I have a doubled 2x10 joist in my basement with a 4x4 post supporting it
partway along its span. The post carries quite a bit of weight, as evidenced
by the fact that it has crushed the wood along the lower chord of the joist
by about 3/16". The post is also not fastened to the basement floor, so I am
not happy with this arrangement.
The doubled joist runs parallel to the other floor joists; it is not a beam
that supports the joists. But it is critical, as there is a loadbearing wall
directly above and parallel to it.
I want to replace the post with a loadbearing wall. My question is, how can
I safely support the joist (and the loadbearing wall above it) while I do
I'm thinking along the same lines (great minds...??? :) )
But, to avoid simply a "me too" post, I'll add another suggestion that
before enclosing the post w/ the wall, raise the beam and insert a
piece of 1/4" or maybe 5/16" steel plate w/ flanges for fastening to
post and beam and a foot or so long to help distribute the present
Hmm. . .I like that idea. Is this an off-the-shelf item, or would I need
to have it fabricated?
In reading back over my post, I find I was not quite accurate.
I actually want to build a loadbearing wall from the vicinity of the
post to one end of the beam. The beam runs parallel to the basement
stairway, and the post is adjacent to the bottom stair. The wall
would enclose the stairway. So. . .the existing post (or a new post
placed within six inches or so) would be at the end of the wall.
The bearing plate sounds like a very good idea in this situation.
Also, should I consider something sturdier than a 4x4 in this
Quite likely wouldn't find the ideal prefabricated, most if not all of
the readily available hangers and connections aren't heavy enough
material to take the end load w/o simply bending and so wouldn't do
much to distribute the load along the beam away from the present point.
If the present 4x4 doesn't show signs of stress, probably don't need
more, but certainly couldn't hurt. What you might consider that could
help w/ the compression problem as well if you get it the right length
so it actually shares load would be to put a second 4x4 beside the
present one w/ the plate over both, of course. That would double the
surface area below and make the plate load-spreading more effective by
reducing bending moment on it and still enable a smooth wall end of
Oh, another thought just after I sent my last response--one pretty
simple way that is _probably_ as good structurally as what is presently
done (if the current post simply has a toenail or two in it and better
if it's simply just sitting under the beam as it sounds like it might
be) would be to drill holes through the plate and simply drive a couple
spikes into the end of the post and then when in back in place, into
the beam. A flange, of course, would be better, but if there's nothing
there now, even this would exceed that.
Yep. I made a few calls, and no one has what I'm looking for.
Off to the local metalwerx I go. . .I can only imagine what this
is going to cost. :-(
Since I'll be coughing up cash for a custom-made bracket,
any suggestions on features I should incorporate?
The existing 4x4 post rests directly on the slab. I suppose there _may_ be
an under-slab or integral-slab footing, but I doubt it. This is seventy-five
year old construction.
If it were _your_ house would you add a post footing and bracket as part
of this project, or just rest the new post on the slab and secure it to the
slab with an appropriate anchor bracket?
And if I rest the post on the slab, should the post be treated lumber?
Sounds like you've been thinking about all the issues & options.
End grain of a post onto a slab is not a great idea there are a couple
of ways to go instead.
Treated post, just "treat" the end of an untreated post (dry wood end
grain really sucks up any treating chem you might choose), a sturdy
mechanical post base (the only one, IMO, worth the work to install is
the Simpson EPB44 Not the EPB44A!)
a treated "sill" under the post or one of those pier blocks with the
treated chunck of wood on it. My dad & I "fixed" rotted end of a
covered patio corner post thus way (30 years ago & it's still fine).
The original install had the post going down onto a patio slab. SoCal
weather took about 15 years to rot a few inches of the post.
Back on your 4x4 to 2-2x10 connection
Simpson makes some off the shelf post beam conectors most are really
thin but on style is 1/4"
The CC3 1/4-4 is made from 1/4" material & is 11 inches long. It
might to the trick.
If it was my house.... I'd use the EPB44 & the stock post cap CC3 1/4-4
The ABU type is fine in dry (inside locations), I tend to be really
paranoid about dry rot....I've seen a lot of installations where
Simpson bases result in rot.
IMO the only decent base for exterior (& WET) installations is the EPB
series. Even ones with the 1" standoff (code min) IMO do not allow for
The bases that have a thin plate (or even the thick one) are not at all
I'm planning to use a 4x6 post (paranoia rules) so I believe the EPB46
is in order. So do you propose that I cut a hole in the slab and pour
a proper footing? This bracket is designed to be embedded into
a concrete pour. I have no problem with doing that. . .I could drill
a ring of holes with my trusty Bosch rotary hammer and break
through the slab.
What's a good concrete mix formula for a post footing? This might
be my excuse to buy a power mixer. . .I have several concrete
projects in the pipeline. I'm really tired mixing by hand in the
CC3 1/4-6 looks like the ticket. According to the Simpson site this
bracket uses 7 gauge steel (a bit less than 1/4") but it's probably
sufficient. I'll try to find out who can order one around here.
It certainly has to be cheaper than having something fabricated.
Hmm. . .the CC3 1/4-6 only supports 19,200 pounds of
download. Do you think that will be enough? :-o
Thanks for your help!
Coming from the "king of overkill" (me) this might be a little funny
I think you might be over doing this retrofit :)
There really is no benefit to putting extreme over capacity into this
system....esp if a single element controls the behavior.
I think Bob M. will back me up on this but a 4x4 is plenty of capacity
plus you only to handle the load that is brought to the post by the
2-2x10. So what is the design dead load & live load for the area
service by this post?
IMO no need for a 4x6 if you use the post cap to spread the load into
the allowable direct bearing (at 425 psi) from the 4x4 to the 2-2x is
about 4400 pounds, using the CC3 1/4-4 (which btw if I read the rather
confusing catalog correctly is 1/4" material) would boost bearing
I would just add the CC3, reuse the 4x4 you've got & install an EPB44
(or use the ABU if the basement in nice & dry) . The existing slab is
probably ok but again you've got the know the load & estimate the slab
capacity (it's working now, right?)
Thanks for jumping in and pointing out parts--I don't do this as a rule
so didn't have an actual place to point Mark to. (And, I filed away
the names for possible future reference, so that's good, too! :) )
Anyway, if Mark is still concerned about point load long term on the
slab he could do the same thing as at the post cap--just lay a plate
(say 1-ft square) on the slab under the post to distribute load. I
forget whether he said whether this is (relatively) new house or old so
don't know whether to think "working now" implies "continue to work w/o
a crack developing".
The EPB46 (the 4x6 equivalent of the EPB44) looks like a good choice
for an exterior application, since the bracket is welded to a pipe which
can project up out of the concrete pier, and that would keep the bottom
of the post clear of any surface moisture. However, it is only rated for
3465 pounds of downward load, which would be insufficient for a
basement support column.
The CB46 seems to me more appropriate for a basement column.
Simpson does not list an allowable downward load for the CB46;
presumably the bracket itself would not be the failure point if the
downward load were too great for the system.
The CB46 does not offer the same wet-location protection as
the EPB46, since the post sits directly on the concrete pier
with only a plate of 7ga steel separating them. But I don't see
that as a problem in my application, especially since the
concrete pier would be 1-2" higher than the surrounding slab.
Am I overlooking something here?
I often specify the ABU series, but also specify that the stand-off cup be
filled with non-shrink grout to increase the load capacity of the the
base. This is not in Simpson's literature, but it works.
Other than that your analysis of the column base types is correct. The
only other option is some sort of custom designed and fabricated column
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
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