Removing a pole from basement

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Looking for some advice.
I have a few iron poles in my basement holding the house up. There is one in particular I'd like to remove for when I finish the basement. I
know it's possible to get these removed if extra reinforcement (I-Beams
and such) are put in place.
Does anyone know who I should contact about this? Obviously, I'd need a structural engineer or something to make sure that the house will still be sturdy and safe...
Thoughts?
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After you find out how big the I beam might have to be, you might change your mind.

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You need an engineer that is familiar with that type of design. It will be costly for the engineering and for the construction involved. A steel beam would be best, but that was easiest done when the house was being built. The steel must be supported on the ends with footings and such too. I'd have to guess it would be $10,000 or more to make a change like that. Just a WAG, it may be much different.
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First, call in the structural engineer. They do an assessment of this type (in my area) for around $600 flat fee. The engineer will give you the size of the beam you need and the proper supports. Then you call a steel supplier and get a price on the parts specified by the engineer. The steel supplier will know at least a few "riggers" who can install the beam. They charge a flat fee for a single stick. Usually a half day rate. They do this sort of thing all the time, just stay out of the way. Then you call a carpenter/contractor who will give you a price to prepare the area for the beam install. Shoring to hold up the structure, removal of the lally column, and cutting out the existing wooden beam. If you are handy you can do this part yourself. Just ask the engineer what would be needed to remove the beam safely. If you are lucky, there will be no plumbing or electrical in the way. You know who to call for those. Or you can hire a contractor to do all of this for you.
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On 24 Jan 2006 11:52:21 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.ca wrote:

Wow. My townhouse is only moderate sized for a townhouse, 20 something feet wide. and in the basement it has two I beams running from side to side, 1/3 and 2/3rds of the way back from the front to the back.
Even then, they both have steel poles holding them up. One pole along with the I-beam it holds up has been boxed in with sheetrock to look nice, and the other pair in the laundry room hasn't been covered.
Would you or anyone else here say I don't need the poles, because the I-beams are only 20 something feet long?
I'm not positive what is between the first and second floors, but based on the "wall stub" hanging from the ceiling, between the otherwise open living and dining areas, and the square column right beneath that, at the foot of the stairs, I think there is an I-beam and post there too. And there is something similar running parallel to that in the wall between the kitchen and the dining room, something which continues into the hall, where it serves no decorative function IMO so it must be an I beam. And probably a metal post somewhere in that wall.
Is it typical for townhouses to have so much steel in them? Mine was built in 1979, and I thought was rather cheap in its construction, but maybe not.
Maybe they were able to economize on wood considering all the steel they used???

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An engineer told me once that an I beam is no stronger than a standard wooden beam of the same height.
wrote:

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A wood I-beam, yes, that is generally true. But a wood I-beam can be made of an engineered material that has a higher modulus of elasticity than sawn lumber and therefore stiffer than wood for the same size. So not always true. A steel I-beam is significantly stronger and stiffer than any wood product of the same height by a factor of about 20.
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By "a factor of about 20", are you saying a steel I beam is 20 times stronger?

of
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Yep. In a general sense. A steel I beam that is 6" wide on the top flange and 9.5" deep will be approx. 20 times stiffer (less bounce) than a sawn wood beam that is 6" wide by 9.5" deep. "Stiffer" and "stronger" are not necessarily interchangeable term in this case.

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I had a real reason for asking that engineer. I had thought about doing the same thing as the OP, and the engineer discouraged me. My basement has a pole that we have to walk around all the time. Would you have a link to a web site?

standard
made
sawn
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A web site for do it yourself structural engineering? No. LOL. I would think that a google search on "sizing steel beams" would net something useful. I can't imagine why a structural engineer would dissuade anyone from doing this type of job, unless there are extenuating circumstances you are neglecting to mention here, or don't understand. Normally, if the columns are not spaced more than 8 feet apart on a standard construction you can replace one column pretty easily. Two columns? That's a different story completely.

