Loft Conversions Question

Wooden beam bowing and cracked. how serious is this?

Hello, I have a question about a house I was hoping to buy. It is a victorian mid-terrace with a converted attic, and a dormer window with wooden beams running horizontally along with width of the house above and below the dormer. The top beam looks bowed and has a vertical crack about 4 inches high in the middle of it. It looks like it is giving under the weight of the roof. How can this be fixed? Otherwise it is a lovely house!

2 Answers

Best Answer

Hi mac
Bow alone is not as serious , many purlins " beams running horizontally " bow a little in old homes . They even tend to have horizontal cracks ( shakes ) that rant that bad BUT a four inch crack vertical is very serious . There are a number of ways of sorting it .
1 flitch plate ! this can be a piece of steel or sometimes ply bolted to the side and sandwiched between another large piece of wood / purlin.
2 replace with steel . probably the best way as these days its virtually impossible to get a structural calculation for a timber purlin .
3 for a quick immediate fix please put a spreader plate on the floor 8"x2" 6 ft long and prop the purlin up asap before whom ever put the dormer on cause you a massive problem .
and if i was you ring a loft convertor , post it on here or structural engineers asap .
thanks woody at apex lofts barnsley

Answered 19th Apr 2012

Apex lofts

Member since 25 Jan 2012

need to fit a steel beam underneath this beam and fit stud wall up to faulty beam to transfer weight down on to beam will need a structural engineer to calculate beam

Answered 13th Apr 2012


Member since 31 Oct 2008

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