Need To Remove I Beam

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Old 06-17-17, 03:07 PM
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Need To Remove I Beam

Remodeling an old house. Ran into an odd problem. There is an I beam running parallel to floor joists on my first floor. The I beam is only holding up floor boards (sub-floor is 1x8's). The floor joist across from it was cut out more than 1/2 the width for a toilet waste connection. I guess the I beam is making up for that.

I want to remove the I beam so I can move the toilet. Removing the I beam in one piece will require a ton of work. Any suggestions on cutting it out to remove it, or maybe going outside and cutting a hole in the joist header and pulling the I beam out in one piece.

Looking for suggestions.

Thanks, tom
 
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Old 06-17-17, 03:29 PM
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An i-beam is generally made of steel. Is that what you are saying you have?

Hard to give you any suggestions without being there so we can see the whole picture. We certainly would not recommend making alterations sight unseen.
 
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Old 06-17-17, 03:43 PM
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XSleeper,

Yes it is a steel I beam.


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Old 06-17-17, 04:19 PM
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Steel i-beams are rarely used for something that is non-structural, so talk of removing it raises some red flags right away- we would be remiss to just assume you can remove it without affecting something else. It has got to be there for a reason, and what I would worry about in advising you is that there may be something that you are missing.

...Unless this is just a short piece of I-beam that someone had laying around and they thought they would use it to support the floor as you mention... due to the hack job on the toilet.

Before doing anything I would advise you to inspect this closely... can you see the entire length of this beam... how long is it... what support does it have underneath... what sort of loads are on it. Especially in houses that have been remodelled multiple times there are often load paths that are difficult to see or understand. There could be concealed beams or roof lines where the weight of a wall intersects the beam at some critical point and the beam could be part of the load path that transfers that load to the foundation.

If it can be removed, there isn't going to be an easy way to do it. Using a cutting torch would probably burn your house down and I wouldn't want to be the guy that had to try to sawzall through it with a few hundred metal blades.
 
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Old 06-17-17, 04:35 PM
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I can't find a reason for it except for your apt description of the "hack job on the toilet". The house has been remodeled but I think this is all original work. The I beam runs the length of the floor joist and is supported by pieces of 2x4 on both ends.

The cast iron drain you see runs to a toilet that faces the short dimension of the 39" by 5 ft powder room. I want to slide the toilet over and turn it 90 degrees so it faces the long way in the powder room. The I beam needs to go or I need to cut away half of the upper I to move the toilet. I would sister the floor joist that got the hack job from the original install.

thanks for the feedback, tom
 
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Old 06-17-17, 04:41 PM
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I think it would be prudent for you to open up any /every wall that crosses this i-beam and see if there is any framing / if there are any posts concealed in those walls that might bear on the i-beam.

If it can be safely removed without affecting the structure, you would definitely need to open up the side of the house and drag it out with a skid loader / tractor. You would need to provide support under it so that it doesn't bind / tip.
 
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Old 06-18-17, 09:17 AM
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The I beam runs down the center of a half bath, across a hall, and the backside of a closet. I opened up the walls and there is no reason other than the hack job on the joist across the way for the I beam.

By my math it will be close, but I think I can relocate the toilet and get away with only cutting away the top lip of the I beam. I tried cutting it with a Sawz-All and it cuts pretty easily. So right now the plan is to leave the I beam in place.

Thanks for the help, tom
 
 

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