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Maybe so.
I'm wondering if the I-beams in my house might go all the way through the next house too. Woud that save the builder a little money?? Would it transmit noise from my house to the neighbors?
(Every 2 houses are exactly the same height and setback, but other places there is a change in height and setback.)
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My guess is that they don't go through both houses. Longer beams are harder to install, and there may even be something in the local fire code. If a beam gets hot in a fire, it could conduct the heat to the next house.
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It was just a thought. I'll pay attention to other townhouses under construction, but this one I won't be able to check out until it is torn down. It would take quite a big fire, to one of my neighbors, for that to happen in my lifetime.
(One Iam is visible, and I see it go into the cinder block wall. It probably ends 5 inches later, and the other guys I beam would then start 2 inches beyond that, but I can't tell.

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wrote:

The same I Beam is going thru every house on earth. Everytime they build a new house they just stretch it.
I always thought the ideal I Beam would go from floor to ceiling. For example if the basement is 8 feet from floor to ceiling, just install an 8 foot tall I beam. Of course cutting a door in it could reduce the strength, but there has to be some way to get to the other side of the basement. Which of course brings up another question. Which side of the basement is the "Other Side"? Is it the side you first enter, or the one you go to next? There must be some sort of rule of thumb here...
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wrote:

"You just keep thinkin. That's what you do best, Butch." (Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid)

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On 24 Jan 2006 11:52:21 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.ca wrote:

DON'T DO IT !!!!
Years ago, when I was still young and wild (and stupid), I was invited to a booze party at someone's house. I really dont know how I ended up there, and didn't know these people, but this was the 60's and back then a party was a party.
While most of the party was in the house, a few people went to the basement for reasons I can not post on a newsgroup. Anyhow, some guy apparently had too much to drink, and his girlfriend, (or whatever she was), came back upstairs and said that the guy she was with in the basement was going crazy and had locked himself in the basement and was going to destroy the house. We all laughed until we heard pounding. Sure enough, the guy had locked himself in the basement and was banging away on something. All of a sudden the whole center of the kitchen floor dropped about a foot. Someone finally busted the basement door and found this guy in the basement with an axe chopping the wooden posts holding up the house.
It was on old house with wooden posts and a wooden main beam, and he had chopped down the rear of the two posts holding up the house and was starting to chop the second one. A fight started and someone called the police, so we all left. I never did find out what happened after that, but I do recall the weird sensation when the floor dropped, chunks of plaster fell from the ceiling, and for the brief minute I went into the basement after they busted the door, I saw the main beam was spliced right where the post had been knocked out, and the beam had separated and dropped about a foot.
Although I never found out what happened to the guy, a drove past that house about 20 years later and it was still standing. I suppose the landlord got stuck with a costly repair bill and had to jack everything back into place and install a new post.
I learned five things from this 1. Never remove house support posts 2. Avoid going to booze parties held by people I don't know 3. There are some real deranged people in this world. 4. Alcoholics Anonymous might be a good program, but a prison or psychiatric hospital might be a better solution for some drunks..... 5. NEVER REMOVE HOUSE SUPPORT POSTS
(Yes, they are called POSTS, not Poles.)
AKA: Poles is a slang term for people of the Polish heritage.....
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Good story. Been to several parties like that. If you put a chain and lock on a support post, would it be post-lock, or a pole-lock?
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12. snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.com Jan 24, 8:05 pm show options
Newsgroups: alt.home.repair From: snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.com - Find messages by this author Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2006 19:05:06 -0600 Local: Tues, Jan 24 2006 8:05 pm Subject: Re: Removing a pole from basement Reply | Reply to Author | Forward | Print | Individual Message | Show original | Report Abuse
On 24 Jan 2006 11:52:21 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.ca wrote:
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12. snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.com Jan 24, 8:05 pm

"DON'T DO IT !!!!
Years ago, when I was still young and wild (and stupid), I was invited to a booze party at someone's house. I really dont know how I ended up there, and didn't know these people, but this was the 60's and back then a party was a party. "
So, because a drunk tried to collapse a house by knocking out supports, this means someone like the OP also can't properly and safely remove some of his supports that are in the way?
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On 25 Jan 2006 05:14:45 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Depends if it's done properly. It's not something to do without knowledge and the advice of a structural engineer. The posts are placed in the locations where they are for a reason. When the drunk knocked out the post, that post was right where the wood beam pieces were joined. This is usually the case, unless it's a one piece beam. If it is a one piece beam, a post could be placed a few feet away in both directions, and most likely the existing one safely removed. But if the post is at a point where the beam pieces come together, dont even thing of removing the post. The only way to do it then would be to have professionals replace the entire beam. This is not a DIY project.
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