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Retrofitting Block and Beam Floor

Discussion in 'Building' started by thias, 6 Jun 2021.

  1. thias

    thias

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    Architect has specified block and beam be installed over our cellar, which will become the floor for our new utility room. We don't mind losing the cellar to make the space more practical.

    The beams have been spec'd and will be ordered this week. Our builder's suggesting we could fit them DIY if we wanted them in sooner than he can get back to us.

    We have two adjacent solid brick walls, on decent foundations, one being the rear external wall, so plenty of space to cut out pockets and slide the beams in.

    But, the house was built around 1880 and the internal brick courses are far from level, so getting the pockets cut out level will be near on impossible, at least if we DIY it.

    What's the best way of packing out the beams in the pockets we cut? Do the beams need to be perfectly level, or could the screed compensate for any slight "unlevelness"?
     
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  3. noseall

    noseall

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    We'd just laser a line round, chop out oversize holes, then mortar back some solid masonry level to the line.

    You do know that you will need to slide one beam 200mm in one direction?

    How are you dealing with the DPC?
     
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  4. thias

    thias

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    Makes sense, thanks!

    Beams would be going in below our new (chemical) DPC so I was going to wrap the ends before sliding them into the pockets. Would that be ok?
     
  5. noseall

    noseall

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    Yes. Just make sure you are thorough with the DPM. Don't be shy with it.
     
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  6. AsleepInYorkshire

    AsleepInYorkshire

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    Alternatively be patient and wait for the builder to do the job for you? Just a mindless thought.

    About 40 years ago I was proud (then) to own a Marina - it went well in a straight line. It needed some work doing on it. I asked the garage how much they would charge for the works. They quoted £5/hr. I asked them how much it would cost if I helped. They quoted £10/hr.

    If you really must do it yourself then I'd suggest using slate under the beams as packing.

    AiY
     
  7. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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  8. noseall

    noseall

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    It's not going to be an easy job by any stretch. We'd cut oversize holes then laser some solid masonry packer beds round for the beams to sit on, and let that go off. We'd then slot the beams in, but with plenty of sideways play on the beams.
    Then slot in a couple of 7n blocks at the ends of every run but leave room enough to mortar in the beams. Mortar the beams in with the packer blocks in place.
     
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