Load bearing wall

I am doing my basement and wanted to take out a wall near the staircase. What concerns me is that at the end of the staircase there are 2 2x4's that have a big yellow coloured 2x10 resting on it at the top. Now this 2x10 is being held up by a steel floor joist support, but what I was wondering if is that the 2 2x4's area load bearing wall? Someone from Home Depot was telling me that there is no such thing as a load bearing wall in the basement and that I can definitely take it out. Can anyone else provide input ? The house is brand new, 1 year old, and built in Ottawa, Ontario Thanks.
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Any chance you could post some pictures at a site like www.photobucket.com so people can view them easily?
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You'd have to be nuts to accept the word of a Home Depot employee or a newsgroup junkie that has never seen what you have. If the house is only 1 year old, the builder and/or architect is probably still around and can answer your question.
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Builders are not known for putting in extra things that are not needed. My guess is that the 2 x 4s are there for a reason. Find out what their function is before you make changes. Pictures would be helpful.
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NO, NO, NO!! Never accept structural advice from HD employees! If you have a wall and jackpost near the staircase, chances are that at least some of it is load-bearing. The jackpost for sure should not be moved. The wall may not be load-bearing, but the staircase may be using it for support. My basement steps go down in an "L" fashion, and I have some load-bearing elements with it. As others have said, pictures would be helpful.
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Basements can certainly have load bearing walls, though it is much more common to carry the load on a beam, often called a girder. The girder can be multiple layers of dimension lumber, lvl beam, steel H beam, or other configuration usually having several columns (often steel lally type columns) breaking up the span of the beam to reduce its size. This beam is most certainly load bearing. Another good way to tell if something is load bearing is whether the joists rest on this beam.
I can't figure out what you are describing. It sounds a bit like what you are talking about is carrying the top of the stair or a landing at the top of the stair. If there is a wall on the next floor that rests on this wall and, especially, if the upstairs ceiling joists break on that wall, then it is all load bearing. If it is carrying the top of the stair and you remove it and you then place two 250# men at the top of the stair carrying a deep freeze, what is going to happen? A particularly bad time to find out is load bearing. Without being able to see the wall in question, I doubt that anyone can tell you whether it is load bearing or required.
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My gosh, get away from Lowes advice. There certain can be load bearing components in the basement! Lots of them sometimes. The wall itself may not be lead bearing, but some of its components could be, with the wall used to disguise them and add esthetics to the area. I've seen it especially in some of the newer construction around Nappean. No, not a Cdn resident; just have friends there.
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Twayne wrote:

Hmmm. My guess is if you touch those, the staircase may be crashing down. What kind of moron makes a statment like that? "No such thing as a load bearing wall" If the house is brand new, didn't it come with a set of blue print? If it did not, you can ask for a set from the builder or even for a fee, you can get a copy from whoever did the drafting. I have built 5 houses over the years and a cabin in the woods. Always secured a set of blue print which shows everything, structual, electrical, plumbing, etc.
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