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bfash 11-26-2007 02:55 PM

Load bearing wall
I am looking on removing 12' of a load bearing wall in my basement.
I have a split foyer ranch built in 67. My house faces north to south and the entrance is on the southwest corner. When you go downstairs to the basement the wall is directly in front of you. It looks like most of the load (besides 4 joists) is supported by the beam above the stairwell, as i do not see two joists coming together over the existing wall. My intention is to temporarily support this, knock out the wall and put 2- 12' LVL's 1 3/4" by 11 7/8" in place. 12' is actually longer than I need so I was going to put a few extra jack studs under the right side to give about 10" of support under the right side. The left side, I intended to have 3 2*4's support. The four (load bearing) joists are on the right side and again the left side seams to be entirely supported by the bearing wall below the split foyer. All forums i have read say. contact a structural engineer. I have 2 concerns.
1. Make sure that this will support what I am trying to do.
2. Make sure that the new load points will have no issue.
I have my floor plans and it doesnt give me a description of the footing underneath the wall. I see several bolts in the existing wall. I am not sure if it is a continous footing or if it is only where the bolts are..
Thanks in advance

ToolGuy 11-26-2007 05:37 PM

If the bolts you're referring to come up through the sill plate about every 4 feet, it's no doubt a continuous footing. It is good advice to contact an engineer. They have seen this hundreds of times and will spot any issues right away. You'll probably have to pour some footers under the new posts. I seriously doubt the span would be an issue, as I've seen this same approach used in the basement of 3 story buildings. It's where the weight will be transferred to that would be an issue. Definitely get professions consultation on this.

bfash 11-26-2007 07:52 PM

Load bearing wall
Thank you for the advise! How will an engineer be able to determine the footing that was poured originally to determine if it is strong enough to hold the load change? I am no expert but have dealt with quite a few projects of varying nature. The load bearing piece is new to me.

glennjanie 11-26-2007 08:47 PM

Hey Ted:
You are displaying some beautiful work on your site. It looks like you are a skilled staircase man. Fantastic work.

ToolGuy 11-26-2007 11:28 PM

Thanks Glen. But I have to be honest, I only put the parts together after they were prefabbed and delivered. Also, I was mostly the helper on that project, although they eventually left me to complete it so the real stair master could catch up on other jobs.

Bfash, I guess the thing is you should get advice from someone who is actually standing there looking at the job. It sounds (reads) to me that what you have in mind should work just fine. However, there are any number of issues I might spot if I were there looking at it. Even with my 20+ years of hands-on experience, I have no reservations about calling in the experts when dealing with structural issues. At the very least, you should get someone who really knows their stuff to give you some on-site feedback.

bfash 11-27-2007 07:09 AM

Thanks ToolGuy. I looked further at the original house plans and it shows that there is a 8" deep by 16" wide footing below load bearing wall as well as below the foundation. My thinking is that that should be sufficient. There is a 4" slab on top of the footing. My plan is to borrow a hammer drill and spot check it where the new post will be. If it is a total of 12", I will proceed. Thoughts?

ToolGuy 11-27-2007 12:54 PM

I'm not sure where you're getting 12" from. If the footing is 16" wide and the wall is 8" thick (guessing), since the wall is centered on the footing that leaves 4" of footing, which your slab is resting on. If I read correctly, you plan on resting your post on the 4" ledge of the footing, which has the potential of cracking said footing.

This, my friend, is why everyone says to get an engineer. If you plan on proceeding without expert on-site advice I'd suggest you do one of two things. Either rest the ends of the beam on the bearing wall and foundtation wall or, better yet, dig out and pour a separate 16" x 16" x 12" deep footing for each post and rest it on that.

bfash 11-27-2007 01:31 PM

I agree sometimes DIY folks sometimes overstep bounds. But people say an electrician should replace a panel or various other work. I read a book and took a test with the county and completed it with no problem. I am no expert but this doesnt seam to be rocket science.
As far as my calculations. There is an 8" deep by 16" wide footing underneath the 2*4 load bearing wall. above the footing there is a 4" slab. (I will drill a pilot to confirm this is correct) so that makes 12" deep of concrete directly below the existing 2*4 load bearing wall. The 12' beam will go about 10 inches into the wall and all 10" will have be supported.
I nkow its better to be safe then sorry and I always appreciate the advise. If I wasnt looking for what I dont want to hear, i wouldnt be in this forum.

glennjanie 11-27-2007 09:34 PM

Hello Brian:
It looks like you have this bull by the tail, go ahead and sling him around a few times then let him go.

bfash 11-28-2007 08:01 AM

Glenn, Thanks for your thoughts. I am very anal as far as research before I do something that is "over" my head. Any project is doable if you actually care enough to do the research and dont mind putting in the work. Its the people that just dive in and have to pay someone to finish that give do it yourselfers a bad name. I expect this to be a non issue considering i am only moving the load of about 3-4 floor joists out of the 11-12 ft that I am opening up. Thanks for everyones feedback.

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