Removing a support header

Discussion in 'Walls and Ceilings' started by zinger77, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Jun 16, 2011 #1

    zinger77

    zinger77

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    We would like to remove the wall that has a support header or cut out much of a frame of that wall.
    We have a ranch that was built in 1954. We got advice from a couple of carpenter friends of ours on how to reinforce it from above before removing the header.
    My question is - is there still a need to contact a structural engineer or does a carpenter have the expertise needed to make the call?
     
  2. Jun 16, 2011 #2

    oldognewtrick

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  3. Jun 17, 2011 #3

    nealtw

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    Headers support the stuff above, If the stuff above can supprot the header you don't need the header and I haven't seen to many headers that one dosn't need. What you need an engineer or at least more details.
     
  4. Jun 22, 2011 #4

    zinger77

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    Well, we had an engineer come over. Lets just say I am a cheap bastard and we won't be removing the header after all. However, he did think it was strange that there is nothing in the basement to reinforce the header.
    Anyways... here is a follow up question.
    If you look at the pics - there are joists that rest on that header. As you can see - there are studs underneath. there used to be a 1/2 wall there with cabinets hung on it.
    So, my 1st question is - can i move the stud on the right about 20 inches over. Obviously, i would build a new one first and then remove the existing one. 2nd - is it possible to get rid of the stud that the ladder is resting on all together.
    wall pictures by inazinger - Photobucket
     
  5. Jun 22, 2011 #5

    zinger77

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    BTW - the cost for an engineer is more than a couple of hours. We had 3 different ones tell us that the job will be between 15-20 hours. Most of them charge $90 and up.
     
  6. Jun 22, 2011 #6

    zinger77

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    wall pictures by inazinger - Photobucket
    Can someone tell me if i can remove the stud behind the header and move the one on right about 20 inches left? I am leaving the header alone. I can't afford the engineer and will take your advice.
     
  7. Jun 22, 2011 #7

    nealtw

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    Looking at your picture, what you have is a bearing wall that has been cut away for the openings that you have. There is no header in place and should be corrected asap. If you look up you will see that the floor joists join over the wall and you will have to check whats above like walls above that are bearing the roof load. The whole wall must be replaced with a beam.
    I understand the pain but I will still suggest an engineer. evan if you can figure all the loads on this beam, you still have to transfer all that weight to the foundation which may or may not be substancial enough for that weight.
     
  8. Jun 22, 2011 #8

    zinger77

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    well, we simply can't afford an engineer. This is how the house was built and it's been this way for 60 years with no issues. On that note, i simply need to know if I can move over the right stud over. That simple. Second opinions?
     
  9. Jun 22, 2011 #9

    inspectorD

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    Um, No. You need to evaluate what the load is carrying.

    Lets see what we can figure out.
    Does the sheetrock behind the post have a solid piece, or pieces of 2x4?
    What does the top part of that wall look like behind the sheetrock also. I think there may be 2x4s stacked on top of each other, or is there a small beam under those short cripple studs?

    Do the post supports have anything underneath it where it sits on the floor?

    Is the attic above this area carrying any posts?

    And finally, your engineers are idiots, this will take 2 hrs at the most!! try your local building supply company, see if they have someone on staff who wants to sell you an LVL beam. Laminated veneer lumber. Then take this info to your Building department, and please get a permit, this is what those guy's and gal's are here for. To keep you safe!!, and give free advice.:D
     
  10. Jun 22, 2011 #10

    zinger77

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    Does the sheetrock behind the post have a solid piece, or pieces of 2x4?

    Answer: there are 2 2x4 next to each other

    What does the top part of that wall look like behind the sheetrock also. I think there may be 2x4s stacked on top of each other, or is there a small beam under those short cripple studs?

    Answer: The studs underneath the cripples are 3 2x4 stacked sideways next to each
    other.

    Do the post supports have anything underneath it where it sits on the floor?
    Answer: There is a 4ft sole plate between the middle opening, but that's it. There is no reinforcement in the basement of any sort either.
     
  11. Jun 22, 2011 #11

    zinger77

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    If we do replace the space where the cripples are with a header - can we move the studs?
     
  12. Jun 22, 2011 #12

    inspectorD

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    The posts need to stay where they are in my opinion.
    By replacing this area with a header, it needs to be supported to the foundation or a beam under the floor. So, no I would not remove anything without an answer from first, and the first one is where I would start,
    1.Town building department- low cost, need to do for future sale anyway.
    or
    2. Engineer and bring stamped drawing to building dept, and still pay town fee.

    3. Lumberyard, with small fee for drawing, and new material purchased to make a header, with posts to a supporting area under the floor.

    4. Contractor.

    I really wish it was easier than that , but if you do not spend the $$ now, how much more do you think you need to fix it later?
    I inspect and see all sorts of handyman fixer upper redo's, and have been called in to fix a few after someone got in over their heads.
    I hope this helps you to find the right answer,
     
  13. Jun 22, 2011 #13

    zinger77

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    It's an answer. I don't like it, but it's an answer.
    Thanks.
     
  14. Jun 22, 2011 #14

    inspectorD

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    Your welcome.:)
     
  15. Jun 23, 2011 #15

    nealtw

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    Is there a wall directly below in the basement and what exactly is above the area ?
     
  16. Jun 23, 2011 #16

    zinger77

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    interestingly enough, there absolutely nothing to reinforce this in the basement.
    Above are overlapping joists resting on the wall.
     
  17. Jun 23, 2011 #17

    nealtw

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    Are the joists below running in the same direction as the wall and if yes are there two right under the wall?
     
  18. Jun 24, 2011 #18

    zinger77

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    nope, they run perpendicular to the wall and parallel to the joists in the ceiling.
     
  19. Jun 24, 2011 #19

    nealtw

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    This isn't getting easier. How long are the floor joist below, are they 2x10s at 16" oc and what are they sitting on, bearing walls, I hope? The joists upstairs, are they floor joists, ceiling joists and are there any walls or braces that would supply weight to the wall in question.
     
  20. Jun 24, 2011 #20

    zinger77

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    The joists upstairs are ceiling joists. It's a ranch. no second floor. If there are wall braces - i don't see them anywhere.
    There is a metal beam in the basement to support the weight of the joists above.
     

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