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Load bearing wall + false ceiling + moving a beam = help!

vangirl's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 1

08-29-14, 10:28 AM   #1  
Load bearing wall + false ceiling + moving a beam = help!

We have a three story 100 year old wood framed house. In the ceiling of the basement is a 10 inch by 10 inch solid wood beam that runs the length of the house (about 45 foot). It is supported by two pillars + the foundation.
Currently the beam obstructs the head room in the basement, so we want to raise it up and put the joists on hangars. When we do this our builder will put in two supporting walls either side of the beam.
The only problem is - directly above the beam and parallel to it is a 13 foot load bearing wall on the main floor. The main floor has a 12 inch suspended ceiling. We are trying to work out how to support the load when the beam is temporarily removed from underneath the load bearing wall, ideally without completely trashing the two rooms above that share the wall. Ordinarily we could just put in supporting walls as we are doing in the basement, but because of the suspended ceiling we would need (I think) to break the ceiling to get at the joists above.
Any clever ideas that could help us? We want to support the load with minimal damage to the ceiling of the floor above. We do plan to gut the main floor, but ideally not at this stage of the project.
The top floor is currently gutted and is one big open space, so the weight on top of the load bearing wall is just the floor with no live load.
Thanks for any thoughts you might have - or any stories of how you have some something similar!

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marksr's Avatar
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08-29-14, 10:39 AM   #2  
Welcome to the forums!

What has your engineer recommended?

retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

XSleeper's Avatar
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08-29-14, 11:17 AM   #3  
I'm no engineer, but it sounds like you simply need to transfer the wall load above to the perpendicular floor joists below. Since the beam is 10" wide, and the wall is probably what, 4"... you need to make up about 5" per side. I'd probably suggest removing the baseboard from that wall so that you can lay a 2x12 along the floor on each side. You would then need to lag that 2x12 onto each stud with pairs of lag screws. After that, lag screw a 4x4 (or 6x6) to the 2x12 using 1/2" x 5" (or 1/2 x 7") lags (1 1/2" + 3 1/2" = 5") Doing that on each side of the wall would temporarily transfer the wall weight to the floor joists, so that once the 10x10 beam is removed, the temporary walls could then support that load.

As for the false ceiling on the main floor, I don't believe it would be affected by any of this.

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