Main Support in Basement

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Posted by: from Prince Albert
3/5/2013 at 4:23:40 PM

We have just recently gutted our basement to waterproof and renovate. Our main support beam consists of 3 2X6's (?). It is currently being supported by a wall of more 2X6's spaced at about 15 inches. Those sit on yet another 2X6 which is on top of a raised concrete pad that runs the length of the board.

My question make the basement have a more open feel, would we be able to double/triple up on some of the 2X6's within the wall, and have maybe a 5 or 6 foot span before the next set of tripled 2X6's? Or, would it be possible to install teleposts using that concrete pad as a footing?

main support in basement
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Date/Time3/5/2013 at 5:27:53 PM

It would be nice to have a photo, but I think I know what your saying.

How old is the house? Are you sure there 3 2x6?

You can always remove studs from the walls but you must replace the studs with a header. A header is a 3 or more 2x6 or 2x8 or 2x10 or 2x12 which ever can support the load. These should be nailed together and placed vertical the span. It must go on top of the 2x6 that you are leaving in the wall. These 2x6 will act as a support for the header. It takes a bit of work but you can always support floors with headers.

I found a image online to give you a visual.

Hope this helps.

Main Support in Basement
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Date/Time3/5/2013 at 6:55:53 PM

What you have is a structural wall instead of a main beam and posts that is supporting the first floor. You can create openings, however you need to add a beam/header over the top of the new opening, along with extra 2x6 underneath it to carry the load to the floor.

The beam/header size will depend on the load it will carry and the distance between the new supports. Your floor might not be capable of taking the new load, because what happens is, instead of the load being spread out over the floor, it's concentrated under the new posts, carrying the new beam. If that's the case, you'll need to break the concrete and add footings under the new posts.

To be safe, hire an architect or engineer. They will be able to tell you exactly what's needed.

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Date/Time3/5/2013 at 7:12:57 PM

Are you getting permits, if so then you could visit the town and talk to an inspector who would be glad to offer assistance. If not then I think Joe has covered it nicely for you and picture to boot.

I would do it as shown from Joe with Stud, Jack and Header tight to the top of joists.

The telepost could work but I don't know how much load is bearing and the concrete is poured thicker accomodating the telepost and load transfer all the way up. Use 2X10 for header if you have the height for it, better to overkill than use 2x6 or 2x8 or even use a steel beam for the header.

In the attached picture I used a steel beam tight to the header and cut 2x6 in between ever joist, screwed and glued. On the ends is a stud with jacks cut under tight to the stud. There is a telepost as well which I am boxing in but has deeper concrete footing than rest of the floor.

There are a few different methods, you could also use paralamb for your header but 2x10 should be great for 6ft span.

Hope this helps


Main Support in Basement
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Julie in Prince Albert
Date/Time3/5/2013 at 10:13:33 PM

Thank you for your replies.

I apologize...I should have posted a better picture, I just wasn't sure if my description of the wall would make sense. There is a beam, or at least something I would assume to be a beam...I will attach a picture. There are also a couple of headers in place within that wall. On towards the back for a door to an old bedroom, and a fairly large one that goes across the stairs.

We have limited headroom as it is down there...I am 5'11" and feel the urge to slightly duck my head when getting off the stairs, so if possible I would like to keep the room we have haha!

So if this is a beam, we still would not be able to support it every here and there? With even tripling up on the 2X6 under the beam, would that not work similar to a telepost? Or a header would still need to be in place?

Main Support in Basement
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Date/Time3/6/2013 at 6:11:07 PM

Hi Julie

I waited a bit to see some of the responses from other contractors. What I see in your pics is unreal. I do not no what province you are in. The Ontario building code 2006 latest ... section 9 small buildings is specific on the bare minimum about beams and post supports. You cannot put screw jack posts on a slab floor!!!!!!! Why ...because there is may be 3" of cement at 25mpa on hope fully stable base.

We have seen many times where the base has sunk 2 " because of water saturation so there is a void between the concrete and the base stone. Floors crack under this load.

You must #1 secure a permit as this is a structural reno and hopefully the inspector is sharp enough to see through this. I was shocked at 2x6 as main beams build up we don't even use these on outside decks. Using 3or 4 ply 2x10 gives you a span between posts of 7'6" Your wall is supported only on this pad!!!!!! Jack posts are rated at between 6000-8500 lbs. a lot of weight on a 3" square plate on a floor. With the 2x6 beam you would need a jack post every 3 feet. You must cut the floor 24"x24" dig down and pour a 6" pad on undisturbed soil and set the post s on them and re cement the floor. Anything done other than this would not pass the bare minimum requirement of the OBC. Yes up that beam.

We just did a repair from a botched contractor reno and used over 40 ..12" carriage bolts to hold the build up beam together per engineers specs.


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