You might be better off posting in alt.home.repair or in a newsgroup dedicated
to building construction.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
Maybe I should elaborate.
I have a 2 story house.
I want to remove an 11 foot interior wall on the first floor. At one end
is at an exterior wall and the other end is against an interior wall by a
stairway. I am content to have an archway ie place the i-beam under the
second story floor joists.
My concerns are a) is there anything special that must be done to support
the i-beam at both ends and
b) the proper method for supporting the ceiling while putting the i-beam in
Consider using a 2 x header with a flitch plate if it is strong enough, it
will simplify the job somewhat. Usually an adjacent temporary wall (or two)
is built under the ceiling for support (don't forget to make sure that the
temp wall is well supported from below).
First, are you sure this is a load-bearing wall? If not, ignore all
It's simple, yet complicated. You will need to temporarily support
the ceiling above by building temporary 2x6 walls on both sides about
four feet back from the wall you are removing. You should jack these
into place so that you raise the floor joists above about 1/8 to 1/4
of an inch. Then put your beam into place, and remove the temporary
support walls -- gradually, every second stud at a time.
The complicated part is in calculating the size of beam you'll need
and how it must be supported. If you live in Ottawa, you probably
have a basement. Remember that the new loads you've created must be
supported below. That may mean a tele post and new footing by the
I do this kind of thing for a living, and in your place, I would
hire a structural engineer to do the calculations and simple drawings,
and to come back and sign off on what you've done. . I doubt it
would cost more than five hundred dollars ... and his stamped
signature is cheap insurance.
We did a major renovation on our house last year. Our contractor, who has
been doing this for many years, insisted on engaging a structural engineer,
who determined both the size of the steel beam needed, and the size of the
footings necessary. The contractor had already poured one of the footings.
After the calculations, he had to destroy it and enlarge the hole and pour
You may want to get a structural engineer involved.
Ernie M. Eden
"Wayne Jones" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
Bad things can happen fast with this kind of project.
I'd get an engineer to calculate load points, spans and structural
The actual doing of the project involves building temporary walls to
carry the load while you remove the bearing wall. It's a simple
enough thing to do if you have the experience but what you don't know
could get you killed.
Check with a local iron guy and get a price before you go ahead. You
may find that his cost is pretty low compared to the costs of failure.
Thomas J. Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.)
(Real Email is tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet)
No, but you will need to shore up the load on either side of the wall, a
bit higher (1/4 +) than final height. Set your beam (sized for the load)
on its bearing posts/pocket, and lower away. . .Hopefully, the new beam
is not at forehead height! ;~)
I'm all for trying new things and doing things yourself, but am I the only
one who hears this and thinks, "if you have to ask, you probably shouldn't
If you're dead set on it, please take the advice of others and get a
structural engineer involved. At least in my hamlet, I can't imagine that
this would not require pulling a permit.
i'm right with ya on that one buddy! this is not as easy as they make
it look on tv.
i've done dozens of these and i'm here to tell you that the list of
things that can go wrong is lengthy.
a few thoughts...
1.) absolutely going to have to have an engineer figure loads. no
way around that. take prints of your house to any lumber yard.
someone there will either do the calculations, or call their engineer
for you. don't forget that depending on the load and size of the
opening, you may need more jack studs under each end of the beam and
will likely have to pour footing(s) and add column(s) in the basements
under those two points.
2.) if you want to follow the book, definitely have to pull a permit
for this job.
3.) take a close look at that wall before you start busting your
house up. the walls, in a two story house especially, have alot of
crap in them running to the second floor. heat supplies, CA returns,
plumbing, electrical, etc.
4.) you have to build temp walls on both sides of the wall you are
taking out lest ye intend to put the second floor on the first floor.
5.) unless you live in an old house, there will certainly be, at the
very least, some electrical in 11' of wall. somtimes it's pretty
straight forward to relocate, sometimes it is a project in itself. if
you are not experienced with electricity, plan on hiring that out.
6.) why is everyone talking about steel? i much prefer LVL's. they
are not expensive, easier to work with (especially for a homeowner),
lighter, and stronger. they can be cut by anyone with a circ saw,
lifted into place with two people (be careful, just because it is
possible, does not mean it is advisable. no lawsuits please), and you
can hang the old joist from it if you want to bury the beam in the
ceiling . also you can screw new wallboard right to it - try that
just a few thoughts. best recommedation - hire somebody to do it.
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