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Support pole through granite countertop??

Posted by mercymygft (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 3, 11 at 11:28

We are remodeling our kitchen and adding an addition on to the house. We will need a support beam to span the width of the house once we knock the back out to support 2nd story. We will need a support pole somewhere along this span. Rather than stick it in the middle of the room (the room will end up being 22x24'), our contractor said it would look better if it ran though the granite on our island. He explained how he would do it, but I can't remember how, and he is out of town now.

Can this be done? How?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

You won't need a support pole if you get the right sized piece of steel. 24' as a span is not that big of a deal at all. Even an LVL can do that and not need support in the middle. It all depends on how much you want the beam to intrude into the space. Steel will be able to be shallower, and depending on the way your second floor is designed, you might even be able to have it flushed in the ceiling. Get a structural engineer in to design the support. It's totally worth the extra $500.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

My contractor said I could do a larger beam, and not need the pole, but I don't know if I want that in my space, it's not that big a room. Plus the cost factor is more.

I don't know what an LVL is.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

You will need an engineer's stamp on your plans for your permits, so see what he says about the size of the support. Steel can be very shallow and support a lot of weight. Laminated Veneer Lumber are engineered beams that are very strong and can support more weight than dimensional lumber.

Here is a link that might be useful: GP LVLs


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

I'm with "hollysprings" on this one. Why put a support beam in a bad location if you don't have to. That room is huge if you are saying it is 22' x 24'. A steel I-beam or even plate steel bolted to a lam beam would work either flush with ceiling or below ceiling.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

Get a consultation from a reputable, licensed structural engineer who can see your project/layout in person and advise.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

don92... How expensive would what you are talking about (the steel I-beam) be? My contractor made it sound expensive. He also made it sound like the beam would be really big and be kind of an eyesore... however, you're saying it could be flush with the ceiling?? I'm just confused.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

Sounds like your contractor has not used much steel.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

If your contractor cannot adequately understand or explain your choices and their trade-offs so that you understand, then you need another contractor. And if he has not gotten a report from a structural engineer nor does he plan to, kick him to the curb NOW befor you get in any further. He's not qualified for the job.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

I agree that your contractor: 1) isn't knowledgeable enough about beams, or 2) doesn't want to work with a steel beam. Steel will not be hugely more expensive and is also not that hard to install. I think a conventional beam supported by a post through the granite island is not only a clumsy approach, but would look gawd-awful. This guy wants to do what is easiest for him, not what is best for you. If he can't or won't do this right, get somebody who can.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

OP HERE!!!

This remodel is still months away so I'm not that concerned at this point. Maybe I just need to have another conversation with him. What I do know about him is that he has a good reputation and has done many high end homes in our area. Our reno is small potatoes comparably. So I do think he knows what he's doing.

My purpose for posting here was to gain some insight into this, not to be told to just dump my contractor. If I had never posted, I would not have know that there were other options and just accepted what my contractor said.

So I am looking to gain a little knowledge so that when I do have THAT conversation with my contractor, I look like I somewhat know what I'm talking about.

So help me out here... Can you give me some more specifics? Like I said we are bumping out the back of my MIL's house. The house now is approx. 45 x 24'. We are adding a 12 foot bumpout 1st floor only, making an open room that will be 22 x 24'. So we need to support that 2nd story.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

Get a consultation from a reputable, licensed structural engineer who can see your project/layout in person and advise.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

"This guy wants to do what is easiest for him, not what is best for you." Yup. Exactly. Steel isn't that expensive. It does take more manpower to get it into place, but it's NOT that difficult. And, he shouldn't be the one telling you about the support choices unless he is an engineer. Only a structural engineer is qualified to design the support system of a whole second story. This isn't "internetable". It has to be done in person. And your contractor isn't the one to do it. He's just the one to implement the designed support. If he has the skills to do that.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

okay... nevermind


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

mercy-
"nevermind"

Actually we do mind, which is why we have been giving you advice on how to get the best outcome. live_wire_oak is absolutely right: certain complex matters can't get resolved fully in these forums. Hopefully, you will consult an engineer who can help you find a better, and still economical, solution to your issue.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

Too bad the forum signup screen doesn't include an IQ test.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

It's funny how brave and RUDE some people can get when they can hide behind their computer screens, marcolo. I guess you don't know enough to answer my question, only enough to make a snide cut-down remark. pfft!


