Cut in I-Beam Girder

Thought I’d get opinion on cut of I-beam girder that supports second floor of split level to allow garage door opener drive. I’m calling it out for structural engineer to evaluate.



Hi Rich.
Hope all is well.
Just found this page which may help .

Thought about doing that same thing at my own home to get another 6" in OH door height.

My beam is in my garage supporting a gable end, the porch running out from it is a concrete slab. I installed porcelin tile 7 / 8 years ago and even in Minnesota winters not even the grout lines have budged. If I cut a hole in the beam I may regret it, certainly would when selling my home and the buyers HI calls it out, then again it would be nice to get a pickup in there.

Thanks Bob. This is still hard to tell if this was by design. I think I will still call it out.

Pretty sure the guys here feel it is OK if just the web is cut but never hurts to play it safe if worried after research.


That’s a fairly good size beam for a house. If it was designed properly, it must be carrying a significant load. The big issue with that hole is that jagged cut. Where holes in steel beams are permissible smooth round holes or rectangular holes with a smooth radius at each corner are recommend to prevent stress cracks from developing at a sharp corner. A jagged hole cut by hand with a torch is never allowed. Cracks can propagate from that hole like a crack in a car windshield. I would recommend repairing the hole and installing a door opener that does not require a center track.

Side mount openers or properly called Jackshaft openers and are normally only $100-$200 more than a ceiling mount.

Thanks Randy.

Thank to all for your comments . My client had it reviewed by a structural engineer (friend at no cost) and said it was ok. Glad that I called it out anyway. Both client & I are satisfied.

Thanks for the update :slight_smile: