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Old 08-14-2012, 01:37 PM   #1
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Question about a wall


We are starting on a basement remodel and were thinking about opening up the stairway downstairs. It's set up as a hallway with a door at the bottom, which I don't really like. When we were looking at contractors to do it for us, when I asked if it was a load bearing wall, I was told by one guy that he doesn't know and another one said probably not.

The I-beam goes across the ceiling on the wall side of the stairway. It has a pillar on that beam several feet from the doorway, and has a wall upstairs on top of it.

The wall I was looking at cutting out some of to make it a kind of banister, has a small dividing wall above it that goes up about 3-4' and seems like it's there to keep you from falling down the hole to the steps. It's rather flimsy, and will move a bit if too much force is put on it.

Just wondering if anyone has any opinions or if I should go with "probably not."
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:59 PM   #2
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Question about a wall


The one next to the furnace doesn't look load-bearing as the beam runs continuous above. The wall on the other side, however, looks a bit suspect from the pictures. I think I see joist end hangers, but it looks as though there is only one floor joist carrying all those joist ends. This leads me to believe that your wall is sharing the load. I would go with "probably" and leave that wall in place.

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Old 08-14-2012, 06:25 PM   #3
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I wouldnt think any wall in the basement is load bearing.You allways double up the floor joists in a stair opening and the main beam carries everything.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:21 PM   #4
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Question about a wall


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Originally Posted by hermitchick View Post
When we were looking at contractors to do it for us, when I asked if it was a load bearing wall, I was told by one guy that he doesn't know and another one said probably not.
So where did you find these guys?

Any real building contractor should have no problem figuring that out.

It's not Rocket Science.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:43 PM   #5
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Question about a wall


I agree with AG ....
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:11 PM   #6
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Strangely, they don't have building permits in this town unless you are breaking ground. The borough office told me to call the county office, who told me that it's the borough who does permits, and they do inspections, and they only do electric.

There's only 2 contracts in the area, and they are booked till next year at this time. When I asked a friend who is a realtor, she told me when they have issues that have to be fixed around here, they call in a "handy man." I called two of them she had the numbers for. I am not impressed, and am not going to deal with them. When I called the contractor that a co-worker's wife works for, I was told I was better off to DIY or wait a year, and as I've done framing and dry walling, and we're doing drycore and laminate for flooring, I just have to get an electrician.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by scottktmrider View Post
I wouldnt think any wall in the basement is load bearing.You allways double up the floor joists in a stair opening and the main beam carries everything.
There's another smaller beam, a 2 x 8 maybe? That runs across the room perpendicular from the main beam and over top of it. It's kind of hidden behind the 2nd joist in the picture.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:36 PM   #8
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Question about a wall


Uhh...from the pictures it looks like the wall that you want to remove would definitely be a bearing wall as the upstairs pony wall is sitting directly n top of it.

Seems to me you would have about 12' to span with a flush or drop beam if you wanted to open up that wall any.

Andy.

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