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

Woah! Why the insults?

No we can't answer specific structural questions (if we do, ignore us) but can telly ou to check it out.

And, to the point, there have been some pretty cool posts in the middle of countertops here in the past and of course I can't remember them. One was a sample by one of the stone guys who visits here to show off his invisible soapstone seams. Others were homeowners who ended up with posts in their counters. They can look right.


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ohhh granite countertop??

Oh, those were on the KITCHEN forum, not here. oops.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

Most here were trying to help and gave many good suggestions, the best being that if your contractor does not know the process involved in creating a load bearing clear span and is willing to drive a support column through your granite counter-top then get rid of him. You also gave us the impression your house was being remodeled now and a decision needed to be made soon.
You seem to have a short fuse and are rude to those who don't give the answer you seek. Find another forum.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

Don92... Wow! So now I'm rude??!
Marcolo posts: "Too bad the forum signup screen doesn't include an IQ test." But I guess that is ok??

I posted that this remodel is months away, not happening soon. Like Fori posted, there are many kitchen with posts embedded in granite countertops on kitchen design websites and over at the Kitchens Forum. Maybe you don't know enough about kitchen design to know this.

I was just looking for some options. I do believe my contractor knows what he is doing so I am not willing to kick him to the curb just because everyone here says so.

And... No, I do not have a short fuse, but I do not like being insulted.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

"Maybe you don't know enough about kitchen design to know this. "

Far more likely tat there are a lot of contractors who have no idea how to use steel, since it almost always requires an engineers stamp on the drawing.

They understand how to comply with the building code, but it does not cover steel beams (or many of the newer options).
The manufacturers of i-joists and glue lams usually have engineers available to create plans adequate for the AHJ, though they sometimes are forced to oversize things based on assumed loading instead of a more detailed analysis of the actual building and loads.

They use the code prescribed loads ad assume no other (or little other) support is available.
At least part is expense.
A full analysis would likely eat any profit from a single sale .


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

If your contractor is giving such poor advice at this stage, it's a bad sign. A post through the middle of any clear span is a bad design. Period. It doesn't matter how "decorative" someone else has made a bad design. It's still a bad design. The post compensates for the lack of knowledge and ability by the contractor doing the job. It is NOT a matter of expense, or intrustion into the space (as the steel will be smaller than the wood support)unless you consider maybe a $600 upcharge for the steel over wood to be too exhorbitant on a 75K remodel.

You only have to read a very few pages on the Kitchen Forum to see tales of woe from folks who wish they had heeded the warning signs with a poor contractor and are now regretting it to the tune of thousands of dollars wasted. You possibly could be in their situation. We can't know. But there are some warning signs to pay attention to NOW. If your contractor does not engage a structural engineer as a matter of course in such an involved reno, then he is being negligent, and possibly violating the needed documentation that your municipality will require to issue their permit for the job. If he is willing to work without permits on this job, that is an even worse sign and should definately involve your dismissing him. You are only in for bad to worse from this "contractor".


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

Ok, so let me explain a few things that maybe I was not clear on earlier.

The information I got from my "contractor" happened during a preliminary "conversation/evaluation" of the room we want to reno. It was just that, a conversation, somewhat casual. He was saying you could do this, or do that, kind of thing. Nothing has been set in stone here. We don't even have a contract or anything written up regarding pricing, since the whole project has been put on hold now for a few months so we are not even at that point yet. I mainly just wanted to see if the ideas I had for the house would be doable within a reasonable budget. He said, yes.

