October 1, 2012

Installing a Flitch Beam – Part 1

Filed under: General, Structural — tattiehouse @ 20:43

So, I’ve been quiet of late with various things so it’s about time I did some blogging….

I’ve done several bits to the house and also with the various broadband installs I’m currently doing so things over the next few days may be a little out of order.

Given that things may be a little out of order, I’m currently listening to this…..which won’t help!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0 PSY – GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) M/V

it’s the UKs current number 1 record – quality!

So, installing a flitch. A flitch beam has several benefits http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flitch_beam as per Wikipedia. I’m using one as the structural engineer says I need to….

Step one, getting the timber and steel into the upstairs space to put it all together (it’s lighter doing it that way, 2 men can lift all this stuff up 1 item at a time no problem). Once up it looks like this…

I’m using a 12mm mild steel flitch with 47×222 C24 timbers either side. I’ve already marked the holes for the bolts.

To drill the steel and timber you need a decent drill and bit. Don’t mess around with cheap stuff…Use a combo like this….

DeWalt D25013N SDS+ Drill and DeWalt 12mm Extreme 2 HSS Drill Bit



It’s not the cheapest but it has German efficiency which is what you want!

Once done – it looks like this….

The next step is to put the steel on top of the timbers and drill the holes through the timber. This ensures everything lines up correctly. If the timber is twisted or not straight, you may need to plane it down. Depending on how much needs to come off, it could be done once install although it’s probably easier to do it before it gets bolted up.

Drill the holes in the timber then sandwich the steel and insert the bolts.

Tighten the bolts up so everything is well gripped and it’s ready to be put into position. As I’m putting the flitch into a space/area that I need to create, I’m putting the flitch above the existing timbers and using this to mark on them where they will be cut (so I can drop the new flitch into place). The flitch is needed as we are removing load bearning walls so something needs to take their place.

I can’t drop them into place (Part 2) until my Simpson Strong Tie – http://www.strongtie.co.uk/products/allproducts.php have arrived.

So for now, I’ll leave the flitch in place and get everything marked ready. I’ve got to do the same size flitch in the West wing of the house so will be doing the above tomorrow…..

I’ll leave you with a shot of the flitch waiting close to its final position…..

After Gangnam style, I switch to this – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=At8ihjnsJ0M – classic stuff…..


  1. what is the beam for?

    Comment by Miles Right — March 28, 2013 @ 05:01

    • Hello,

      In the case of our house, it’s to catch a load of rafter ends as we are removing a wall that was load bearing.

      The other option is an RSJ but these are heavier and more expensive so in our case, a flitch was fine. The steel in the middle keeps the timbers either side nice and straight.

      Part 2 of the install will be allong in a few days…


      Comment by tattiehouse — March 30, 2013 @ 08:10

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