Removing steel beam

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Posted by: from St Catharines
5/4/2012 at 8:22:51 AM

Our bungalow seems to have an over abundance of steel beams in the basement and of course one falls in the middle of the rec room. Of course we would not remove it without a proper inspection and advice.

How much should I expect to pay for an engineer to come out and inspect and provide us with options?

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Mark from CMJ Renovations in Oakville
Date/Time5/4/2012 at 8:37:19 AM

Hi Winn

Give your municipal building dept a call and they should be able to give you a number for a local engineer. A local engineer may be familiar with your area and house style and may even tell you over the phone that style and beams of your house you are stuck with unless you are prepared to spend big dollars.

A site visit and a stamped drawing will generally run you $4-500.00. You other option is to have a few local contractor take a look as to will also be familiar with your style of home.

Good Luck

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Date/Time5/5/2012 at 3:33:10 PM

Hi Winn, +1 to Mark, you need to consult an engineer and the costs he mentioned are right in line.

For a project like this, anything is doable, it all comes down to whether the benefits outweigh the costs.

Very few reputable contractors wold take on a project involving building structure without stamped and approved engineers drawings. There are huge liability issues if anything happens.

You could put your requirements in the "post your project" section and get some response from local structural engineers if the municipal building department can't help you out.

Good Luck with it!

Jim Kuzma

Kettleby Handyman Services

PS. It really isn't an overabundance of beams, its the right amount to hold your house up.

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Winn in St Catharines
Date/Time5/5/2012 at 3:56:04 PM

Thank you both for your reply. I realize why the beams are there - to me it just seems excessive to have 2 metal beams and 6 posts in a 1300 sq ft bungalow - but I'm not qualified to know for sure.

We just came from a larger home that was a few years newer (current home built in 68) and didn't have as many. We were told my a neighbout here that an engineer designed this home and everything about it is solid and pretty much original and well cared for - which is great.

I'm hoping we can remove or move the one post so that our rec room is not divided down the middle -- I think a few hundred to get an engineer in is better then the alternative of letting someone telling us " not a problem", removing it and then having cracked plaster, creaking hardwood floor or worse!

Thanks so much for letting me know how to get started!

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Date/Time5/9/2012 at 8:11:43 PM

As mentioned before, the home probably has the right number of beams.

Here are a few things to consider:

1) Removing one beam means the other beam carries more weight. Is it big enough to carry the weight?

2) If the beam is supported by columns, are the pads below large enough to carry the weight? (You'll have to break the floor and check).

3) And will the longer spans on the floor joists be acceptable?

For the cost of a site visit ($300) the engineer may be able to tell you quickly you can't do it. A full evaluation and permit drawings could reasonably cost $2K or more.

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