Pier and Beam Foundation

Started by Kodakjello, February 05, 2006, 09:38:09 AM

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Hey everyone,

I just received the 2-story plans in the mail and I can't wait to start the process. However, on the Beam & Pier Foundation page I have noticed that the foundation beams are indicated as being 5 1/8" X 9" Glu Lam Beams. Yet, in the Wood Joist Floor Framing plans the central built-up girder is listed as 4 - 2x12s and then the central beam is listed as a 6x12 or 5 1/8" X 9" Glu Lam. Does this mean that my beam foundation can be built from a built-up 3 - 2x12 beam?




That may be a possibility, but John calcs the loads from the top down and specifies the beams accordingly.  Not knowing the beam specs I would suggest waiting for an answer from him before I made the substitution for sure.

I don't know if he will get a break to answer questions before he gets back or not.


Humm.... Something weird happened when I edited this. Don´t think I´ll try too hard to fix it from here. There is no reason to move this post, but it has jumped to another topic of the same title.

Oh well, manyana...

Note ----I spliced it back together - John please quit tearing up the forum. :) glenn


Hi from Boquete, Panama:

I am catching bits and bytes from rather slow access on local Internet Cafe´s so this will be necessarily short.

I will check on the calcs when I get back, but in general you can usually make built-up beams work in place of glulams. Sometimes you may need to add a foundation pier to shorten the span length if the load is large. Of course, the load on the 2 story 20' wide plan is much greater than the Little House and other smaller plans.

More later... John


OK, I'm back and able to look at the plans and understand your question.

The spans are quite different for the center beam of the wood floor joist support vs the post and pier outside beam, but coincidentally, the glulam specified is the same. If you wanted to use built-up girders in place of the glulams on the P&P foundation I would suggest you consider using the same alternative 4 layer built-up girder shown on the wood joist framing plan sheet 10. This turns out to be a full 6" x 11.5". There are no real engineering tables for these conversions but if you build it up with glue, stagger the joists as called out and nail it well from both sides you will have plenty of beef there.


Thanks for the info...I'll probably be going with PT 2x12 built-up beams rather than glu-lam due to the cost of the engineered glu-lam beams.

In a related foundation question, would it be too much of a headache to increase the depth of the houst from 20' to 24' and still use engineered beams? Are they just too big and expensive at that point?




Lots of things change when you go to 24' wide. That's where you typically drop in a centerline beam and bearing line. And... that's another set of plans (such as the Solar Saltbox).