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Old 12-12-2011, 09:02 PM   #1
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Load bearing basement wall?


Hi all. I was pretty-sure I'd be able to remove these walls, then after looking at them I'm not sure. The joists above this wall sit on the concrete foundation on the one side, and span over to what is seen in this picture. It's about 3' from the foundation wall to the bottom of the stairs.

Just thought I'd see if anyone here could give it a shot before I have to seek professional advice. It doesn't look like it is supporting all 4 of the joists, so it wouldn't be load bearing - but I'm not a structural engineer/architect. I really wanted to have an open staircase when I finish this basement, which will be starting soon.

Wall 1:


Wall 1 where the joists meet the I-beam


Wall 1 at the other side.




Wall 2 is trickier. Obviously the stack of 2x4s is important and has to stay. However, can I remove the rest of the wall?
Wall 2:


Wall 2 above the supporting stack of 2x4s


Wall 2 on the other side:


Thanks in advance.
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Load bearing basement wall?-wall2left-medium-.jpg  

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Old 12-12-2011, 09:34 PM   #2
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Load bearing basement wall?


Interesting framing next to the stairs. What do you have above this that requires all the wood?

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Old 12-12-2011, 09:36 PM   #3
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Load bearing basement wall?


Leave the stack of 2x4 alone. Cut remaining on a slant to give yourself a rail with a 1x6
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:46 PM   #4
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Load bearing basement wall?


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Interesting framing next to the stairs. What do you have above this that requires all the wood?
Above this is just the side of the open staircase between the fist and second floors. It looks like its real purpose is the side of the joists that are running perpendicular to the wall.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:48 PM   #5
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Load bearing basement wall?


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Leave the stack of 2x4 alone. Cut remaining on a slant to give yourself a rail with a 1x6
That was the idea, just making sure they can come out. Also curious as to why the wall is even there off its not necessary. Would just be wasted cost to the builder.
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:48 AM   #6
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Cost on material vs cost on labor. The wall is there cause its easier for the builder to build wall for safety proposes instead of rail (as to what u want to do)
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:37 PM   #7
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Load bearing basement wall?


The wall extends to the bottom riser to meet minimum fire/safety code per jurisdiction locally- IRC, UBC, etc. light switch, handrail return, drywall sidewalls per code, ect.
Before removing any of the wall you need to verify the built-up joist (ganged) nailing pattern is to code- hard to do when covered by other joists. You cannot check the middle joists, bolting may be an option, contact your local AHJ.

Check your span/loads for the ganged joists (with/without the helping wall section) in wood tables.

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Old 12-14-2011, 10:05 AM   #8
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Load bearing basement wall?


For now, I'm just going to start framing the other walls and leave those alone. Due to budget cutbacks, our city now has ONE inspector, who is on vacation until next Tuesday.

If it turns out I can't remove the walls, I guess I can live with it. Or, perhaps put support poles/pillars at the bottom of the stairs and open up the sides a bit. Something like this:
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:45 PM   #9
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For now, I'm just going to start framing the other walls and leave those alone. Due to budget cutbacks, our city now has ONE inspector, who is on vacation until next Tuesday.

If it turns out I can't remove the walls, I guess I can live with it. Or, perhaps put support poles/pillars at the bottom of the stairs and open up the sides a bit. Something like this:
From what I can see the wall isn't supporting anything! i would get a second opinion!
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:36 PM   #10
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Load bearing basement wall?


Did you end up doing this with a semi-open stairwell?

We have the same design dilemma with our basement stairwell.

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