beam above stairs ??

21 Jul 2008
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United Kingdom
Hi all,
I have a small steel beam that supports all the joists above my hall, it runs from wall to wall. The biggest problem is above the stairs,



The pics show its position relating to the small bedroom bulk head in the stairwell. when coming up or down the stairs you could seriously injure yourself if not careful. Only 64" headroom.

heres what it is supporting, from above with boards lifted.



All houses in the street are exactly the same, built around the 1930s.
The main landing trimmer joist is 8" x 3" and the landing floor joists are 8" x 1.5" they span the full width of the house from front to back.
There are three 8 " x 1.5" joists which are the stairwell bulkhead joists and finish 14" past the steel beam.

I would like to take the beam out and cut back the bulkhead in the stair well, as this is also a hazard.
Any suggestions ??

The trimmer runs along the landing with another two joists

I am thinking, acrows below, mark and cut all joists and trimmer to accommodate another 8" x 3" Timber cross beam, which will rest on top of the hall wall, and be cut into the ajoining party wall
Taking roughly 12-14" off the bulk head joists, joist hangers for the ends, fixing them to the cross beam.
The trimmer and landing joists would have a 3" section cut out to allow the crossbeam in and then fixed with joist hangers either side.
Is this acceptable ?

I hope i have explained properly, if not ask away.
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Hi, Milo,
I don't quite understand the pics, but, can you lift the I beam and let the joist ends into the web of the steel?
this would give sufficient load support, and remove the appearance of the steel as it would be in the ceiling, therefore giving enough headroom on the stairs.
How has it happened that all these houses have been built with insufficient head room on the stairs? there is a measurement, taken from the stair beneath the beam which should be at least 78".
it kinda makes you wonder why they never oriented the floor joists so that they spanned the stairwell walls in the same direction as the steel beam.

a double joist could have then carried the 8" x 3" stair well trimmer.


i would nned to see this for myself methinks. :confused:
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i would nned to see this for myself methinks. :confused:

Bit of a nightmare to explain :rolleyes:


The beam is running across the joists underneath.

On the left of the trimmer in the pic is the stair well.

The trimmer and another two joists to the right of it run the length of the landing.

yes i agree its very strange that the box room joists and stairwell dont run in the same axis of the steel beam.

Can you understand what i propose doing ?

chesspy, depending on which tread you measure from you have either 64" clearance or 73"(to the lower tread) The problem is that the centre of the beam is exactly in line with the edge of the higher tread, so as you come down you could get scalped if not careful.

As said its a nightmare to explain.
as brother chess has suggested, a deep webbed steel beam could deal with the joists at floor level.

or maybe even a pair of 8"x2"'s doubled up.

cut the floor back far enough as to allow for 2m of headroom.
as brother chess has suggested, a deep webbed steel beam could deal with the joists at floor level.

or maybe even a pair of 8"x2"'s doubled up.

cut the floor back far enough as to allow for 2m of headroom.

Yes thats the easy part.

Thanks for the reply noseall, im thinking that i havnt explained properly or your thinking im concerned with the headroom.
The stairwell joists are easily cut back,and tied in with, as you say a pair of 8"x2"s doubled up.

My main concern is taking away the steel beam below which also provides support for the landing trimmer and joists.
How to support these is my query, or do they need the extra support ?
The only way i can see is cut them and tie in a cross beam at floor/ceiling level. Then tie them back in to the cross beam at both sides. Im not sure if this would weaken them, as the steel beam must be there for a reason.
Sorry for being a bit long winded.

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