I am pretty positive that once we really get into this reno that he will get all the proper permits, consult a structural engineer, etc. I'm really not worried about that or his abilities. And I'm sure that if I said I did not want a support pole in the room, he would do whatever was necessary so that it was not there. AND from what you are all saying, it sounds like that it is doable without the pole.

So, at least now when I do have a very serious conversation with my contractor regarding the reno (contracts are written and signed), I will have at least have some "knowledge" when I ask him about supporting the 2nd floor. I guess that is really all I was looking for.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

Perhaps your last post should have been your first. Every one here needs all the information you can give to perhaps lead you in a direction that will benefit you in the long run. it is only a forum and nothing we recommend has the first hand knowledge that you do. It is absolutely critical that you are accurate and succinct with your question.
Marcolo was rude as were you. We are only here to help and we do not appreciate being dismissed with a "okay... never mind"


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

Well don92, I apologize for my remark then. But I was a little frustrated with all the comments about my contractor, and basically being told to dump him. I thought I was succinct with my question regarding wanting information about the beam/pole situation, and did not understand why it took off in the direction of bashing my contractor.

Anyway, I think I have the information I need now.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

An I-beam with dimensional lumber bolted to it or a laminated beam can be installed in place of the upper rim joist flush with your ceiling joists. It will hold the weight of the upper floor, wall, ceiling joists and rafters.The lower ceiling joists will be hung with joist hangers to the beam giving you a flat unobstructed ceiling.
Your contractor should be able to go to the local lumber yard with all necessary dimensions. Many yards will have an engineer on duty that can look up load requirements and give him the beam needed. They do this as a free service and shouldn't cost anything. I hope this has been of some help.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

don92... Just for clarification... Are you saying that I can do this addition with a support beam but with no support pole necessary? Also could the beam be hidden, or would the beam show in the room?

Thanks!


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

OF COURSE you can do this with no support pole needed! That's what we've ALL been trying to tell you! Sheesh! And yes, the support beam can be flush with the ceiling where it is completely invisible. ALl it takes is the engineer to design it so that it does the supporting job properly! Once the engineer designs the support, it will then need a contractor who is familiar with such methods to implement the support. And that is why we've been telling you that your contractor is raising red flags here if the first thing he could think of to accomplish the task was a support post. A support post allows him to do the job the easy way---with dimensional lumber and a header hanging down into your space. You do NOT have to have the support post or the intrusive header if it is designed correctly. Do you have another adult in the home that will share in the decision making in this reno? Someone who can read over this post and understand what we've been saying?


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

While it's nice to tell the o.p. what they can and cannot do, unless they post detailed laouts of their project for all to see, they need a professional on site to advise.

Once again...Get a consultation from a reputable, licensed structural engineer who can see your project/layout in person and advise.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

This won't be an inexpensive remodel at all, and it would be a shame to let such a small per cent of your budget dictate such a poor design choice as a post in the middle of your island.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

You will Ynot need a support column and yes the beam can be flush with the ceiling and not show.
Perhaps your contractor is a new home builder and not a remodeler; there is a big difference. What we were all trying to understand was why his first two options were a support column or drop down beam, neither one a good option. Hiding the beam is more labor and material, perhaps a days labor for two people and several hundred for the beam, but the end product would be so much better.
It is good that you are getting this info that you can approach him with. You do not want to go through the expense of a big remodel and not have the best outcome possible.


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RE: Support pole through granite countertop??

Thank you Don. I'm not sure why my contractor suggested what he did... he did however, mention the beam without a pole, he just made it sound more expensive. Like I said we have not had a serious conversation about his reno yet. When we do I will at least feel equipped to discuss different options for the support beam.

I'm not an engineer, no one in my house is an engineer, so these matters are beyond our scope of knowledge. I'm just a 54 year old wife/mom. One of my main purposes for this question was to help me as I design the kitchen that will be going into this new space...that is why I wanted to know about the pole... if we will need one or not. Knowing that we may not need the pole will definitely help me with my design.

Thanks.


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