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rprete7686 12-10-2012 11:06 AM

Can I replace Basement Jack Posts with something else?
Hi Everybody,
New to the forum, I found it trying to search google for answers, but I have came up empty handed and hope someone can be of help.

I am in the process of purchasing a new home and have some questions. Although I try to do most things myself, there is a couple of things I prefer having done professionally.

The house is about 12 years old, and is a Modular home on a Full Basement which we believe to be a 12 course. All it needs to finish is drywall. However, I would like to do some framing first to make some spare rooms in the back. Currently, there are Jack Posts (That's we have always called them) Down the center of the basement. I would like to remove 3 or 4 of those to allow for more room in the larger area.

First and foremost, is there anything I can do? Should I bother with it or just deal with it and put a full basement in the large addition I am planning on doing next year?

My thoughts were that I could use the walls of my basement rooms as load bearing walls, or install beams as the house is not that wide.
I believe it is only 30ftx50ft Approx.

The basement is beautiful, with large windows and french doors and I would hate to have it ruined by the posts going down the center.


JoeD 12-10-2012 12:18 PM

You will need a structural engineer to size a new beam to replace the one the posts are holding up.

Do NOT remove the posts without consulting an engineer.

nealtw 12-10-2012 01:45 PM

Each post is sitting on a footing, that was sized for the weight sitting on it. To remove one post and change out two shorter beams, the beam will be more than twice as big as what you have and the footings below the floor may have to be made bigger.

CallMeVilla 12-10-2012 03:02 PM

Joe and Neal are right. Get structural advice for this one. You CAN remove posts but you ave to redistribute the weight load using a thicker beam to carry it. You might also need to beef up the posts which would now be required to carry the load of a longer span.

Be smart. Get advice. A little time and $$ is worth NOT having your house crack in the middle, right? Also, report back on what you did ... it helps everyone!

BridgeMan 12-12-2012 08:59 PM

What you're calling jack posts sound more like permanent steel columns. What happens if you simply remove them may not be pretty, although partially replacing them with load-bearing walls is a definite possibility (if done properly).

rprete7686 12-13-2012 10:15 AM

No they are definitely jack posts. I could go down and unscrew them to lower them and move them aside. However I have no plans to do that. I just want to know if there are any options to replace them. Using something that would serve the same purpose.
If so, I will call someone in to do it properly

cdelsig 12-14-2012 11:46 AM

Would it be possible to design the basement to incorporate the posts into the walls, or to put a "jacket" around them to look like columns? I bought a foreclosure that at one point in time, a guy took out a load-bearing wall to open the first floor up (without addressing the structural reason for it being load-bearing). His son later put in an engineered wood structural beam across the first floor to make up for the lack of the load-bearing wall.

Well, the beam was sagging in the middle, so I put in a jack post where the load-bearing wall used to be (it's obvious when you look at the floor). I also added 2 jack posts in the basement to help correct some sagging from the original wood beams there (there are posts in the basement that look to be original as they are cemented into the floor). Since I'm leaving the first floor open, having a jack post in the middle of the floor isn't as aesthetically pleasing as it could be, so I'm going to fab a "jacket for it. It will look like I actually wanted a column there. Additionally, I'll probably end up repeating that column look at each side of the house (will look like 3 columns supporting the center beam (that will be roughly 4" lower than the ceiling for now). Additionally, each opening between rooms can repeat the column look.

Before my divorce, my basement plan was to clad those center posts in wood jackets and use some sort of wood railing between them to create separate sides of for similar, but separate uses. One side was going to be more of a "bar" with a bar, tables and a TV or two. The other side would still be open from the waist up and would be where the pool table/ping pong table would be used. The players could still see the TV and the bar denizens could keep an eye on the action.

Now that you're done with my novella, did it make any sense or help? :confused:

BridgeMan 12-15-2012 10:29 AM

Makes perfect sense to me. And just think--now you won't have to incorporate any of those goofy ideas the ex had while you're doing the work!

Here's something else to consider. Speaking as someone who's wasted a lot of hours owning pool tables, you would do well to incorporate a shelf area into at least part of the railing between columns. There's never enough space to securely place drinks when shooting a frantic game of 8-ball.

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