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rubots12 11-16-2011 07:11 PM

Basement Staircase
3 Attachment(s)
I am in the process of finishing my basement and want to open upthe staircase (to the 5th step). The staircase wall does not to appear to loadbearing (see picture). The load bearing wall runs the length of the basement(perpendicular to the floor joists). I wanted to get opinions on how to finishthe wall and what parts should be removed because there are two top plates. Anysuggestions or opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

oh'mike 11-16-2011 07:21 PM

That should not be load bearing----is there a beam or girder down there?

woodworkbykirk 11-16-2011 08:53 PM

hard to say if that wall is bearing or not. sometimes the walls under doubled joists for stairwells are bearing walls but it depends on what type of joists are used and what is above being supported

its possible that is just a partition wall and the only reason the top plate is doubled is because of an odd stud length. sometimes stud lenghts are just slighlty more than what can be cut out of a 8 footer or a pre cut 92 5/8 stud so adding a second plate can allow for sticking with 8 ft studs to cut from as opposed to returning all the lumber and getting new studs

rubots12 11-16-2011 08:55 PM

There's a beam that runs the length of the basement centered in the middle.

oh'mike 11-17-2011 04:50 AM

I'm betting that the wall is a partition---add a photo of the floor joists around the stair and the beam.

Maintenance 6 11-17-2011 06:23 AM

Post a picture of the underside of the stairs so we can see what happens to the stair support if the wall goes away.

Ron6519 11-17-2011 03:06 PM

Remove all the studs back to where you want.
Reframe the area you want the balusters to rest on down to the floor.
You just can't touch the wall that is at the bottom of the stairs. The one with the joist hangers attached.

rubots12 11-17-2011 05:14 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Here's a few more pics.

oh'mike 11-17-2011 06:20 PM

You are good to go!

Start work----Mike----

BigJim 11-17-2011 09:12 PM

It the next to last picture, isn't that a header the floor joist are hung to? How far is it to the next support for the header, if it is one? And if that is a header or beam what are the dimensions and length? Just askin

rubots12 11-18-2011 10:21 AM

The floor joists are supported by the basement foundation and in the middle by the header. The header is approx 2x12 and just runs there in front of the stairs.

BigJim 11-18-2011 10:34 AM

If you remove one of the walls what will hold one end of the header up?

rubots12 11-18-2011 05:25 PM

There will be a couple of posts.

BigJim 11-18-2011 06:43 PM

Sounds like a plan to me.:thumbsup:

Gary in WA 11-19-2011 12:34 AM

It appears you have only one joist on each side of the stair well. Measure the remainder of the space next to the well joist, if 1/2", good to go. If 2", I would not remove the wall section without first adding a double joist on the side wall, spanning the new opening-nailing it to the existing. It may support the stair wall above, possibly a point load also- from the first to second floor? Check in the attic for any point loads- purlins and struts- bearing on the side wall, if not- the single joist will support the new opening.
Both pics appear to leave the 2" on top the wall plates, unless my eyes are wrong...


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