Load Bearing Wall

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Posted by: from Montreal
4/5/2013 at 12:00:02 AM

We are considering replacing the load bearing wall to give an open concept. However I understand there's a high risk of collapse. Removing the load bearing wall and replacing it with a 17 foot micro lamb laminate beam.

Is this sufficient or do we still require to place a column somewhere in the middle?

Thank you

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Date/Time4/5/2013 at 1:33:44 AM

You should consult a structural engineer.

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Date/Time4/5/2013 at 2:14:00 AM

We would avoid bearing walls but if its a must then you can but u can not do this with out a Structural

Engineering expert.

You would have to creat a header which has to supported from post to post. And yes you would have post in the middle or 6 to 8 Ft from exterior wall. Or add to post and have shelves In the middle for wall style unit which can be seen from both sides for trophys, models, awards, etc.

Yes this is my idea. lol. So my answer is yes it can be done but by a licence builder. Please, this requires professional.

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Constantine from Constantine in Toronto
Date/Time4/5/2013 at 5:56:29 AM

First of all you need a structural engineer. It can be done but you need LICENCED contractors.

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Date/Time4/5/2013 at 7:24:32 AM

Yes this can be done very easilly by a professinal without any worry about collapse.

First you would require a structural engineer to complete the drawings and tell you size of beam you require and what type. LVL, gluelam or steel. This will depend on the load requirements above the locatoin of your new beam. ie: if your taking out a basement wall in a 1 or 2 story house or if you are taking out a wall on the main floor of a 1 story house. The loads are much different an have to be calculated.

Also it's not just the beam you have to think about, you also need to think about the post and where the point loads (weight ) is being transfered to?

I like to use steel personally because it carry's more weight and the profile is not as big, so you don't end up with a large bulkhead. you can also do a flush beam system with steel so you don't have an bulkhead. Flush beams can be done with wood as well and joist hangers.

I hope this helps.


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Date/Time4/5/2013 at 8:36:48 AM

I would have to see it myself. And if necessary get an engineer to look at it.

Is this a main floor area with a second story below? Depending on what sits above this area. you can add a beam. Or two if widening the wall is an option. Remember, when you offset load to the end of a new beam or beams, it carries down below.

You may find you also have to replace the location of support structures in the basement below the new load bearing points. This will possibly entail cutting the cement, excavating and pouring a footing and then installing new steel jack posts below. But as I say, I can't see the project.

Get yourself a high end contractor, or to be on the safe side, hire your own structural engineer to look at it and spell out what needs to be done. Then hire a reputable firm to complete the work.

Good Luck with your project.

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Date/Time4/5/2013 at 11:30:48 AM

You should have a structural engineer or at least framer carpenter look at it. Every house can be a bit different. 17 feet is quite a long span, you may need a steel beam constructed to go that far.

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Date/Time4/5/2013 at 11:06:15 PM

Sound like everyone has said what I would. Get an engineer, hire a competent contractor to execute the engineers design.

If u r really want to do it yourself, just make sure you have the engineer come back and check the work that was done.

Good luck!

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Date/Time4/15/2013 at 11:46:00 PM

That is a question that poses more questions in return

You need to determine the load on the wall, whether or not it is supporting a floor and a roof or multiple floors and a roof. You also have to calculate the snow load for where you live, the depth and width of the beam is important. It is wise to go bigger with the beam, don't select one based on the building code minimum just because it saves a few bucks.

Also don't over look the point load being carried all the way down to the foundation, ensure the cripple studs have supports directly underneath to carry the load

Simple put 17' is a span that is on the larger side, most lumber stores will help you with your order. When in doubt get an engineers opinion, you don't wanna have to explain to your insurance company why you need money for a new roof.

Your homework is:

Determine the size of your beam, span, number of floors and snow load\live load.

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Date/Time6/13/2013 at 12:51:15 AM

I would go with a steel beam to span the 17'. LVL's are good but face it it's wood. It burns. It's affected by moisture, etc.

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