A quick note before I begin. The beam I set up a few minutes ago is not meant to bear weight. It’s simply meant to lift the floor above about a quarter inch and to reduce its sagging. I would also like to take the spring out of the floor as well. Good. Glad I said that.
In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that I wanted to finish up with the basement and start working upstairs. I now call upstairs, the “Log Cabin.” Before I get up there though, I need to shore up the upstairs floor and to do that, I’m going to need to install a support beam that spans the entire floor. I also need two to three wooden posts to hold up the support beam. Today, I set up the support beam. FYI – back in my earlier blogging days, I called this type of support beam a “girder” beam. I just looked at the definition of a girder beam and found out that it’s a beam with joists attached to it. What I’m setting up downstairs definitely doesn’t have joists attached to it, so I decided to call it a support beam.
I thought I’d get this little project finished today. I didn’t. To do that, I’m going to need my floor jack. Unfortunately, my floor jack is out in the garage and the garage floor is currently under about two inches of ice. The jack is on the concrete, so that means my jack is pretty much welded to the floor. I’ll have to work on chipping that out tomorrow. Another FYI – the garage has no doors and water oftentimes finds its way inside. Very unfinished and barn-like garage.
Anyway, I took a few pictures of the first part of setting up the floor support this afternoon. While I was out today getting my truck inspected (another post), I stopped by the building supply to grab eight 2x4s. I figured that’s all I would need to get done what I needed to get done. Upon arriving at the homestead, I was correct. It’s a small project that doesn’t require more.
In as few words as possible, I basically ran two 2x4s across all the floor joists and screwed them there. Then, I screwed two sets of eight foot 2x4s together and connected them to the 2x4s I just screwed to the joists. These will act as my support beam. Tomorrow, when I am able to access my floor jack, I’ll finish the project by lifting the floor and installing the wooden columns. That’ll be fun because I’ll get to use my laser level. Don’t worry, I’ll take pics.
If you’re interested in what I did today, check out the pictures below.
The length of the floor I’m working on is sixteen feet. That makes working with eight foot 2x4s very easy. I picked up eight of them today.
This is my first run of 2x4s across the floor joists. This is extra lumber I pulled out of the upstairs bathroom. These 2x4s are laying flat against the joists.
For the meat of the support beam, I screwed together two sets of 2x4s. I planned on attaching these vertically to the 2×4 I already screwed to the joists.
This is just another picture of the boards I screwed together. This time, my screw gun is in there.
In order to attach these now “4x4s” to the board running across the floor joists, I needed to drill some angled holes and set the screws in them. I did two screwed on each side of each set of lumber.
When I had the boards in place, I simply used my screw gun to sink the screws. Being only eight feet long, these boards were fairly easy to deal with.
And this is what I ended up with when I was finished. Sixteen feet of board running across the entire length of the upstairs floor. Now tomorrow, all I need to do is to set up the columns. Stay tuned.
One last thing – You may be asking why I chose to work with 2x4s instead of 2x6s or 4x4s. Well, I did this because 2x4s are cheap. You can oftentimes screw 2x4s together to make a 4×4 for less than the cost of the 4×4. Not always, but sometimes. In this case, each 2×4 was $2.99, so that would’ve been $5.98 for an equivalent 4×4. Unfortunately, I was in a rush this afternoon and never checked the price of the 4x4s. I’ll have to get back to you on that.