Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Framing Analysis for Complete Morons?

Framing Analysis for Complete Morons?

Framing Analysis for Complete Morons?

We live in Santa Cruz, CA and want to replace part of an interior bearing wall with a beam supported by posts. Our contractor (who is NOT a structural engineer) says a 4x8 beam and 4x4 posts every 6' or so should be fine (there is nothing above it except the roof). The planning department wants "engineering numbers" though - and the half-dozen or so S.E.s I contacted either don't do residential work or are busy for the next two months!

Does anyone know of an on-line service (or would any of you be interested in providing one) for this kind of work? It seems to me that to a practicing engineer, this would be a relatively simple job. I've tried some of the demo software mentioned here, but I can't even figure out what the various parameters are :( I'm also curious what kind of rates I can expect to be charged for this analysis, and what kind of information one would need the contractor to supply (materials types, construction techniques, etc) to complete the analysis?


-Kate Adams

RE: Framing Analysis for Complete Morons?


I'm not sure how it works in the US but I think each state needs an engineer to be registered in that state. They will probably also require professional indemnity insurance cover. Your planning department should be able to tell you the requirements. I would love to help you from Botswana but I'm not sure the global village has got that small yet! Have you tried a web search for SEs in your state. Large firms are often not interested in that type of work but their employees may often be willing. We used to call them PJs (private jobs). So engineers on this forum help her out.

Carl Bauer

RE: Framing Analysis for Complete Morons?

Thank you! This helped, and in case others are interested here's what I did and learned:

I went to yellowpages.com and found someone who was able to refer another person for residential work. After I described the job to him, he told me it was probably within the scope of "Conventional Light Framing" and that I should get a copy of the 1997 Residential Building Code put out by the International Conference of Building Officials (www.icbo.org). This is a subset of the Uniform Building Code (UBC) and can be ordered online, or found at some bookstores or in the reference section of a library. The same material is covered in Chapter 24, Section IV of the UBC.

The gentleman also told me I probably would not need an engineer's drawings if I could convince the planning dept. that this fell under the category of conventional light framing and could explain in detail what we were going to do and how we were going to do it in accordance with the guidelines in the document. This would save me his fee, which is 120$/hr, and the wait of six weeks which seems typical out here.

The major area of concern in our project, he said, would probably be seismic stability (we're in the highest-risk earthquake area out here) and also what's below the wall we want to knock down, if it's not on the foundation (our wall is on the second floor). He encouraged us to get all the information we can - draw elevations, take pictures, etc. - and then give it another try with the planning dept.

He also said that for a span of only 14 feet, an 4x8 supported by four 4x4 posts was probably more than sufficient provided everything is put together properly. And reading the RBC would also help us later to make sure the contractor was doing that part correctly

I haven't gotten the book yet but I certainly feel much encouraged. Thank you, carlbauer, for pointing me in the right direction!


Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Low-Volume Rapid Injection Molding With 3D Printed Molds
Learn methods and guidelines for using stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed molds in the injection molding process to lower costs and lead time. Discover how this hybrid manufacturing process enables on-demand mold fabrication to quickly produce small batches of thermoplastic parts. Download Now
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Examine how the principles of DfAM upend many of the long-standing rules around manufacturability - allowing engineers and designers to place a part’s function at the center of their design considerations. Download Now
Taking Control of Engineering Documents
This ebook covers tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close