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Different types of wood vary in stiffness and resistance to bending, with some species being much stronger than others. The lumber from slow growing trees, which have more end grain growth rings per inch, is much stronger and denser than faster growing trees of the same species. The grade of lumber used for joists is also a factor in determining the strength of the wood. Lower grades of lumber (designated as #3, utility, and #4) often have too many large knots or other defects to be used for floor joists. Regardless of the grade of lumber used, try to choose boards which have few knots or defects and that are straight, with little crook along the length of the edge. When possible, position floor joists with any crook in the board facing up, so the weight on the joist will tend to straighten it out. The width of a board is an important factor in determining the distance a floor joist can span, playing a much larger role than the thickness. For example, if you double the thickness or number of joists in a floor, the distance the boards can span will increase by approximately 25%. The amount of weight on the floor is also an important factor in determining joist size and span length. The weight of the building materials (joists, subfloor, flooring, and ceiling) is known as the dead load and is commonly rated at 10 pounds per square foot. You can calculate the dead weight yourself by adding up the weight of the building materials, then dividing by the number of square feet the materials will cover. The weight that will be placed on the floor is the live load and includes furnishing, people, and anything else you plan to store on the floor.
Obviously if you’re a piano collector or plan to crowd as many people as possible onto your deck, you should err on the side of caution and increase the size of the floor joists or reduce the span. Putting all these factors together gives the minimum size joists needed for various types of wood, grades of lumber, sizes of boards, spacing of joists, and the load that will be placed on the floor.
You should also check your local building codes before starting construction and consult a structural engineer in unusual or extreme situations. You can always use bigger lumber, closer spacing, or a smaller span; just don’t go smaller, further apart, or a longer span. You can follow comments to this article by subscribing to the RSS news feed with your favorite feed reader. I’m constructing a second floor living room space, currently the living room is a two story foyer that i want to close in and make living space above. On floor trusses with 40-20-5 loading, the 40 is live load, the 20 is dead load, what is the 5? Im building an island in the kitchen, 5 ft by 6 ft in the middle of the floor, the span is 14 ft, 2 by 10s (southern yellow pine #2), 16 in on center. A hypothetically question, in order to build a two story house with two balconies that are approximately 246 sq. Honduran pine is a hard pine, so it should have a high bending strength comparable to Southern yellow pine, but it doesn’t hurt up make your joist wider than the table suggests (other than the additional cost of the wood). Sign up for Danny's Monthly Newsletter and stay up to date on tips and tricks for the home.
Inadequate Supports: The support system under your home has too few support posts to hold up the structure. Weakened Floor Joists Girders: Moisture, rot, termites, wood-boring insects, or other destructive forces have damaged your structural wood. Support Settlement: Weak supporting soils underneath the crawl space supports have caused the crawl space supports to sink into the ground. If Mother Nature is the cause of your damage, there can be many possible forces hard at work on your crawl space’s structural wood. Sometimes, a wood surface can be virtually covered in mold, but will still show little evident structural damage.
Before you can consider a permanent repair for your crawl space, you will need to address the moisture and humidity that feeds mold, rot, pests, and other unwanted forces in your crawl space.


