Removing Lally column


Old 04-27-08, 04:55 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3
Removing Lally column

Hi All,

Now I understand that I need to consult a structural engineer, but before I go to that expense I wanted to get an estimate of what I'm getting into and the expense.

This year I'm planning on finishing part of my basement, or at least starting the process. The house if approx 10 years old and the bottom of the joists are 8' from the floor. The part that I plan on finishing contains 4 Lally columns. They are all 8 feet apart and 3 2x12s rest upon them. The third column stands 6 feet in front of the chimney where we have a wood stove, and eliminating it would nicely open up this area.

Since I'll not be finishing the whole basement, I plan on building a wall parallel to the 4 columns but set back approx 5-6 feet so it is just in front of the chimney. I'm happy to make this wall structural.

Above all of this, two walls line a corridor, one in front of the chimney, so directly above where I plan on building the new wall, with the other 4 feet towards the Lally columns. I suspect these are both structural since there is a similar corridor up on the second floor. On the other side of this corridor, above the third Lally column, there is an open room and no other walls.

So what should I expect to pay to get a structural engineer in to evaluate this, and what work/costs do you think are likely necessary?

Many thanks in advance for any advice and suggestions.
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Old 04-27-08, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,130
Removing Lally column

That wall probably carries about half of the dead and live loads in the house. It could also carry a good portion of the roof loads. You are right about needing a structural engineer to give you OPTIONS depending on the geometry and areas you want open. It is unlikely you will eliminate the columns, but they could be minimized by relocation and beam reinforcement.

You can expect a portion of your floor to be torn up for new columned and footings under them and any loadbearing walls.

the cost for an engineer will depend on the amount engineering required. If you just want a preliminary idea, it should be under $500. If you want real engineering and the calculations and liabity that go with that, is will be much more.

It is obviously impossible to give you a reasonably accurate price.

Old 04-28-08, 04:55 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3
Hi Dick,

Thanks for the prompt reply. I was not clear in my original post, but it is only the 3rd Lally column that I wish to remove. There is much more sitting some of the others. I'm hoping that this simplifies the task, and saves me some time and money.

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