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Old 11-28-2011, 11:24 PM   #1
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Room opening ideas


Hey guys, I am almost finished up with a finished basement and am looking for some ideas.

I have a large basement with a load bearing wall in the center of the room. I have around 500 sq. feet on each side, so I decided to open up the 36" door to 5', additionally.....I also added a 5' opening about 6' to the right of the walkway. And before you asked, yes.........I played it safe and used double jack studs, and 2x10 doubled up header beams in both.

So, back to the problem at hand......I simply put trim around the opening on the home theater side, which looks great. However, I am looking for options on the other side of the opening. I was thinking some sort of countertop and a few bar stools to allow someone to sit there and watch TV from the bar side, or throw the megatouch machine up there. My biggest concern is having a countertop that sticks out too far and restricts movement on the bar side.

Any thoughts?

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Old 11-29-2011, 06:26 AM   #2
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Room opening ideas


There normally are no load bearing walls in a basement. There will be a central beam, or beams supporting the structure above, often with lally columns for support in the middle, but no walls. Walls are generally for dividing spaces, not for support. And the space under the beams is often selected as a dividing point. Pics would help, or have a local engineer have a look-see.

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Old 11-29-2011, 07:31 AM   #3
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There normally are no load bearing walls in a basement. There will be a central beam, or beams supporting the structure above, often with lally columns for support in the middle, but no walls. Walls are generally for dividing spaces, not for support. And the space under the beams is often selected as a dividing point. Pics would help, or have a local engineer have a look-see.
I will add some pics later on. Its all sheetrocked and finished, but you will get the idea.

In the garage, there is a center beam much like what you talked about. However I can assure you, that this wall in the basement is load bearing. My builder lives next door, and the house is still only 3 years old.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:22 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mills314 View Post
I will add some pics later on. Its all sheetrocked and finished, but you will get the idea.

In the garage, there is a center beam much like what you talked about. However I can assure you, that this wall in the basement is load bearing. My builder lives next door, and the house is still only 3 years old.
I think what Bill is alluding to is that the walls that are built in the basement as part of the finising process are not load bearing. The loads have been compensated for when the house was built. There's no need for structural headers at this point. Unless you've made changes to the houses support.
Irrelevant at this point as they're already built.
To get input about the bar, you would need to draw a layout with dimensions, so we can see the space you're working with.
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:00 PM   #5
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There normally are no load bearing walls in a basement. There will be a central beam, or beams supporting the structure above, often with lally columns for support in the middle, but no walls. .
Bill,

Careful there Bill. This is not true at all. Some houses are not built with girders and have walls instead that are the main support for the floors above.The wall has a continuous footing underneath it. Some call them Haunch footings. I've built many houses like this without girders and lally columns.
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:05 PM   #6
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Joe is correct, many houses have bearing walls in the basement. I have personally seen at least a dozen houses of various ages that have structural bearing walls in the basement, some framed traditionally with studs, some made of brick, some with cast in place concrete. NEVER ASSUME that a basement wall is non-load bearing just because it is in the basement,this could be a fatal error.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:58 PM   #7
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Joe is correct, many houses have bearing walls in the basement. I have personally seen at least a dozen houses of various ages that have structural bearing walls in the basement, some framed traditionally with studs, some made of brick, some with cast in place concrete. NEVER ASSUME that a basement wall is non-load bearing just because it is in the basement,this could be a fatal error.
That was the case here, I wasn't sure so I contacted the builder.

As for the headers, I added them when I opened up the door opening and the wall opening. Went with the rule of thumb and added 2" to the size of header beam required just to be safe.
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:41 PM   #8
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Room opening ideas


joes correct, i have built homes and built addtions where there were girders that clear spanned the entire basement but its been rare... more often than not most of the homes ive worked on have had more than one bearing wall in the basement.

what it comes down to is how complex the house is and the floor system that coincides,, most homes ive framed are high end customs which have all sorts of crazy bearing points in them do to being open concept and really busy rooflines with multiple girder trusses that require point loads to be transferred directly to the basement

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