by Rob Corbo My small construction company builds a lot of bump-outs and similar additions. One of the biggest challenges on these projects is the tie-in, where we connect the existing house to the addition. A recent 6-foot-by-20-foot kitchen bump-out was no exception: Not only did we have to be spot-on with our floor elevation, but we also had to remove an entire end wall on the house and support the second-floor loads with a full-width flush-framed flitch-plate beam. This 19 1„2-foot-long beam consisted of a 5„8-inch-by-9-inch steel plate sandwiched between two 1 3„4-inch-by-9 1„2-inch microlams, so it would have been very heavy and risky to install in one piece. Instead, we assembled the beam in place, one component at a time.
We started by removing cabinets and appliances, then cut back a 2-foot width of ceiling drywall so that we could build a temporary studwall to support the second-floor framing over the kitchen. Next, we took out the windows, leaving as much of the framing intact as we could, then removed the rim joist and exposed the ends of the second-floor...
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