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Old 04-10-2011, 07:07 PM   #1
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Improperly removed load-bearing wall?


A previous owner removed a load-bearing wall between my living and dining rooms in my 1938 bungelow. I now have what appears to be a stud bulging out the drywall immediately below the beam. In the basement there is some cracking immediately below the area of the removed wall.
Please tell me: A - Do I need a lally column in the basement? and B - Should I install a column in the living room? Or C - any other advice or things to be aware of? I did try to find this as an existing topic, but there are a lot of threads here. If this has already been covered, please direct me to previous thread. Thank you.

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Old 04-10-2011, 11:18 PM   #2
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Improperly removed load-bearing wall?


Got pictures?

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Old 04-11-2011, 11:03 AM   #3
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Improperly removed load-bearing wall?


Definitely pictures. In the basement and both sides of the wall.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:39 AM   #4
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Improperly removed load-bearing wall?


Have you opened up the wall to see how the beam is supported? Is it on posts or is it just sitting on the top plate of the exterior wall? What is the span of the beam and is the beam the right size for this span? I would recommend having a structural engineer check this out, especially if you are seeing possible failure of the foundation. Good luck.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:32 AM   #5
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Improperly removed load-bearing wall?


I wrote this a while back in another thread (disregard the comment about regions, because I'm not sure where you are):


When your DIY plans involve structural changes, or if you're really not sure, or you question the methods of a contractor, calling an engineer really is the best thing to do. But "calling an engineer" can be a bit of a mystery for folks. Here's a little "de-mystification."

When you're at the point where you think you need help (or you're being advised to get help), you usually have three questions: how much more is this going to cost, how do I find the right engineer, and what exactly should I be looking for as far as deliverables are concerned.

Cost:
For something simple like a set of beam calcs, or an inspection for something you spot, or professional opinion on a buyer's (or seller's) home inspection, the costs are pretty much in the same neighborhood. A few hundred dollars. Not $100, but not $900. When I get calls, I have a spreadsheet that helps me come up with a fair number, based on many years of doing this. But local cost of living comes into play, and what you'll see as a fee in Montana won't be the fee you see in a Boston suburb. In your case, it would probably be in the upper part of that range, because it's a main element and the load path calculations for the whole house have to be done. Bottom line, that couple hundred absolutely guarantees that you're getting good information, from an experienced, unbiased professional. Plus the work is backed by liability insurance, and a state license.

How do you find the right engineer:
Not every engineer is licensed. Not every licensed engineer is a licensed structural engineer. But you need a licensed structural engineer. If you're into Google, do a search with the words (don't use the quotes) "your state", "residential", "licensed", "structural", "engineer". A positive sign would be if the engineer is a member of an association like NABIE, knows ASTM E2018, does structural inspections, etc. You should get a bunch of hits. You can also get the word out that you're looking for one, and someone you know at work or church or school sports undoubtedly knows one.

What you should expect:
Expect a field inspection. Expect a short report with the recommendation. Expect everything to be signed and sealed. Expect plan view sketches of beam and support locations, with member sizes called out. Expect joint details and fastener schedules. Expect the calculations. Don't expect 24x36 blueprints, unless you ask for them. And expect them to be available throughout your project for phone consultations.

I hope this helps someone, someday.
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:49 PM   #6
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Improperly removed load-bearing wall?


First of all, thank you for advising me what to take pictures of. When my son gets home from school, I will have him help me post pictures. I have not yet opened the wall. I am chicken. The span is 12' 10", the beam is 6"x5". When I first purchased the home 9 years ago, I noticed an irregularity on the wall surface which I repaired cosmetically (sanding and drywall mud), but the area has bulged out again from 1/8" at top and bottom to 3/16" in center. Enough to be noticable and cause concern. This was not mentioned in the home inspection, and to be honest, I cannot remember seeing the crack in the foundation at time of purchase, but it was brought to my attention when I asked a friend to take a look. Thanks again, and I will post pics in a couple of hours.
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:07 PM   #7
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Improperly removed load-bearing wall?


Can you cut a fairly good sized whole near the top where that bulge is? Enough to stick you head up there with a flashlight to have a peek.
The sheetrock will probably have to go anyway to fix that bulge.
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:11 PM   #8
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Improperly removed load-bearing wall?


What is supporting the post at the end of the beam in the living room? Did it fall mid-span on the main girder in the basement?
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:26 PM   #9
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Improperly removed load-bearing wall?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tizzer View Post
Can you cut a fairly good sized whole near the top where that bulge is? Enough to stick you head up there with a flashlight to have a peek.
The sheetrock will probably have to go anyway to fix that bulge.
I would say just take pictures for now, you can always open up the walls later and take more pictures.
Pictures are free nowadays...drywall on the other hand its almost free
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Old 04-13-2011, 02:13 PM   #10
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Improperly removed load-bearing wall?


Just figured he could take a pic of what ever is going on inside the wall. Moot point, being the OP hasn't responded back with anything.

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