basement wall removal

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Old 08-03-17, 05:09 AM
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basement wall removal

My house is about 30 years old and I am planning to add an apartment downstairs for my daughter. There is a wall that I would like to remove, however I'm not sure if it is load bearing wall or not. If there's a lally column inside the wall, does this automatically mean I can remove the wall as it was added after the house was built? The wall is directly below the main support beam. Also, is there an easy way to tell if theres a steel column inside the wall? Id rather know before I start ripping the drywall off. Thanks so much for any help I can get on this!
 
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Old 08-03-17, 05:18 AM
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You can never assume anything. I have added lolly columns to existing houses to help solve sagging floors or other structural problems. And in the case of my house I have three basement walls that are structural and cannot be removed.
 
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Old 08-03-17, 05:27 AM
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If there's a lally column inside the wall, does this automatically mean I can remove the wall
Actually, just the opposite would usually be true. A steel column would only be there if it IS a load bearing wall, or maybe it is supporting something that is overspanned and has to be there for support. Several things are usually a dead giveaway. The span perpendicular to the wall is one clue, together with the size and direction of the joists above. (For instance, if you know the joists are perpendicular to the wall, that they are 2x12s, and they span 12' on each side of that wall, then it is a load bearing wall because the joists either break on top of that wall, or they would be overspanned without it, spanning 24').

So you would need to know a bit about the framing above, (size, direction, spans) some of that you might be able to figure out based on an unfinished room in the basement, some you might be able to figure out with a stud finder, but there is no substitute for opening up the ceiling at the top of a wall to verify your suspicions. For instance, you won't know if there is a beam above the wall until you open it up.

is there an easy way to tell if theres a steel column inside the wall
Nope.
 
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Old 08-03-17, 06:49 AM
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Off Topic: Don't forget the egress window if there isn't a second exit.
 
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Old 08-09-17, 10:26 AM
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If theres a steel post inside the wall, does that usually indicate the wall was built after the house and it can be removed, and the column can just be boxed in?
 
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Old 08-09-17, 11:33 AM
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No, not at all. Steel posts can indicate a point load and they can rarely be removed. We certainly cant tell you over the internet, we cant even see it. Hire a structural engineer to check into it.
 
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Old 08-09-17, 11:45 AM
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Sorry, I meant can the wall be removed, not the post. I may have framed the question wrong. I'm definitly going to get an engineer over! I'm just trying to guage how much of a job this might turn into. If I need to pour footings for posts to hold up a beam or if I can get away with just boxing in a post that already might exist in the wall I'm planning to take down. Thanks for all your input!
 
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Old 08-09-17, 11:55 AM
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Impossible for us to tell... you might want to reread post 3. Some walls are load bearing, some are not.
 
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