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Removing a supporting basement wall

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  • Removing a supporting basement wall

    I have a house with an unfinished basement. Well, kind of. I have semi-finished two adjacent rooms for a workshop, but not finished the ceilings out. None of the rest of the basement is finished.

    I now want to remove the wall between the two rooms to make one large room. The wall is a 15' long stud wall, the studs are 2x6s, the wall runs perpendicular to the I-beams that support the first floor. There is no second floor above that part of the basement, the room above (kitchen) has cathedral ceilings.

    So my thoughts are to replace that wall with a couple of short (12-18'), sturdy, 2x6 stub walls, one at either side, supporting 2x12 headers going across the gap.

    The existing stud wall has three layers of 2x6 on top between it and the I-beams, I should imagine for firestopping. I intend to leave that in place.

    My question is really how do I go about removing the old wall and inserting the new frame without the house coming round down my ears? Can I use a sawzall on one side to create the gaps in the 2x6 studs to fit the new header in, secure that, then do the same on the other side, then just cut off the 2x6s inbetween?

    I can't imagine it is that simple. What am I missing? Checks and balances, and all that!

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Re: Removing a supporting basement wall

    you will need to build a temporary wall on both sides of the existig wall to hold the floor above. Modify the existing wall, and then tear out the temp. walls. The temp walls can even be made with screw post and a couple layers of 2 x 4 on top to span the floor joist.

    G3

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    • #3
      Re: Removing a supporting basement wall

      Your post is rather confusing. You say the wall is perpendicular to the I beam--if so, it doesn't sound like it is a bearing wall. Then you say there are three layers of 2x6 between the wall and the beam???? Pictures would sure help. If it is a bearing wall, G3sprinklers is right-you need a temporary wall or walls till the mod is done.

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      • #4
        Re: Removing a supporting basement wall

        Thanks guys.

        Not the actual wall (it has sheetrock over it), but the construction is exactly the same:
        Attached Files

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        • #5
          Re: Removing a supporting basement wall

          Just noticed they are terrible quality, I can take some better ones if they don't explain more clearly.

          Since the direction of the wall is perpendicular to the run of the beams, I had presumed it is bearing. The wall in question is parallel to, and 10' from the outside wall, and of the same construction as the photos. The wall in the photos is a further 13' in from the wall in question (and parallel).

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          • #6
            Re: Removing a supporting basement wall

            Well, that is definitely a bearing wall. I think the confusion came from the term I Beam. That usually refers to a steel beam and I think you were referring to the floor joist. (Manufactured joist look like an I Beam) I would definitely put up temp walls to carry the load while remodeling the existing.

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            • #7
              Re: Removing a supporting basement wall

              I'm a compulsive DIYer, but I'd strongly suggest hiring a structural engineer to weigh in on this. Not only do you need to know what kind of support the load needs, but you also need to evaluate that the underlying foundation/support can handle the newly distributed loads.

              The money spent will almost certainly pay for itself in headaches avoided.

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              • #8
                Re: Removing a supporting basement wall

                Certainly agree with the last post.

                I cringe when I go online and read DIYers who learn what to call a certain type of wall and then immediately want to knock it down and out of the way.

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                • #9
                  Re: Removing a supporting basement wall

                  You'll have to excuse me having the wrong descriptions, I'm not in the building trade. There's no way I want to have my house damaged, of course, but equally, if I am capable of doing the job myself, I would rather do that than pay someone else to do it. The only way I will know whether I can even consider it is to ask for help in describing what would be involved.

                  I did get my neighbor to have a look, who didn't think it would be a big job. He's a builder, but doesn't work in my area. I also got a local contractor to come out and quote, and 3 weeks later, I have seen nothing from him. That doesn't fill me with confidence.

                  I like the engineer route. Proper professional analysis, tell me what's to be done, then I can get on and do it, if it's within my capability. Probably cheaper overall than the local Dr Bodgeit too.

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