I was quoted $16,000 to replace a rotting structural supprt beam

9 Replies

I am looking to purchase a duplex in Chicago with a built out basement, but the inspector was able to access the main support beam and found it was rotten or termite infested. It is a 30 foot support beam. I got a quote from a company that specializes in replacing support beams and quoted me $16K. That seems very high? Can someone recommend a company for me that would likely cost less or confirm that seems like an accurate price?

What did the engineer say needs to happen?

This beam could be a difficult item to replace due to size and access. It is a 30' long 4x6 beam? Is the basement easy to access or does a lot of work need to be done to get this beam in place? I assume anything removed to replace would be put back? You can always reach out to another company and get more quotes, however if you don't own the house, don't expect to be able to do this.

@Account Closed

Del are they changing the support columns as well?  That could cause new piers as well.  Is the company providing the design as well as completing the work.  $16,000 sounds high to me but there are a number of factors that could impact the job.  

I'm a GC, not a structural engineer, but I can't think of any application in which a 30' span would be covered by a tiny 4x6 wood beam with no middle supports. The implication of that is, if there are middle supports, you can typically use shorter beams - instead of one 30', for example, use 3 10', or 4 7.5'. (Even 10' is a fairly big span for a 4x6 glulam or LVL if it's bearing significant load.)

It may be that the company doing the replacement is quoting steel, or that there are factors I'm not seeing here. (The print on your photo is hard to read even when I blow it up.) Obviously, getting more quotes is the way to go. 

To build supports, cut out the beam, and replace a beam like that if I can use shorter spans, rather than one 30' long one, I'd be under $5K in most cases. But I'm in Texas and you're in the land of big government and corrupt unions, so I have no idea what prices will be like in your area.

Originally posted by @Michael Hayworth :

I'm a GC, not a structural engineer, but I can't think of any application in which a 30' span would be covered by a tiny 4x6 wood beam with no middle supports. The implication of that is, if there are middle supports, you can typically use shorter beams - instead of one 30', for example, use 3 10', or 4 7.5'. (Even 10' is a fairly big span for a 4x6 glulam or LVL if it's bearing significant load.)

It may be that the company doing the replacement is quoting steel, or that there are factors I'm not seeing here. (The print on your photo is hard to read even when I blow it up.) Obviously, getting more quotes is the way to go. 

To build supports, cut out the beam, and replace a beam like that if I can use shorter spans, rather than one 30' long one, I'd be under $5K in most cases. But I'm in Texas and you're in the land of big government and corrupt unions, so I have no idea what prices will be like in your area.

 Totally love the land of big government jab... Priceless :-)

We are working with Vacko Property Services as the general contractor on a couple rehab projects in the Chicago suburbs. So far we are very pleased with their work. I would recommend that you reach out to them for a quote.

@Account Closed the price seems pretty high. sounds like you could be getting a bid from a GC or the company that provided you a quote uses Union Labor. I had replaced a 14 foot W12x40steel beam. I spok with multiple companies. many did not want to even touch this job due to the liability involved or all of themwer to busy for such a small job (2 days worth of work).I got 2 companies that provded bids, one Union company cam in at14,000. 1 nonunion that came in at 6,500. while I knew the union guys knew hat they were doing, I could not afford to spend almost 20% f my labor budget on replacinga beam. So I took a chance with the lower nonunin company. I couldn't be happier. they completed the job in time and the 2 story precast commercial building is still standing. i have used that company a second time. If you still need someone to do the job, send me a pm. the best part was I was dealing with the actual workers and not a middleman. Fyi get this done before the weather gets better other wise it will be hard to find the right help.
@Account Closed was this a home inspector? If so, you can use this to your advantage. Try to ask the Seller for a credit based on $16,000 quote. If not all, then partial credit. ifthey agree then find someone for less after closing. Sorry for all the typos in my previous post. The BP Andriod app is glitchy and ona big delay.