Main beam offset support

I saw this main beam that did not appear to be properly supported but wanted to make sure I wasn’t calling out something totally acceptable in an older home. Built in 1950, the main beam is composed of 2x10s sandwiched together with what appears to be bolts. My concern is that the connections for each of the 2x10s is not resting on the metal column support. Is this a deficiency or am I just simply wrong. There does appear to be some sag or offset at the junctions but I didn’t notice any settling in the house; i.e. sticking doors or windows. Any advice would be appreciated.

1 Like

Older house, carriage bolts, splice with no supporting post, no failure since installation, etc… I’d note what was observed, that it does not meeting current construction practices, noting that no failures were observed. The carriage bolts are the clincher for calling it acceptable. My opinion, you may get other opinions.


Im thinking at 70 years and going strong, it’s not likely to be going anywhere…we have lots of new materials and methods now, it doesnt mean the old ones didn’t work…old timber was much stronger than what we have today for the most part…


I think you laid out a good case. I think it is one of those “had to be there” kind of things to determine if there is a problem, but inherently I do not think it is an issue. The OP is going to have to make a judgment call based on how it was performing.


Nothing wrong with what I see, if it is still performing.


The buildup beam is damaged. Splitting appears along it’s axis.
Missing columns/support. No support under critical build up beam connection points.
Recommend a licensed general contractor with inhouse structural engineer to further evaluate and improve buildup beam and supports.
Floor joists. Missing bridging, blocking to prevent rotation. Planked floors, bridging/blocking is required.
Just my 2 cents.
build up beam damage

I wouldn’t be concerned about that unless the joints are together, or close to each other… Then it would require a support post.


Unlike the soft wood we see today, old growth is some really good strong wood, and I thinks it’s safe to say, minus some unforseen natural disaster, that house will most likely outlast all of us.


I tend to agree with that statement Daniel, unless otherwise proven incorrect/untrue, as in this case.

It is my opinion, the 2 parts to the buildup beam where incorrectly secured and beam incorrectly fashioned. No matter how you physically secured the 2 parts with lag bolts, there can be no play in bored holes, no lag bolt dimensional changes, lag bolts must be torqued to the same standards to archive a uniform with washers used and the two halves glued to insure cohesion, forming a united whole.
Here is another critical intersection failure. It is also affecting a floor joist.
build up beam cracks+floor joist cracks

and Yet Robert after 70 years no signs of failure…they must have got something right don’t You think ???

1 Like

??? Lol.
Beam Splits and floor joist cracking, missing column supports + No floor joist bridging.
You would surely not do well defending that well in a court of law. :wink:

Who? The builder?
The builder worked within the codification statutes they worked with in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s, I presume, they had at that time.

Opinion; there where structural modifications by a contractor, or at lest they thought so, during those 70 years. Bearing walls were removed. As well beam supports.

HVAC was updated to forced air.

The home is only 70 something years old. Opinion, structural masonry building.
I am fortunate to have inspected hundreds of pre-1950’s and century buildings in my neck of the woods. Typically there is are 3 columns placed every 12’ or 13’ feet under build-up beams. If not bearing walls used with one metal or masonry column.
Typically the basements are boxed rooms to the left and right of a hallway. Basements are not open as in the OP’s image.

Deflection. Insufficient floor support.
Write it up.
Observation: Deflection. Insufficient floor support.
Splits in build-up beams. Various locations.
Suspect: Insufficient amount of columns.
Missing floor joist bridging, blocking, strapping.
Cracked Damaged floor joist.
Recommend: A licensed general contractor with inhouse structural engineer: further evaluate/assess main flooring supports prior purchase.
Just my 2 cents.