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Question DetailsAsked on 2/5/2017

how much would it cost to remove a 20 foot existing beam and replace it with a 20 foot lvl beam

a contractor installed the wrong material for a 20 foot beam and its deflecting

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1 Answer


I would say should be zero - the contractor should pay ALL the cost including repair to drywall, painting, etc - and if he refuses, then his bonding company should do so - assuming this was relatively recent (last few years) work.

Here are a few previous similar questions with responses and some ROUGH ballpark costs - of course, anything resembling a close estimate depends on your specific situation and the load on the beam and number of joists it supports, etc.

If this is a garage door beam, look in the Home > Garage Door link under Browse Projects, at lower left, for a number of questions about replacing garage door beams.

I would wonder WHY you want to replace it - unless VERY weakened or decayed or seriously insect damaged, house beams normally do not need replacing - even over hundreds of years. Even older ones that are splitting with age can commonly be given an intermediate prop post or supplementary arch support, or reinforced on their faces and/or bottom with wood, plywood, or steel plates to carry the load or reduce sagging, generally cheaper and with a lot less house disturbance or risk of problems than replacing the beam. Intermediate individual footings and prop posts are common in basements, main floor beam repairs like this can be done as per above if concealed beams - exposed or partly exposed beams are commonly strengthened with decorative supports concealed in curio racks, bookcases, indoor planters, etc - or by putting in a decorative but structural arch supporting the then-concealed beam.

My recommendation on the LVL (you did not say if laminated beam as I assume but peopel use LVL commonly to mean any laminated beam, or vertical-plane laminated sheet type) - assuming it has to be an LVL - is do NOT accept a particle board or OSB panel one. If vertical-panel type (aka engineered truss or I-joist) require it be built of structural grade plywood even if that is not technically required for the load - I have seen too many OSB/particle board ones deteriorate in short order. And they have VERY minimal tolerance for accidental wetting. If laminated LVL board type (built-up wood beam from glued- up smaller pieces) I STRONGLY recommend penetrating preservative treatment before it is put up - I have seen WAYYY too many (in an area with very cold dry winter air) severly crack and delaminate due to moisture changes over the seasons. There are special preservative penetrating sealers like (LVL Super-Seal) for this purpose - designed so they don't damage the glue it is made with.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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