couple of wood blocks

    I would not be concerned with the wood 'shim' laying flat; I agree that steel would be better. The wood 'stub columns' at the other end are troubling; under load they are likely to shift and collapse.

    I'm guessing the intent is to torch-cut the part that sticks out of the house. Assuming that it gets cold in Ontario, a steel beam that extends beyond the insulation envelope will transmit cold into the space. That by itself is just a comfort issue, but it may cause condensation, which in turn may cause mold.

    Reference above to minimum bearing is a rule-of-thumb. I mostly do commercial work and required bearing is greater due to higher loads. To say it is 'wrong' would require an engineer to assess the actual loads and required bearing for this installation. Most residential designers have load/bearing tables, developed by engineers, that they use.

    The plans should show the correct bearing condition and details. And that's what you should get.

    David Stone, Architect


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: bearing steel beam supported by a couple of wood blocks

    Robert

    See - Building Code Commission
    http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Asset7650.aspx?method=1
    Bearing of Beams and Joists in this document.
    9.20.8.3.(1) (referred to throughout document)

    As to the 7.5 inches that is what is recommended by Carson Dunlop, but the code does say minimum 3.5 bearing.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: bearing steel beam supported by a couple of wood blocks

    It looks like that forgot to account for a step in the foundation. The photos are not great, but it looks like the beam sits quite a bit above the top of the foundation wall at one end. One way to handle this is to fabricate a short column, or to use a thick stack of steel shims. Of course, the beam is also too long. It would have been easier to cut it to length before it was installed.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    MONTREAL QUEBEC-CANADA
    Posts
    1,842

    Default Re: bearing steel beam supported by a couple of wood blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by marina shkarovsky View Post
    Hello,
    I've bought a house from a builder in Ontario and it is now under construction.
    Question. Is the builder building the house or did you purchase the house as is?

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

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