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Old 09-04-2012, 10:41 AM   #1
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Is my column attached to half wall load bearing?


I have a half wall with a column at the end and I would like to remove it, but of course need to know if it is load bearing. It is a 2 story tract home built in 2001. The column is a 4 x 4 wood post, which is almost directly under a 4x12 glulam beam. It is not braced to the beam, and is about 3/4" off the beam. The bottom of the post sits on a 2x4 and is not braced to that in any way. The 2x4 is screwed into the concrete slab foundation. The glulam beam is about 18' long. It appears that the 18' beam is supporting an 18 x 18 area, with a bedroom and a laundry room directly above it. The location of the column (header beam is basically sitting on it) makes us think it is load bearing, but the lack of bracing to both the foundation and the header beam is suspect. The half wall and column separates the kitchen and family room. The family room joists hang off the beam, the kitchen does not.

We are trying to get the blueprints, but the builder is dragging their feet. We are also looking into getting an engineer in, but if we get more opinions that say its definitely load bearing, we would rather not spend the money.

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Old 09-04-2012, 10:56 AM   #2
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Is my column attached to half wall load bearing?


where along the 18' beam is the column? halfway?

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Old 09-04-2012, 10:59 AM   #3
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Is my column attached to half wall load bearing?


It is about 6 feet from the exterior wall.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:02 AM   #4
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Is my column attached to half wall load bearing?


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Originally Posted by Hazel28
I have a half wall with a column at the end and I would like to remove it, but of course need to know if it is load bearing. It is a 2 story tract home built in 2001. The column is a 4 x 4 wood post, which is almost directly under a 4x12 glulam beam. It is not braced to the beam, and is about 3/4" off the beam. The bottom of the post sits on a 2x4 and is not braced to that in any way. The 2x4 is screwed into the concrete slab foundation. The glulam beam is about 18' long. It appears that the 18' beam is supporting an 18 x 18 area, with a bedroom and a laundry room directly above it. The location of the column (header beam is basically sitting on it) makes us think it is load bearing, but the lack of bracing to both the foundation and the header beam is suspect. The half wall and column separates the kitchen and family room. The family room joists hang off the beam, the kitchen does not.

We are trying to get the blueprints, but the builder is dragging their feet. We are also looking into getting an engineer in, but if we get more opinions that say its definitely load bearing, we would rather not spend the money.
Can u take a few photo and post them? More then likely it's load bearing regardless of where along the beam it is
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:26 AM   #5
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Is my column attached to half wall load bearing?


I'm sorry - new to this so I wasn't able to attach photos - here is a link to my flikr account, which shows the photos. http://www.flickr.com/photos/86571742@N07/
If it is in fact load bearing, should I be concerned that it isn't braced to foundation or the beam? It is not very sturdy (I am in earthquake territory). We may have a bigger issue at hand!
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:36 AM   #6
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Is my column attached to half wall load bearing?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazel28
I'm sorry - new to this so I wasn't able to attach photos - here is a link to my flikr account, which shows the photos. http://www.flickr.com/photos/86571742@N07/
If it is in fact load bearing, should I be concerned that it isn't braced to foundation or the beam? It is not very sturdy (I am in earthquake territory). We may have a bigger issue at hand!
2 thing it is load bearing and no u do need to worry about that little wall if unlike u can remove it because that LVL beam should either be sitting on both walls or just behind it is another beam where it might be tied into but should have a hanger holding it up. All in all ur fine
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:44 AM   #7
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Is my column attached to half wall load bearing?


So I'm fine as long as the 4 x 4 post stays? Just want to confirm. I know the half wall can go, but we will probably keep it if the post has to stay. -thanks for your replies!
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:00 PM   #8
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Is my column attached to half wall load bearing?


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So I'm fine as long as the 4 x 4 post stays? Just want to confirm. I know the half wall can go, but we will probably keep it if the post has to stay. -thanks for your replies!
Nope u don't need it at all
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:01 PM   #9
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Is my column attached to half wall load bearing?


Have you thought of hiring an adjustable prop to support the beam within a few inches of the post, and then carefully tapping the post sideways with a hammer, to see if there is any significant deflection in the beam?

If it's not fixed top or bottom, it's unlikely it is structural. If it was, and there was to be any seismic movement, it probably wouldn't be much use anyway.

Perhaps it was fixed by a previous owner who might have been concerned (rightly or wrongly) about the beam?
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:53 PM   #10
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Is my column attached to half wall load bearing?


@tony, my dad suggested we do that as well, since he is fairly sure it isn't load bearing (due to the way it was installed), but my husband hasn't been ready to do that. It looks like we may be getting the blueprints soon (the squeaky wheel gets the grease!), so hopefully that will shed more light on it for us. Thanks for your reply!
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:16 AM   #11
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Is my column attached to half wall load bearing?


Update - had a look at the blueprints, and they just added to the confusion, unfortunately. It shows a footing underneath this column. But is also shows a break in the glulam beam, which is not the case in our house. Lastly, it seems to show the post properly braced to the footing and also strapped to the beam (at the supposed joint of the beam). None of these exist in our actual home. We have a friend in the planning department who is just as confused as we are. There are basically 2 options here: it is either load bearing, and not installed correctly, or they put the footing and column there in the event that the beam was not one piece, and ours just doesn't apply. Does anyone have any insight on this? It seems like we have work to do either way.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:06 AM   #12
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Is my column attached to half wall load bearing?


it could have been they could not design a single span beam with the depth of beam they were needing for a flush frame floor system and were required to install the column/footing. did you find the name of the designer on the plans? if so give them a call to find out. they should know how it was designed.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:34 PM   #13
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Is my column attached to half wall load bearing?


Thanks, gary. The builder was KB homes, so you can only imagine what little help they would be. We have an engineer with the county looking at the prints today and comparing it to what we have, so hopefully we will get a definitive answer soon. Seeing as though what we have doesn't match the prints, we may have to have someone else come in.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:26 PM   #14
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Is my column attached to half wall load bearing?


If a footing was placed for the post and the column has a base cap, it is currently bearing. There are no gap between the beam and the post. I believe the post was design to cut the span of the beam and they cut some corners and did not put in a post cap. Maybe you can see where that beam extends to. The beam is an engineered lumber and is clearly picking up the I joist going perpendicular to it.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:33 PM   #15
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Is my column attached to half wall load bearing?


The beam extends from an exterior wall to an interior wall, roughly 18'. If the post had been properly secured, we would have known that it was load bearing. But it's not very secure, which makes me wonder if they either cut corners like you said, or it's not necessary, and the footing was poured per the blueprints in the event that they installed a split beam. We know that we have a continuous beam. Thank you - hope to get a firm yes or no within a few days.

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