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bbockstanz 11-15-2006 03:10 PM

Removing cement walls in basement / replacing with I beam
I want to remove the cement walls in the basement and replace it with an I beam that runs the distance of the basement. Someone told me it couldn't be done or shouldn't be done. After he left, I looked at it and I have plenty of room to put the beam and have the same head clearance that I have now. I want to open up the basement. My questions are could I do this, should I do this, and how much does that usually cost or can I attempt to do it myself? I am in Michigan if it makes any difference at all.

North Country 11-15-2006 03:27 PM

The short answer would be to have a qualified contractor look at it or possibly consult with an engineer.

majakdragon 11-15-2006 04:16 PM

For safetys sake (and piece of mind) you will probably need to have an engineer look at it and figure what size beam and how many supports it would take to hold up the house. I would not consider this a DIY project. Consider the equipment and manpower it would take to get the beam in place.

concretemasonry 11-15-2006 04:25 PM

Removing cement walls in basement / replacing with I beam
Even if you find a beam with the proper strength, you will have consider the deflection and what it will do to the existing walls and how the floor will "bounce". Strength is not the same a deflection.

Your engineer can give you some ideas of what it will be like.


joasis 11-15-2006 04:54 PM

Here is another take on the issue. A concrete or block wall is distributing the weight across the area you wish to place a beam. Now while the weight of the house is not insurmountable, as far as placing the beam, you have to consider if there is sufficient support when the weight is transferred from the footing to piers.

An experienced contractor, and I don't mean just maybe, can give you a preliminary idea of expense and feasability. If you can find an engineer in your area (building engineer), it may be worth the fee to have him look. Be prepared for a lot of head shaking.

redline 11-15-2006 06:32 PM

How many stories is the house? (is it a ranch house)
How long will the beam be?
Are there bathrooms above this area?
What is the condition of the exterior founadation walls?
When was this house built?

bbockstanz 11-15-2006 10:44 PM

this is only a one story house with basement. The beam would ahve to go roughly 30 to 35 ft. the wals are pretty structurally good. And I believe the house was built in the 50's but I am not sure. I know I have taken a lot of weight out of the house by removing plaster walls and redoing them with drywall because we opened up some spaces and closed others and jsut other general remodeling. Do you have any idea or even a very rough estimate on the cost to have someone do it.

North Country 11-16-2006 12:20 AM

Based on your info, you'd be around 4500-5000. Assuming it could be done.

ncor 11-18-2006 09:43 PM

core your slab have an engineer inspect the house, basement and concret core then closely adhear to his recomendations.

joasis 11-19-2006 06:31 AM


Originally Posted by ncor (Post 24065)
core your slab have an engineer inspect the house, basement and concret core then closely adhear to his recomendations.

Drilling a hole in the footing area / floor will determine depth, and overall condition will suffice. Actually drilling a core sample would be great, but what exactly will you use for a comparison? Aged concrete is notorious for being harder then a woodpecker's lips, and may break with a strength of 10,000 psi, but may shatter under a load also. The overall condition of the concrete, depth where the lally collumns would be placed, and weight supported will determine if this is feasable.

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