I'm looking to take down a wall (or most of it) between my living room and kitchen, and put in a center island with half raised counter top and bar stools on the living room side of it.
This wall is a load bearing wall and there are two steel columns going down to the basement and attaching to the foundation.
My question is: can I rip out the drywall and 2"x4" framing between these two columns without negatively affecting the structural support of the house? Is the 2"x4" framing doing anything except to put up drywall and possibly hiding utilities? Or is this a case by case basis and I need to hire a structural engineer to tell me?
I'm debating whether to hire out and have a contractor put a beam in and take out the columns ($$$), or if I should just build the island around the columns. I'm leaning more towards option #2.
I think you answered you question with an emphatic "No" when you said "...This wall is a load bearing wall..." To remove it, you'll have to do a lot of work to temporarily support what the wall was supporting, then install something permanent to do what the wall was doing, like a beam. That could generate real work all the way through the basement floor. I don't think you'll get anyone sticking there neck out w/out seeing the whole system. Sorry, but a load bearing wall is a serious structure, in my book. Good luck w/ it. j