The slides below feature six common ways that floor joists and girders in crawl spaces can be damaged.
Also called soft rot , this fungi is known to break wet wood down into cellulose, which will significantly weaken and decompose the material.
When choosing between replacing and reinforcing joists that have been damaged, look carefully at the color of the wood. This type of fungi quickly grows all over wood surfaces in a humid environment, alarming homeowners but not usually amounting to significant damage. Also known as brown rot, this fungi will reduce the wood it feeds on into small, rectangular pieces, leaving a red dust of spores behind as it spreads. While not quite as widespread as other forms of mold damage, dry rot results in severe structural damage to wood. Dry rot damage can be treated with fungicides (such as boric acid) or other mold treatments to eliminate problems.
Wood that’s been damaged by termites tends to be hollowed out along the grain, and may look completely undamaged. Other signs mud-lined tubes in visible areas around wood, and the sound made by knocking on termite-damaged wood: which produces a hollow sound. Carpenter ants can be distinguished from termites by their pinched-in abdomen, jointed antennae, and forewings that are longer than their hind wings. Additionally, carpenter ant tunnels are smooth in appearance, where termite tunnels are rough.
Both carpenter ants and termites are moisture-loving creates, and are particularly attracted to moldy, rot-damaged wood .
The name powderpost beetle is a broad term used for several species of wood-destroying beetles that like to infest untreated wood that’s been exposed to humid, damp conditions. Damage caused by these critters is the cause of more confusion than any other structure-infesting pest — an expert inspection is the best way to identify it. Powerpost beetle larvae feed on wood cellulose, and will severely damage floor joists, girders, and other structural wood in 1-5 years. Crawl space joist supports are steel, adjustable support posts that are installed to repair sagging floors. Our SmartJack Support System is designed with corrosion-resistant galvanized steel, ensuring that it will be strong and adjustable for decades to come.
Girder and joist jacks (also known as steel lally columns) can be installed at key locations along the structure. Spicy Tomato Garlic Mussels Posted by Sara on February 8, 2014 The hubby loves all things seafood.
Introduction to Concrete Slabs About Concrete Slabs Overview Concrete is a mixture of cement, sand, gravel and water which hardens over time to form a stone-like substance.
Code materials, including pictures found on this site are based on the interpretations of the author and should only be used as general guidance. Our structural calculations for checking holes or notches in timber floor joists includes an assessment of the remaining strength of the joists. All design work is carried out in accordance with BS5268 (The structural use of timber).The calculations provided will be suitable for Building Regulation approval. Even within the same species there is considerable variation in strength depending on the growing conditions of the tree.
Since knots and other defects weaken wood, higher grades of lumber (designated as clear, select, or #1) are considered stronger than lower grades. It has more knots and defects than higher grades, but usually not enough to cause significant loss of bending strength. Any large knots found near the edge of the board should face up as well, so the weak wood of the knot will be compressed rather than stressed. But if you double the width of the boards, the distance the joists can span increases between 80% to 100%, even though you’re using the same board feet of lumber.
Live loads range from 30 pounds per square foot and up, with 40 pounds the norm for most residential rooms and decks.


How far apart do I need to have the floor joists, and what size joists do I need for the floor? The snow load spec for the area calls for 50 lb load per square foot for starters and I want to put only 1 foot of soil on top.
I’m still trying to figure out the spacing for the floor joists and what size to use. In addition to posting comments on articles and videos, you can also send your comments and questions to us on our contact page or at (800) 946-4420.
In other cases, the wood may appear to be strong and untouched, while subterranean termites have hollowed the wood out from the inside. The key to this is to keep your crawl space dry by installing a crawl space vapor barrier system and by running a powerful crawl space dehumidifier system. It will have a soggy, spongy appearance, and will show signs of prolonged moisture exposure. Instead, installing a sister beam and sturdy joist supports may be more than enough to address all present damage, and restore your structure to a stable condition. These fungi are only able to consume the sugars and starches present in the wood, and not the polymers in wood fibers that provide structural strength.
Addressing the source of moisture is a much better route to the permanent solution you’re seeking. A 1% decrease of the weight of wood can result in a 75% loss [PDF] in the wood’s toughness, causing floor joists and girders to begin to crumble apart in a very short period of time. Inside, you can find ragged-looking galleries (tunnels in the wood) that are lied with dried mud, waste, and soil.
Without annual pest inspections, infestations may continue for 8 years or more — and can mean extensive damage to girders and joists. Unlike their counterparts, however, they do not eat wood — only build their nest inside it. Carpenter ants will also leave their nest to forage, and to pile frass (sawdust, insect parts, and pupil casings) in locations away from the nest.
Wood they feed upon is reduced to a fine powder, which is deposited in tunnels below the surface of the wood. A unique base of engineered fill prevents sinking support posts when soils below are weak, maximizing effectiveness.
Once in place, the floor can be jacked up in an attempt to lift the floor back to a level position. So for his Valentines Day gift this year I decided to make him a delicious meal of mussels.
Then, enter one of the following codes to activate the corresponding cheat function: Midas mode Enter MIDAS at the cheat menu.
Converting your attic from a storage space to a whole new wing of your home can really pay off. This man-made material is extremely valuable in all kinds of building projects because of its hard, strong and durable characteristics.
If holes have to be drilled through the joists for cables or pipes, then providing this is done sensibly, you won't need any calculations doing. The chances are, if you need this type of calculation doing, it's because the Building Inspector is alarmed at what has actually been done by an over ambitious plumber! If a contractor finds a joist is severely damaged, a sister beam can be installed alongside the normal one for extra strength.
Can you advise as to whether this would be the right size, whether spruce or pine would be ok. I hear there are people out there that actually like to clean, but I am not one of them, even though I used to work as a housecleaner.




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