Load bearing wall question (Stairwell)


Old 02-23-16, 10:56 AM
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Load bearing wall question (Stairwell)

Hi, I'm in the middle of finishing a basement and my wife asked if I could open up the stairwell to the basement to match the floor above it. I didn't think it would be a problem till I looked at the wall and I'm now unsure. I'm not wanting to remove the whole wall, just the 3 middle studs, and adding back one closer to the foundation so the wall will be flush. I attached an image of what is directly above the basement stairs (which is what I would be attempting to match in some form).
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Old 02-23-16, 08:49 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Are you talking about removing 2, 3, and 4 and moving 1 closer to the wall ?
I'd say that those studs are part of a load bearing wall and cannot be removed.

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Old 02-23-16, 09:05 PM
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With no idea of what all is bearing above the picture it would be impossible to answer your question. But from what we can see, studs #3 and #4 in Pete's picture are definitely load bearing since they've got a header and joist hangers bearing above them, plus the stair jack above. The rest of the wall (#1 & #2) may not be load bearing per se, but the wall as a whole (once drywalled) provides lateral restraint for the studs on the end. I wouldn't remove any of it.
Old 02-23-16, 09:36 PM
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I wouldn't touch this wall either. Look at it this way:
There's already an open stairwell above this stairwell, making this stairwell open is weakening both.

I'm sure there are things that can be done to remove the studs, but whatever that is would defeat your purpose of having an open area there and not be worth it.
Old 02-23-16, 11:31 PM
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#4 is actually two 2x4s - creating a 4x4 post in effect and definitely load bearing, as are the other studs, which look to be bearing on the foundation. Also looks like floor joists are also bearing on the same header. Like the others, I'd leave well alone unless you did some serious load calcs to beef up the header they are currently supporting.
Old 02-24-16, 08:33 AM
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Personally, I would be looking to go the other way and closing it off, including a door. If it's all open, keeping all three floors at comfortable temperatures becomes more difficult.
Old 02-24-16, 10:27 AM
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PJ, I was thinking initially of moving 1 back and removing 2 and 3, as I knew at the least the double 2x4 at the end #4 from your pic was supporting the header.
And thanks everyone, I was figuring the wall would have to stay. Hearing your thoughts will save me alot time struggling with what to do.

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