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Old 05-24-2014, 01:30 AM   #1
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Basement column removal

Firstly, my question: What is the best method of removing my existing adjustable column?

Background info:

I had a single column supporting the middle of a beam in my basement and now have two additional columns closer to the ends of the beam that will take the place of the one in the middle.

All of this was done after a load calculation was completed by a structural engineer so the methodology and loads are not in question here. Please see my prior post below for additional info:

Moving basement support columns - Foooting Question

The new columns are installed and adjusted to the point that they are loaded by the beam. I'm at the point where I want to slowly remove the load on the center column by loosening the adjustment on it while tightening the adjustments on the new columns to take up the load.

The adjustment on the old column has been tack welded so I'm planning on grinding the weld off to get it where it's able to be adjusted again. Is this the best method or should I do something else?

Also, how much of an adjustment should I do over what period of time to minimize any load transfer issues I might see? I was planning on adjusting the columns no more than 1/8" every three days until the load has fully transferred to the new columns. Is this overkill or not enough time between adjustments?

Thanks to all for any advice.


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Old 05-24-2014, 08:23 AM   #2
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not sure what you have going on there but never cut welds on columns. you need to shim above column with appropriate shims...


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Old 05-24-2014, 08:46 AM   #3
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i would put an adjustable next the one you are removing. load it. then cut the old one out.
then slowly lower the temp column.
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:04 AM   #4
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Shouldn't the engineer have stated the proper way his plan calls for doing this?

Shouldn't you be putting the other columns under load first? That way their lift would allow the center one to be moved due to the tension being taken off it. Not much, of course, but just enough to detect that it's no longer under load.

I'd venture a guess you'd be better off adding some new support next to the existing center column rather than fiddling with it's adjuster. It's been that way for a while, perhaps long enough for corrosion or other factors to make it a problem to adjust, even if you could grind the tack away effectively.

I'd throw this back as a question to the engineers. You've already paid them and they've come up with a plan, so it would seem reasonable to get their perspective on it.
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:31 PM   #5
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The tack weld was in place to lock in the adjustment screw per building code, so shims aren't applicable here.

I was planing to utilize a separate support if I can't get the current center support's adjustment to work properly. I'm just trying to avoid the additional expense and stress on the walls and structure above by moving it further up than it already is.

As far as my structural engineer's role, I only had him calculate the current loads to determine the maximum span between two new columns and the dimensions of the new footings. As far as the procedure of installation and removal, I would think that would typically fall on the contractor performing the work, which is the role I am playing.

However this is my first time dealing with a structural engineer, so I will reach out for him for advice on the topic. Do they typically provide installation and removal procedures in cases such as this?

The new columns are under load but I suspect not enough to remove the entirety of the load off of the old column due to the distance between them (7 ft.). A temporary center support may be the only solution if I can't adjust the old column.

I also spoke with several contractors that perform this type of work. They said as long as the weld is on the bottom of the screw where it pivots at the baseplate, I should have no issue with grinding it off. They also suggested wire wheeling and putting a torch on the threads of the adjustment screw to facilitate getting it started. Does anyone see any issues with any of this?

I appreciate everyone's advice and will update with my progress.

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Old 05-24-2014, 10:16 PM   #6
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Typically means, methods, techniques and sequence of construction are the responsibility of the contractor, not the engineer or architect. Temporary support is also typically the responsibility of the contractor. So it is reasonable that the structural engineer would specify the end product (the beam size, the column size, and attachment details) and not specify the procedure for achieving the result. Of course, if your contract with the engineer included additional services such as construction sequence, you would be owed that in addition to the drawings, or whatever it is you received.
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Old 05-25-2014, 02:19 PM   #7
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That was my understanding of the structural engineers role in a project like this as well.

Thanks for the clarification.
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:37 PM   #8
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Without reading all posts and replies, did the engineer actually see the beam? Is the center post under a joint in the beam? If alls ok, you can do as you describe and others have suggested, esp, new posts must be in final supporting position before you remove the old. The old can be hacked out anyway you can - it's not a surgery. These posts are not really the same as bottle jacks.


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