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Old 12-01-2013, 09:06 PM   #1
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Removing studs underneath basement stairs? (Photos included)


I am looking to finish a room in my basement, and want to remove a stud wall underneath the stairs. I've included photos of the wall and studs I want to remove. The stairs go down 3, hit a landing, turn and go down the rest of the way. The joist at the top of the stairs is doubled-up, and runs from the center beam in the basement to the foundation wall (15'). I'll leave the framing underneath the landing in-tact, just want to know if I can remove the 2 studs I've highlighted red in the images below.


Thanks for your comments!
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:13 PM   #2
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Removing studs underneath basement stairs? (Photos included)


Nope, not without installing a hanger for the header joist carrying the other two mid-span stringer joists (they also would need hangers). But you would need to remove/replace the stringer/treads/risers on that top set to install it. (they appear to be shop-built) Additional floor load may over-power your double-joists rating as we can't see the span.

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Old 12-01-2013, 09:32 PM   #3
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Removing studs underneath basement stairs? (Photos included)


Gary -

Thanks for the quick response. The span of the double joist is 15'. Not sure at what point the span becomes to great for the additional floor load...?

In the photos, I'll keep the studs on the right, on the inside corner of the landing and can support that joist from underneath. Assuming the floor load is acceptable, what I'm looking at here is removing the top set of risers, and installing a hanger, then once the stairs are rebuilt, adding a hanger to the joist that butts against the header?
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:23 PM   #4
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Removing studs underneath basement stairs? (Photos included)


What is directly above that short wall, on the first floor? The presence of a short load bearing wall, or a point load, would explain why they didn't use hangers in the first place.
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:03 PM   #5
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Removing studs underneath basement stairs? (Photos included)


Cortell -

The stairs to the second floor are directly above.

Thanks!
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:20 PM   #6
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Removing studs underneath basement stairs? (Photos included)


Quote:
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The stairs to the second floor are directly above
In that case, removing the first (double) stud may be ill advised. Perhaps the double joist was designed to take the stair load, but perhaps it wasn't and that double stud is there to transfer the stair load to the basement slab. Basically, it isn't a no-brainer, and when that's the case, it's best to hire a professional to assess the situation on-site rather than seek a definitive answer on the internet.
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:47 AM   #7
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Removing studs underneath basement stairs? (Photos included)


Yeah - good point. If it were a no-brainer, I wouldn't have had to ask. Since I did have to ask, I guess a few snapshots from the cell phone posted up into a forum isn't the best approach. I'll see if the wife can live with a closet in the corner of the room. :-) If not, I'll call in a pro to take a look.

Thank you!
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:01 AM   #8
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Removing studs underneath basement stairs? (Photos included)


Are you wanting to build a closet there under the stairs? If you are wanting to have a door where the studs are that you want to remove, you can install a header and cripple up or make a solid header. That would carry the load.
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:22 AM   #9
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Removing studs underneath basement stairs? (Photos included)


Quote:
Originally Posted by jigglyman View Post
Yeah - good point. If it were a no-brainer, I wouldn't have had to ask. Since I did have to ask, I guess a few snapshots from the cell phone posted up into a forum isn't the best approach.
It was worth asking, IMO. If there was no second-floor load above that wall, I think replacing the wall with hangers, as per Gary, would have been a safe bet as long as that double joist was no longer than its adjacent joists. The second-floor staircase just throws a wrench into things. Still very much possible. You just need someone who can look around and make a recommendation based on all the facts.

The pictures were very helpful, btw. Unfortunately, as is often the case with a "can I remove this wall" question, the answer very much depends on what's above.
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:39 AM   #10
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Removing studs underneath basement stairs? (Photos included)


That is a load baring point. Built for a reason, and not to inconvenience the wife. Basicly to have a very solid stair case.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:31 AM   #11
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Removing studs underneath basement stairs? (Photos included)


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That is a load baring point. Built for a reason, and not to inconvenience the wife.
I'm pretty sure everything that's done, is done to inconvience the wife.

I dug out the original house plans, and indeed the slab was poured a bit thicker under that stud wall, so its clear its load-bearing. Is this now a question of whether or not the header joists can support the load of the stairs (as-is, or by adding a third joist?), or is there no more discussion here?

It'll be a few days until I can get someone in to take a look for an official yay/nay, but if its clear nothing can be done, I'll save myself a few $ and a bit of time.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:43 AM   #12
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Removing studs underneath basement stairs? (Photos included)


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Is this now a question of whether or not the header joists can support the load of the stairs (as-is, or by adding a third joist?)
Exactly. That's where a professional (preferably an engineer) is needed to make that call.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:48 AM   #13
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Removing studs underneath basement stairs? (Photos included)


BTW, forget about trippling that joist, but you could of course replace the whole thing with an LVL or PSL beam, but not without some difficulties.
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Old 12-02-2013, 12:04 PM   #14
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Removing studs underneath basement stairs? (Photos included)


Hey Cortell - the board circled in your photo is just a piece of 2x4 blocking, not the joist running in from the other end. The only obstruction I see in the way of adding a third joist is the wiring for a light and smoke alarm, easy enough to temporarily move out of the way.

I'll bring someone in to give me an official position here and let you know how I make out.

Thanks for all of the help.

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