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Old 03-20-2012, 01:56 AM   #1
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Opening basement stairs (photos)


I am looking top open up my basement stairs.
I thought it would be straight forward as they run in parrell to the joists.

When I removed the section of drywall, I had to stop because it looks like there are some load-bearing parts.

(excuse me not knowing the technical terms)
First off, the vertical 2x4s are bunched up at the end like a post.
Above the vertical 2x4s, are a pair of doubled up header beams.
Above those are 2 doubled up joists.

But the joists stop before the post.
Sitting ontop of the post/headers are 2 more doubled-up joists which run perpendicular (over the stair entrance).

So I am *guessing* they are load bearing. urgh.

Can I at least remove 3 of the veritical 2x4 (not the ones grouped together into a post) and keep that section opened up?

PS, I will get a structural engineer to check if I continue, but I'd like ideas first
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Opening basement stairs (photos)-1.jpg   Opening basement stairs (photos)-2.jpg   Opening basement stairs (photos)-3.jpg  


Last edited by jeh; 03-20-2012 at 02:00 AM.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:32 AM   #2
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Only one way to tell for sure, have someone local that understands such have a look. I doubt the 2x4 are load bearing, but I think the large post at the corner of the well is. But the stair stringers could be supported by the 2x4's. That is easily fixed by adding a support under the middle.


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Old 03-20-2012, 10:41 AM   #3
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My guess would be the three 2X4s are holding the headed area which runs 90 of the joists. The load above would dictate how that area should be framed but it is doable. You will not want to remove any supporting 2X4s that would be under the header until the correct framing can be done. It would be best for an experienced person to look at what you have, to know which way to go. We can't see where the ceiling starts to angle up so we can't know where the header is.
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Last edited by BigJim; 03-20-2012 at 10:44 AM.
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