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Question DetailsAsked on 2/8/2018

how many jack studs do i need on each eand of 3-1/2"x14"x16' lvl beam

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1 Answer


Sorry - not that easy - that sort of question is why there are Structural Engineers.

For solid wood framing, IRC (International Residential Code) Table R502.5(1) provides info on jack stud requirements for uniformaly loaded beams carrying code-stipulated design loads. Anything with other loads, point loadings, cross-beams being supported mid-or-end span, OR engineered beams like you are talking, has to be detailed by an engineer.

Typically, for normal loading conditions, over about 6 foot span 2 jack studs are required at each end, and commonly over about 12-14' span you get up to three per end. But depends on loads, grade of wood and whether dry or wet when loaded, and on the bearing capacity of the LVL. Because of the design of LVL's and some other engineered beams, they sometimes require greater bearing surface area than comparable load-capacity solid framing timber, to distribute the end bearing load out over more beam bottom surface area. I have done long spans, and steel beam spans on wood posts, which required the equivalent of 4 jack studs per end (though in those cases 4x material was usually used).

If you are putting in a beam, that is by definition structural framing - so in most areas requires a stamped design from an Architect (allowed in some states) or Structural Engineer even to get a building permit for the job.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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