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Discussion Starter #1
OK, I am finally building my own home after standing several others, and the log home company I bought the componets from say this column has to be in place to support the ridge beam. I assume this is to cover their butt, however it is a big pain in mine.

While I understand the needing of support, shouldn't a 2 ply Versi-Lam carry itself?

Here are the specs: Width - 3 3/4"
Deep - 16"
Span - 38'

2x12 rafters every 24" at a 12/12 pitch. Total room width is 18'(thus 9' from beam to wall teh rafters sit on.


I am in KS where we can get up to 12" of snow which will be pretty heavy, but 12" will not sit on a 12/12 slope.

I have tried to attach pictures also.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

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bh, trust their engineers. Yes, they are covering their butts, just as all of us have to today.
As a 'kit' home it has, most likely, been engineered for every area in which it will be sold. It may be overbuilt for your area. You may be able to hire an engineer to change the design specs. If you approached me, I wouldn't touch it with a 10 ft. pole.
 

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bountyhunter,
Teetor is giving you good advice, and he knows what he's talking about.

NOBODY likes columns. If it wasn't needed, it wouldn't be there. We don't put columns in to "cover our butts", we put them in so that your house doesn't fall down.

Ask if their engineering dept can come up with an alternate method of support, or get a good PE of your own to look at it, and run the numbers. From your images, it looks like you have several options. I wish that I could help you, but I cannot suggest a design for you without knowing your local codes, and seeing your site in person. You would need the signature and seal of a registered design professional to get it approved by code enforcement anyway, so that's the way to go. This is not a job for a "cowboy", get a PE.

Do not consider pulling that column on your own. Trust me on this.

I hope that you find a solution that makes you happy.
Best wishes,
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Don't worry, I am not going to pull it on my own. I just wanted a second, third, fourth..... opinion on if it is necessary. I am looking into a local engineer to work some numbers and determine if it is required. The engineer with the company is in WI, which will be different loading factors there than here in KS.

I was looking for some opinions from those who have built way more houses than I have, not necessarily recommendations to use on this column.

Thanks for those of you with an opinion.
 

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bountyhunter said:
...I just wanted a second, third, fourth..... opinion on if it is necessary...
This is not a job for four builders, it is a job for one PE. Don't worry, you have options. Your PE will help you select the best one.

Best wishes and good luck,
 

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bountyhunter said:
shouldn't a 2 ply Versi-Lam carry itself?
Your post hits home because I recently removed a center column from beneath the ridge beam over my two-car carport. There were a number of less than obvious issues that had to be addressed before doing so. One was considering the effects of transfering additional load to the outboard ends of the beam.

Like everyone says, get a PE involved.
 

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The system that we use to design and build has evolved over a period of several thousand years. To an outsider it seems cumbersome, complicated, and overly conservative. When it is used properly, and everyone involved cooperates and exercises due diligence, it works like a well oiled clock.

Hats off to everyone who has posted here; bountyhunter, Pipe, and Teetor (who IS an engineer) for being ethical and prudent, and for understanding their role in the process.

Best of luck to bountyhunter with his new home,
 

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Log homes are awesome. My plumber has a beautiful log home on the outside of town. As a matter of fact we have a company in town that builds log homes. :Thumbs: :Thumbs: :Thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
column

A local Engineer has looked at it and will be getting back with me this week with a solution. I will let you know what he suggest.
 

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I would be interested to hear what he said.
 

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With enough money, anything is possible. Myself, I'd dress it up with relics of the frontier, Indian art, dream catchers, bows, weavers, tomahawks. I take it this is the living room?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Results are in.

Here is the exact email message I recieved from the engineer today. Looks good for being able to remove this column. I have also attached a picture with the tie beams in place, which were not part of the original pictures. :cheesygri


I finished checking the beam yesterday and have the following to report.
a.. The column is not necessary, strength-wise, to support the beam.
b.. The beam is capable of spanning from end to end down the length of the
room. There isn't a huge amount of safety factor, but it is adequate.
c.. One inexpensive suggestion that I have to add safety factor to the
beam would be to make sure that the "decorative" cross beams are tied-in
well to the bearing walls (which I believe you have already done), and that
the roof rafters on both sides of the "decorative" cross beams are well
connected to both the ridge beam and also the bearing wall. What I am
thinking of is making sure that you have all of the nail holes in the
Simpson connectors filled with the correct nail size (it should be listed on
the connector, and nails and not screws as nails have higher shear values).
d.. Also, buying the simple Simpson connection angles (A34 w/ 8 8d nails)
would be a real cheap addition that you could add to those rafters that
would increase the shear resistance of the rafter-to-wall and rafter-to-beam
connections to move the safety factor higher.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well here is the finished product. Took me just under 6 months from start to finish doing everything but the concrete and HVAC myself. When I cut the column out I expected a little settling, but the ridge did not budge. I am happy with it gone, I can not imagine it there anymore.
 

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bountyhunter said:
OK, I am finally building my own home after standing several others...
bountyhunter said:
...here is the finished product. Took me just under 6 months from start to finish
That is an absolutely gorgeous home. :thumbsup: Congratulations on your success.
 

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bountyhunter said:
I assume this is to cover their butt,...
The original engineer was not necessarily "covering his butt" although I admit it is a possibility. He might have just been using accepted engineering practice which is the standard required by law and he simply chose not to consider the ties to be structural which is not unreasonable considering their rustic nature. In my opinion, without the ties, a 3 1/2 x 16 LVL beam should not be used to span 38 ft.

Your engineer probably assumed a snow load in the 10 to 15 psf range and a dead load of 10 psf (depending on the mod. of elast. of the LVL's) which, in my opinion, is too low a live load regardless of any reduction allowed for a steep slope. The ice storm of the century could happen next month; look at New Orleans.

Your engineer appears to have accepted a design deflection considerably greater than L/360 (1.29") which, to me, is excessive.

If your engineer assumed that the LVL's were 3 3/4" wide instead of the actual 3 1/2" manufactured by Versa-Lam, he would have overestimated the strength of the beam by 7%.

The real reason that you were able to remove the column is that the ties between the tops of the exterior walls were converted into structural ties relieving the ridge beam of a considerable amount of load. With enough ties the ridge could have become a non-structural nailer. What you have now is a very workable compromise.

I point all this out only so that you will understand how important the connections are where the ties meet the exterior walls. You should have your engineer check each one of them very carefully and give you a written report for your own peace of mind and in case a subsequent buyer raises the issue, although I don't know why you would ever sell such a fine house.

It's fantastic! Well done!
 

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Sweeeet! When is next deer season? Am I invited?
 

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I'm not an Engineer but I've been a Framer for over 20 years and there's no way a 3-1/2" x 16" lvl beam can span 38" without a center post or to eliminate the post put in collar ties because I've framed a lot of roofs using collar ties.

My cousins house has a 23' span that will be opened up and I will make it all cathedral and it was just Engineered using a 7" x 18" paralam with no collar ties. That's just one example.

Any way if the original poster didn't want a center beam or collar ties it should've been designed to have a structural ridge whether it was steel or wood it could've been done without one.

Besides, the pictures of that house are amazing and that center post looks like it should be there and makes it look more amazing. That is one Beautiful house.

Joe Carola
 
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