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Old 09-10-2011, 10:57 AM   #1
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Basement support column question

I have two questions. My main house support (25 ft) has 2 block 16 x 16 columns. 1- can these columns be replaced by a steel post and carry the same load? 2- can the block column footer be used for the steel post or do new footers need to be poured. I want to section off the basement and hide the columns inside the walls. The house is a split level approximately 45 yrs old, support is straight with no sagging floors above. I've gotten conflicting opinions and wanted additional input.
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:38 AM   #2
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To give any real solid opinons, provide a floor framing plan. Also, how many stories?


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Old 09-10-2011, 11:47 AM   #3
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As with all structural questions of this nature, an engineer is always best to consult with as they will give a proper "on site" evaluation.

With that being said, I am sure the masonary columns could be replaced with steel posts, but again sizing needs to be accurately accessed.

As for the foundations my guess would be the masonary columns are acting as a spread footer and there is little to no thickened slab or foundation under them, there-by, you would have to (after consulting with an engineer) determine what is currently there and have a proper footer designed for the load to which is will carry.

This kind of work is often left to a qualified contractor, but it is not completely out of the realm of a knowledgeable DIY'r.

When its all said and done there is usually more said than done
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Old 09-10-2011, 02:29 PM   #4
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Jack is pretty well spot on. Steel is much stronger on a per square inch column basis than block, so you can certainly replace the block column with a steel column, as always design requires load evaluation. I agree with Jack, there is a high probability you do not have an adequate footer for a steel column, so figure placing a new footing into project cost.
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:34 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the replies. A person I have used for other concrete projects wanted to take the block down 4 inches below the floor, place a steel plate and attach the post. I wasn't going to spend the money for an engineer if the consensus was the footing would be usable. Will be making the call to a structural engineer on Monday.
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