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KCK44 11-05-2012 11:30 AM

Load bearing wall load points
Hello everyone, thanks in advance for taking a look at my question.

I am contemplating removing a load bearing wall in my home. The wall is on the first floor of my home and supports a second story and the roof. The main beam of the house is directly under this wall in the basement. I am planing on taking out a 10' section. I know what I need to do as far as adding a beam on the first floor to replace the section of wall that I am taking out. One end of the new beam will be against an exterior wall. Down in the basement, under that point, the main beam of the house is supported by a giant concrete pillar that is part of the foundation. So I am good on that. The other end of the new beam is 10 ft out from the exterior wall. If I look in the basement and measure out 10ft on the main beam, there is nothing there. There is, however a steel post in a cement footer at about 8 ft from the exterior wall (so about 2 ft short of where my load point will be).

So my question is, do I need to add another steel post or floor jack or whatever directly under the new load point I am creating at 10ft from the exterior wall. I am not adding weight, but I do understand that all the weight that was once distributed equally across that 10 ft of the beam will now be focused on two points.

joecaption 11-05-2012 11:46 AM

Sorry but your going to have to hire an engineer to come on your site and spec all the materials, and locations for supports.
Not a great plan to be taking advice from people on the net that have never even seen your house and could be from anyplace on the planet.

GBrackins 11-05-2012 01:17 PM

Welcome to the forum kck!

you are correct in that what was once uniform loading is now point loading. it would seem the simple the thing would be to install a new column and footing under the interior point load. this could be misleading. the point load from the 2nd floor beam transfers its load to the bottom of the column, either on the 1st floor beam, or solid blocking between the floor joists above the 1st floor beam. it you merely run the column to the floor then the the finish and subflooring could be supporting the load.

typically a column and footing would be added under the 1st floor beam, let's take a look at that ....

the 1st floor beam should be evaluated by someone knowledgeable such as a professional engineer to determine how much support area is needed above the beam so that the load does not crush the wood fibers in the beam. if the pounds per square inch are too great then the fibers of the existing beam will be crushed. make sense?

also the engineer would need to evaluate your existing soil conditions for bearing capacity and determine the proper size footing needed for your imposed loads. if the footing is not designed properly you can get settling/compaction of the soil under the footing which would create issues above. make sense?

Joe is correct, structural design requires a site visit to evaluate all existing conditions and determine how to accomplish the planned construction.

Hope this helps to explain why its not a good idea to have someone online that you do not know (their level of knowledge or expertise) perform structural engineering for you.

Good luck!

BigJim 11-05-2012 01:21 PM

At the end of the beam that you are going to install and is not supported, you should put a support column all the way down to the foundation. If the support column hits in the floor of the basement you will need to bust the concrete up and pour a footing for the column to sit on. That column must be continuous from the beam you are supporting all the way to the footing.

Do not just support under the floor joists and sit the support column on the floor, it will sag and could give way. Also I know I am over stressing this but it is important, don't just sit the support column on the basement floor, you don't know if the basement floor will hold it or not, best to be on the safe side.

philS 11-05-2012 04:39 PM

When you say the steel post rests on a cement footer, does that mean it's something substantial like a poured pad? In that case you may possibly NOT need to add anything in the way of further support. But, as everyone has said, you need an engineering analysis. The good side is that just maybe the engineer will tell you that you're good to go. If not, yup, you bust up the floor, pour a new pad, put in a column while jacking the beam ever so slightly to make sure the column is taking up some weight. The engineer will spec it all out for you. It's $ well spent.

747 11-05-2012 05:30 PM

I personally don't think a diyer should mess with a load bearing wall.:no: Get a pro in for a consult.

hand drive 11-05-2012 08:34 PM

how far in past the 10 foot mark where the post will sit is the next column in line under the main beam? you say there is a column at 8' in, how much farther til the next one?

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