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cooperwd 08-16-2009 11:09 PM

Tranferring load to basement beam and lally column

I'm removing a wall on my main floor. An engineer told me that the wall I'm removing is not load-bearing, but now that I've cut the first stud I'm not so sure. I cut the stud, and the cut "closed up" and grabbed so I can't budge the stud, even thought it's cut. (Is that normal?)

So, just to be safe, I'm considering a beam and a support column. Fortunately, there's a 4x4 4x4 timber beam on two lally columns DIRECTLY under the wall I'm removing.

Here's the problem: The place I need to put the support column on the main floor is not directly over the lally column in the basement. The support column would be about a foot away, towards the end of the beam.

Here's my question: Does a support column on a main floor need to be directly over a lally column in a basement? Or can I put the load about 12" away along the beam in the beasement?

I guess it depends on how big the load is, and how the basement beam is fastened to the lally column, right?

Thanks for any advice or insight you can provide!


Termite 08-17-2009 08:01 AM

The load can typically be transferred by the beam to the column, even when the load is offset from the column on the beam.

A couple questions/concerns:
1) Do you know that the beam can take the load?
2) Do you know that the footing that the column bears on is capable of handling the additional load? Totally depends on the dimensions of the footing and the soil's bearing capacity.
3) If the wall being removed runs along the beam beneath there is a high likelihood that it is in fact a load bearing wall. If your saw kerf closed up that would concern me greatly if I were doing the work.

In a nutshell, you definitely need to involve an engineer to make sure you're not making a very big mistake that could end up costing you a lot of money down the road.

cooperwd 08-17-2009 08:52 AM

Thanks so much for the info!

I believe the beam can take the "sum" of the load from upstairs, because it's doing so for for many years without incident.

However, by replacing the upstairs wall with a support column, I'll be taking the sum of the load and focussing it on the end of the downstairs beam.

So I suppose understanding the strength of the beam will be crucial in deciding how much of an offset is acceptable.

Will definitely consult an engineer before proceeding. I hope the second guy I get provides a more detailed look than the first.

Thanks again for helping me understand the issues! All the best,

joed 08-17-2009 10:14 AM

Perhaps a consult from a different engineer would be in order.

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