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How to reinforce home support beam (joists, etc..)

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  • Aug 22nd, 2006 8:04 pm
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[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Nov 13, 2002
5479 posts
111 upvotes

How to reinforce home support beam (joists, etc..)

while I'm doing renovations in the basement, I noticed that the wooden beams holding the floor joists are cracked. Although they looks very solid, I would rather reinforce them as the drywalls are off.

I guess it's important to note that the cracks run along the grain and so far there is no need to lift/redress the beam as it is sitting pretty straight.

what kind of solution would I be looking for? some kind of steel plating? where would I get that? i think home depot only has tiny ones (less than 5x5 inches).
8 replies
Deal Addict
Nov 21, 2004
1609 posts
67 upvotes
If the beams all look ok and are still lined up properly, you could just laminate a second beam to each one (i.e use lag bolts and bolt a new beam to the second one for strength).
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Feb 2, 2006
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fakishan wrote:while I'm doing renovations in the basement, I noticed that the wooden beams holding the floor joists are cracked. Although they looks very solid, I would rather reinforce them as the drywalls are off.

I guess it's important to note that the cracks run along the grain and so far there is no need to lift/redress the beam as it is sitting pretty straight.

what kind of solution would I be looking for? some kind of steel plating? where would I get that? i think home depot only has tiny ones (less than 5x5 inches).
find a professional....
Deal Addict
Mar 21, 2006
4156 posts
268 upvotes
Burlington, Ontario
I'm in a simular situation.

My floors are 2x8's, REAL 2x8's since they are 50 years old.. but with this age they are sagging in the middle with a very noticable angle.

My plan in the future is to do what was mentioned above.. laminate the 2x8s with another set of 2x8s. You will need to jack them up, make them level, cut out your new lumber to properly fit where you are adhering it to, and then glue it and screw it on.. And by glue I mean construction adhesive, and by screw I mean carriage/lag bolts.
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May 1, 2003
6376 posts
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If its the main support beam you are talking about, you can get a piece of I-beam or a couple pieces of angle iron (looks like an "L", put one on each side on the bottom) to brace the beam and then put a telepost or 2 under it if you want to prop it up.
Jr. Member
May 31, 2006
153 posts
fakishan wrote:while I'm doing renovations in the basement, I noticed that the wooden beams holding the floor joists are cracked. Although they looks very solid, I would rather reinforce them as the drywalls are off.

I guess it's important to note that the cracks run along the grain and so far there is no need to lift/redress the beam as it is sitting pretty straight.

what kind of solution would I be looking for? some kind of steel plating? where would I get that? i think home depot only has tiny ones (less than 5x5 inches).
Cracked joists are common and may not be an issue. All depends on how "cracked" they are and if they look "solid" they probaby are. If they are 30 years old then its safe to say its a non-issue. If its a new house thats hasn't had a chance to show some wear then perhaps the risk is higher.
There should be some bracing between the floor joists so adding another board may be a pain as you have to cut all those braces also.
Another option may be to screw 5/8 ply to the bottom so the basement ceiling is all ply. This will make drywalling it a easy also.
Having the floor covered top and bottom with sheet material will make it act as one giant beam and be quite stiff.
Deal Addict
Mar 21, 2006
4156 posts
268 upvotes
Burlington, Ontario
sandy99 wrote:Another option may be to screw 5/8 ply to the bottom so the basement ceiling is all ply.
This is true providing that there are no electrical boxes or plumbing shutoffs in the ceiling.
Jr. Member
May 31, 2006
153 posts
BuildingHomes wrote:This is true providing that there are no electrical boxes or plumbing shutoffs in the ceiling.
You can easily cut out access holes for these if necessary. Its no different than just drywalling your basement ceiling - you'll need an access hole for those things like backyard water tap. A simple white plastic register cover over the tap stutoff hides it and looks ok.
As with drywalling a basement ceiling, you want to make sure you have speaker wire and such all planned ahead.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Nov 13, 2002
5479 posts
111 upvotes
the use of lag bolts and strong wood to cover at least two sides wounds like a good idea.

but what about toothed metal plate connectors?
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