10:13AM | 08/07/03
Member Since: 10/11/02
11 lifetime posts
Hello - I'm having a new house built – 2 story + basement currently at the framing stage and noticed something that I just had to ask about.

When they poured the foundation, there was a formed square notch/or step about 1 foot wide x ½ foot deep at the top of each foundation wall.

When they installed steel I-beams to start the framing process, the ends of each beam that runs towards a foundation wall sits into this notch/step. Of course, the steel I-beams also have steel posts that anchor into a footing in the ground for additional support. What I noticed was that they used some kind of flat stone and steel shims inside this square formed notch to level and/or raise the steel i-beam (the steel i-beam ends sit on the steel shims, which in turn sits on this flat stone, which in turn sits on the stepped part of the concrete notch at the top of the foundation wall).

Just curious if anyone ever heard of this practice (flat stone, steel shims) when leveling a steel i-beam on a foundation wall(s). Its obvious they used them to raise the steel beams ½ foot so that the basement ceiling wouldn’t be below 7.5/8ft high however the steel beam doesn’t seem to bolt on anywhere. It just sits flat on the shims / stone, and the wood beams are laid on top of the steel beam. Maybe this is the way steel i-beams are installed but I have no idea - worried about structural integrity.

Is anyone familiar with what I am referring to? Could they still have work to do? The 1st floor above the basement (foundation) has been framed.


01:28AM | 08/08/03
Member Since: 01/14/03
264 lifetime posts
I haven't seen the flat stone trick, but everything else is normal. The steel beam is not usually held in place in the pocket by anything more than gravity and the weight of the house above. And because forming and pouring concrete for foundations has yet to reach the level of science that has the same exactitude required by NASA, shimming is usually required. Steel shims are the shim of choice. It sounds to me like perhaps someone blew the pocket forming and your builders were faced with coming up with something that would serve as a large shim. The stone should be fine, so long as it's not sandstone or some other soft easily broken mineral. Granite would serve well.


05:34PM | 08/10/03
Member Since: 10/11/02
11 lifetime posts
Thanks for the help.

I was able to find a piece of the rock used on my lot.. how would i go about finding out what kind of rock it is? it looks like granite but how can i be sure?

Thanks again


01:36AM | 08/11/03
Member Since: 01/14/03
264 lifetime posts
Well, I know Toronto is a bit of a hike from Bancroft, but if you have a local mineral collecting club (usually called rockhounds) members of the club could tell you. Bancroft is 'rockhound central' up your way. Try using Google to find a club in your area.


12:30PM | 08/11/03
Member Since: 10/11/02
11 lifetime posts
Thanks for all your help!



05:48AM | 08/17/03
The preferred method of installing and attaching a steel beam to a concrete wall is as follows:

  1. When the concrete is poured, 2 anchor bolts are embedded into the concrete inside the beam pocket. A template is used to line up the bolts with the holes in a steel plate to be placed over them later. The beam pockets in the concrete can and should be within 2” below the required height plus or minus ½”.

  2. A steel bearing plate (with 2 holes that line up with the anchor bolts) is set over the anchor bolts and adjusted to the proper finished elevation using a nuts below and on top of the plate on each bolt.

  3. The beam is set on top of the bearing plate and welded in place.

  4. Then the space under the bearing plate is packed solid with non-shrink grout.

This is not always the way it is done in residential building, but it is the preferred method.




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