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whitediamond642 06-21-2012 09:32 PM

Replacing Load Bearing Wall with Pole
2 Attachment(s)
This is my first post on this site, so I'll try to be as descriptive as possible and include pictures for clarity. I have researched this topic, but wasn't sure how my unique situation will change the methodology.

I am refinishing my basement and am comfortable doing pretty much everything, but have reached the line in my comfort level as far as determining where to go for a load-bearing wall I would like to remove and replace with a pole.

For starters, the wall is 2x6 and is not straight, but a series of angles seen (and not seen) in the pictures. The wall spans 180 degrees with 5 separate walls meeting at around 40 degrees each and spanning around 20 linear feet of wall. I want to remove two studs and associated footers in the part of the wall pictured and replace the third with a pole at the intersection where two of the beams meet. I've indicated this on the pictures.

My plan is to support each beam (on either side of where the pole will be) with 4x4s and floor jacks while I remove all three studs and place the pole. I am going to cut a piece of 1/4" plate steel as a kind of mending brace in the shape/angle of where the two beams meet and lag-screw the new pole through the plate steel and into the beams. I will then remove the jacks/posts and tighten the pole according to manufacturer instructions over the next few weeks.

Here are my main concerns:

1. Should I consult a structural engineer/carpenter for this and/or just let them do it for me, and what should I expect a job like this to cost me? I'm very handy and confident I can do this, but don't want my house to fall in on itself.
2. If I do it myself, are there any flaws in my process or things I may have left out or skipped that I should do?
3. Since a majority of the wall will still be intact (it spans 180 degrees over a length of around 20 linear feet of wall, remember), do I need to worry about the thickness of the concrete where the pole will be? I already have one pole in my basement, so would that indicate that the entire slab is thick enough to support the weight or is this flawed logic?

Any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.


gregzoll 06-21-2012 09:55 PM

The part marked remove is not a load bearing wall, neither is the part to the left, same to the right. Are there any Lolly columns at all in that basement? Looks to me, that who ever did the work before, really over engineered it for nothing. Can you post a picture from the other direction, looking towards that wall?

Also, are there blueprints on file at your city hall, that you can look at, that show how the house was built, especially the basement area.

whitediamond642 06-21-2012 10:53 PM

Thanks for the fast reply.

I'm pretty sure they are load bearing because the floor joists above the walls' beams follow the same line. However, that is simply based off of limited expertise, so I could be absolutely incorrect.

The house has a turret-like bump out in the kitchen area above the basement. It is two steps up from the main living room floor. It was an option for the floor plan because there is a house in my meighborhood that doesn't have it. Instead that house has a a straight wall in the basement that follows the other walls not seen in the picture.

The bump-out is what I believe the load-bearing wall supports.

I will take pictures from the other direction and post them as soon as I get home tonight. I don't currently have the blue-prints, but will get them as soon as I can. As for the lolly column, I have one supporting an I-Beam in another area of the basement. The I-Beam spans 16ft across with the column in the middle.

Thanks for the advice and I'll get the pictures up later tonight.

whitediamond642 06-22-2012 03:08 AM

6 Attachment(s)
Here are some pictures of the wall in question from the other side as well as some pictures of the floor joists above the wall.

The main reason I belive the wall to be load bearing is the fact that the floor joists for the main level are centered over the walls' beams and follow the same line.

I've circled where the post would be in red, squared the two studs I would like to remove in red and circled the main level floor joints in green to give you a better idea of the vantage point I was taking the pictures from.

I am fairly certain I will at the very least have to have a pole to support the wall I would be removing, but if anyone has any other ideas or theories that would involve not needing a pole at all, that would be even better.

Thanks again for any advice anyone might have.


gregzoll 06-22-2012 07:29 AM

Now those last two, yes that is load bearing, so you will not be able to remove. That means that you would have to design your space around them. Also, does not look like they used any joist hangers on those joists.

whitediamond642 06-22-2012 11:57 AM

The second to last picture is of the top of the wall section in question. Since we've established it's load bearing (thank you for confirming), where do I go from here?

I need to remove that section of the wall and replace the corner studs with a support pole. Is my original methodology correct or should I hire a professional to come in and take a look at it?

Alternatively, is there a way to not use a pole at all? The only way I could figure was running a new beam from the wall across the current beams to the foundation walls, which is prohibitively expensive and would sacrifice ceiling height by quite a bit.

Let me know if I'm on the right track or need to rethink this.

Thanks again for the help.


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