I'm planning to finish my basement and would like to take one side of
the stairwell wall and cut it down to a half-wall to open things up a
little. Before I do this, I just want to make sure I'm not removing
bearing elements, or if I do, replace their load bearing capacity
somehow. I've taken a few pics, linked below.
http://img834.imageshack.us/i/15923046.jpg/is just a photo
from the basement looking up the stairs. The stairs turn left at the
landing and go up another 5 steps. The bottom half of the stairs run
parallel with the joists, which are mostly TJI's. The two TJI's i the
middle terminate at this cross-member, which is a 2x10. To the side
of the TJI's and running directly above the stairwell walls are the
two 2x10's (or 2x12's...not sure). They are a little darker in color
than the TJI's.
http://img838.imageshack.us/i/90207730.jpg/is a look at the
stairwell from the basement. The exposed studs there are the ones I
want to cut down to make that side of the stairwell a half wall.
http://img842.imageshack.us/i/42380765.jpg/is focused on the
2x10 that runs directly above the wall I want to remove. I am
pointing to it.
http://img547.imageshack.us/i/58100373.jpgis the junction of
the 2x10 and the cross member, showing that the cross member is hung
from those 2x10's with joist hangers. The cross member appears
thicker than a 2x10, but on second thought, it's probably just because
it is drywalled on one side.
http://img337.imageshack.us/i/52719782.jpg/is looking down the
stairs. That rectangular piece at the top of the pic is the part I
was saying that someone really tall would bump their head on, and the
bottom 10" is formed by the cross member described above.
http://img18.imageshack.us/i/98494464.jpg/is another shot of
the wall, showing what I want to do. I basically want to make this a
half-wall to open up the stairwell into the basement to give it a more
open feeling. I just want to make sure when I remove the top half or
so of those studs, I'm not removing bearing elements, or if I do, that
I properly replace their capacity somehow.
I will probably have a contractor come take a look, but I'd like some
thoughts from people here as well