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Old 11-16-2011, 07:11 PM   #1
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Basement Staircase


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!!
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:21 PM   #2
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That should not be load bearing----is there a beam or girder down there?

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Old 11-16-2011, 08:53 PM   #3
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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
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:55 PM   #4
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There's a beam that runs the length of the basement centered in the middle.
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:50 AM   #5
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I'm betting that the wall is a partition---add a photo of the floor joists around the stair and the beam.
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:23 AM   #6
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Post a picture of the underside of the stairs so we can see what happens to the stair support if the wall goes away.
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:06 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:14 PM   #8
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Here's a few more pics.
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:20 PM   #9
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You are good to go!

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Old 11-17-2011, 09:12 PM   #10
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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
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:21 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:34 AM   #12
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If you remove one of the walls what will hold one end of the header up?
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:25 PM   #13
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There will be a couple of posts.
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:43 PM   #14
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Sounds like a plan to me.
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:34 AM   #15
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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...

Gary

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