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Old 02-10-2007, 10:01 PM   #1
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Can floor jacks in basement be permanent?


Hi, brand new here and just thought I would get started with a question about my basement I'm working on opening up. I have a cape cod house with a basement that is half garage that we park our cars in, and the other half are two rooms. One is finished, the other is partially finished. The rooms are divided by a wall with a doorway that is about 4' wide right in the middle. I am wanting to do away with the wall and open the room up, making it one big room instead of two small rooms.

I'm guessing that the load bearing beams are running from the front to back of the house, because the 2x4 posts that run from one side of the house to the other in the garage and basement have 2 large door openings (one in the finished side, and another 4' opening in the garage.

My thoughts are to take down the wall in the finished side and put up 2 floor jacks, then have them enclose with wood to make them look finshed like the rest of the room. Are the floor jacks something that can be permanent? I've read where some people say they should only be used temporarily, but my fathers house and my brothers house, along with many others I've seen in my life have them throughout the entire basement.

Thanks for some guidance.

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Old 02-10-2007, 10:25 PM   #2
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Can floor jacks in basement be permanent?


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Originally Posted by ragtopdave06 View Post
Hi, brand new here and just thought I would get started with a question about my basement I'm working on opening up. I have a cape cod house with a basement that is half garage that we park our cars in, and the other half are two rooms. One is finished, the other is partially finished. The rooms are divided by a wall with a doorway that is about 4' wide right in the middle. I am wanting to do away with the wall and open the room up, making it one big room instead of two small rooms.

I'm guessing that the load bearing beams are running from the front to back of the house, because the 2x4 posts that run from one side of the house to the other in the garage and basement have 2 large door openings (one in the finished side, and another 4' opening in the garage.

My thoughts are to take down the wall in the finished side and put up 2 floor jacks, then have them enclose with wood to make them look finshed like the rest of the room. Are the floor jacks something that can be permanent? I've read where some people say they should only be used temporarily, but my fathers house and my brothers house, along with many others I've seen in my life have them throughout the entire basement.

Thanks for some guidance.
Use floor jacks ONLY for temporary support....

Example: If you were going to put a heavy vehicle up for the winter or other lengthy reason.....you would jack it up .....and then transfer it to 'blocks'...

Install solid supports....It's not that hard...you can use concrete filled poles (lalleys) and cut them to size (height) with a recipricating saw. Then install using end plates designed for that..

However, DO NOT INSTALL SUPPORTS ONTO THE BASEMENT FLOOR/PAD: It will not support structural weight....

If in Cold areas: You need a solid concrete footing 4'-0" under the frost line..... otherwise a 12" solid footing....

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Old 02-12-2007, 11:01 AM   #3
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Can floor jacks in basement be permanent?


If your house ever caught fire, those house jacks can bend easier than columns cause your house to cave in on itself, that's why firefighters hate them.
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Old 02-12-2007, 04:32 PM   #4
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Can floor jacks in basement be permanent?


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If your house ever caught fire, those house jacks can bend easier than columns cause your house to cave in on itself, that's why firefighters hate them.
not to disagree... but this reason seems funny, because if it is that much fire.... the house probably collespe anyway......
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Old 02-12-2007, 04:44 PM   #5
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Can floor jacks in basement be permanent?


Kui****g -

Steel columns can be dangerous and not fireproof!!!!

They are dangerous because when they are not protected they can be wekened and damaged by heat. The collapse is sudden and unpredictable (remember 911?).

A concentrated basement fire can cause a house to collapse before it has a chance to burn, especially if you have a finished basement ceiling that does not protect columns.

In some cases, the fire insurance premiums for a warehouse with a wood frame roof can be cheaper than if it has a steel roof system. - The reason is that the wood looses strength gradually in proportion to the material burbned away, so it is predictable. For steel, the collapse is not predictable, so firefighters cannot fight as long to preserve contents and losses can be greater.
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Old 02-12-2007, 04:49 PM   #6
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Can floor jacks in basement be permanent?


for the educated information... you are right... coming with high school science background... didn't know steel is that volunerable.....
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Old 02-12-2007, 10:46 PM   #7
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Can floor jacks in basement be permanent?


So then, how many concrete filled poles should I use on a room that is 16 feet wide?
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Old 02-12-2007, 10:54 PM   #8
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Can floor jacks in basement be permanent?


An engineer can tell you IF you need posts when you remove a wall.

If you need posts, the number will depend on the strength supporting beams and the loads above.

If you do need posts, you will have to put them on a separate footing and not on the slab. You have no idea of the strength and thickness of the existing slab. It was not meant to carry the load of a post.
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Old 02-13-2007, 07:31 AM   #9
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Can floor jacks in basement be permanent?


...A general rule is one every 8 feet ....so at 16 feet, that would mean your two ends are supported on the concrete (hopefully)...and add two spaced evenly in the middle area...
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Old 02-13-2007, 10:08 PM   #10
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Can floor jacks in basement be permanent?


Thanks for the replies everyone. I may hold off on such a project right now. Though it's great information when I decide to get it going again.
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Old 02-25-2007, 01:18 PM   #11
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Can floor jacks in basement be permanent?


Looks like you live in NC. I am in Raleigh and going through the "screw" post controversy. The city inspector here in Raleigh says I can use screw jacks (got them from Home Depot) and not violate the code. I would have to install them with the screw down and incase screw in concrete. We removed a load bearing wall on first floor of two story house. Using two 1 3/4 x 9 1/2 LVL beams nailed together for the 10 foot span. We will use the screw jacks only in the crawl space since they will be short. We were scared off from using the jacks to support the beam inside the house because of all the negative comments we heard. We are going to use 4x6 timbers non treated timbers instead.
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Old 02-25-2007, 01:53 PM   #12
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Can floor jacks in basement be permanent?


Before you do that look up the post entitled: "Close Call" under the BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION forum...

(See the pic of what happened to a screw jack...)
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Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 02-25-2007 at 05:58 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-25-2007, 02:36 PM   #13
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Can floor jacks in basement be permanent?


I looked under "close call" under "home improvement" and could not find it? Looked also under "remodeling" and "construction and building". Any suggestions?
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Old 02-25-2007, 06:41 PM   #14
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Can floor jacks in basement be permanent?


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not to disagree... but this reason seems funny, because if it is that much fire.... the house probably collespe anyway......
Any exposed steel structural support will fail when exposed to an intense sustained fire. It does not matter if it is a steel jackstand, 6 inch steel column or industrial I-beam. It is just a matter of time. We knew that long ago and 9-11 drove it home.

As KUI****G said, in a house fire the wood structure, including joists. beams and wall framing will normally fail long before steel columns or jackstands give way.

In the end follow local building codes.
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Old 03-15-2007, 05:19 PM   #15
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Can floor jacks in basement be permanent?


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I looked under "close call" under "home improvement" and could not find it? Looked also under "remodeling" and "construction and building". Any suggestions?
Close Call

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