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Old 03-17-2010, 04:19 AM   #1
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Modifying studs below staircase to open up where a closet used to be


Hello,
I'm not familiar with framing especially under stairs. We (hubby and I) removed the door and drywall that created the closet under the stairs. We weren't expecting to find 2 X 4's that seemed to be bolted to the foundation(see photos). Maybe they are earthquake bolts or something (we live in so cal). We were just gonna remove some studs and install a new horizantal (yet diagonal) header atop a stud on each side of the new opening (these new studs would be attached to original studs we were not planning on removing). As you can see from the photos there are three sections: door frame opening(left), middle opening, and small "beer closet" opening(right). The beer closet section is going to be the for the carboy and it will be walled off and have a cabinet door on it. We're kind of afraid to remove the door frame now. The door frame opening and the middle opening is all we want "opened up" to create ONE new opening for a small desk/mail area. So my question is; What happens if we remove the two 2x 4 's attached to the foundation AND the door framing and replace new opening with a 2 X 4 header diagonally. Are we committing a big no no? It wouldn't seem to be load bearing if you look at the photos. First photo is overview of area, second is the 2X4 attached to foundation on the "beer closet" section, third is the top right corner of door frame, fourth is the 2x4 that attaches to the foundation in the middle section, fifth is a photo of the underside of the staircase taken from 1st floor bathroom, last photo is taken from inside the closet looking at the underside of the staircase towards the bottom steps (there is a lip/platform I wanted to show that I imagine the stringers are resting on?). Sincerely, thanks for any help as we a mostly clueless and don't have the budget for carpenters or engineers.
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:42 AM   #2
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Modifying studs below staircase to open up where a closet used to be


If I understand you correctly you just want to get rid of the door and the bolted plate below it, if so than I see no problem with that. If you were removing the little wall to the right I’d want to know if the stairs were actually sitting on top of the landing.

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Old 03-17-2010, 07:47 AM   #3
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Modifying studs below staircase to open up where a closet used to be


I can't imagine that that closet wall is load bearing--Not built directly beneath the stair stringer--

No framer that I know of would use a stringer as a bearing member inside a structural wall--

That being said---I am just some stranger on the internet!!

Someone else here may have some insight that I can't see--Let us see who chimes in!!!--Mike--
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Old 03-17-2010, 01:14 PM   #4
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Modifying studs below staircase to open up where a closet used to be


I'm 99.9999% sure that the stair stringers sit on that landing. We're not going to touch it or the wall studs in that area. We want to remove the door frame (opening furthest to the left) and the middle section's foundation bolt and the beer closet's foundation bolt(section furthest to the right). Sorry if I wasn't clear. Thanks for your thoughts, guys!
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:16 PM   #5
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Modifying studs below staircase to open up where a closet used to be


The short half door is junk--O.k. to remove it and the old bottom plate--Mike--
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:43 PM   #6
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Modifying studs below staircase to open up where a closet used to be


Hello,

First are those bolt or nails with some kind of washer? second do you know that there is a foundation under that wall? And have you opened any other walls in your home before or is there one that can be open, this may just be (for some reason unknow and unneeded) to set the wall. you never know what saw going through the mind of the person that did this. I side with Mike remove the studs and build your mail area.
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:16 PM   #7
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Modifying studs below staircase to open up where a closet used to be


No question that our foundation sits under those 2 X 4's that we want to remove. And it could be nails, not like any I've ever seen before. The heads are same diameter as a large nail head (5/16") but the head is also kind of thick (1/8'') and ever so slightly roundy on top. This is the only wall we've ever attempted to remove in our home, so unfortunately, no comparisions can be made. Thanks again for your help!

I did inspect that one "bolt" that had a sunshine shape to it. It was a rubbery piece that slipped right over the nail/bolt. Not sure if thats what you call a washer. Now it looks like the other one. I thought they were different bolts/nails on each 2x4. That little mystery is solved.
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:48 PM   #8
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Modifying studs below staircase to open up where a closet used to be


It’s a concrete nail shot out of a 22 cal. Hilti or Ramset gun.

Very common and they usually don’t pull that easy, you might have to split the plate apart and cut or grind off the nail.
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Old 03-17-2010, 05:33 PM   #9
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Modifying studs below staircase to open up where a closet used to be


ok maybe I did not see. is this a concret slab? I mean the floor is it concret? if so yes they are just concret nail and you have no problem in removing the wall and framing.

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