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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    I'm considering moving the door to our middle floor living room (we live in a three story house). The existing living room door consists of double doors at the bottom of a narrow corridor and they open right into the middle of the living room.

    To help reduce drafts that appear right into the middle of the room, and to help us position furniture better, I want to move the door to the top end of the room. We are lucky because there is already a steel beam in that location to hold up the wall in the room above. It also holds up the upper room joists. The trouble is that when I looked at the steel beam, the joists from the room above seem to be floating.

    Would it be OK to chip out the existing concrete around the joists in the steel beam and redo it, or is there a better way?

    I'll add some pics that show the alcove, the wall that I want to remove (this has the upper floor joists resting on it), the steel beam and a closeup showing the joists in the beam. Hopefully this is enough, but I can add more if needed.

    The wall I want to take down (notice that the ceiling joists are resting on this wall). There is a bedroom above.
    The steel beam holding the joists
    close up of the steel beam
    Hopefully this rough diagram will show what I am trying to achieve:
      Doorway DIY.png
    The yellow shaded area is part of the living room internal wall. The alcove seems to have been created so that the arched window in the first pic isn't set right against a solid wall. The yellow shaded area is concrete blockwork that stops at the celing, so it's not a supporting wall. The white area of the wall IS a supporting wall for the bedroom wall above. The bedroom wall rests on the white part of the wall and on the steel lintel.

    Installing a (glass) door here will bring light into the living room from this arched window and it is also a much better access point as it opens into the living room at the top end rather than the middle and it's not down a narrow corridor.

    Phew, hopefully that is enough info :)

    Basically, I just want to know if adding concrete into the steel lintel will be sufficiently strong to hold up the joists, because I'm sure if I take down that yellow wall then the joists in the room above will move down a centimetre or so as they're not fully supported by the steel beam.

    If the concrete isn't sufficient (ie. because it might get broken up with regular footfalls on the joists above), then what should I put between the joists and the steel beam to fill that 1cm or so gap?
    I would use a timber pad the same width (minimum) as the joist and as long as the steel beam is wide (again minimum) I would make the pad just a gnats over thick and slightly jack up the joist for placement.

    Edit to ask - I presume the steel beam is / was intended to take the load of the joists and will in fact carry the load. (it looks like it would)
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeSep 10th 2020
    Id just chisel out the lumps of mortar and pack with ply and hardboard shims to build up the thickness so that its a snug fit under the joists. As Peter says, cut them so that they cover the full area of both the beam and the joists. While your doing the work, take any load off the floor above and stop anyone walking in that area so the joists dont move and risk cracking the ceiling on the other side of the beam.
    Sounds like a plan, thanks guys!

    The beam is already holding up a concrete block wall and the joists in the landing, but maybe I'll consult with an expert (structural engineer?) before I carry out the work. I don't want the whole thing collapsing down on me.
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