Question about support posts in basment........

chippyFebruary 9, 2007

Hi all,

I have a wideline cape and am renovating the basement with new everything.

The house has a steel header in the basement under the 1st floor which runs from one side of the foundation to the other side.

In between this area, there are 4 support posts under the steal header that are "concreted" into the basement floor.

My question is, is there a point to have 4 of them? I know of many capes that only have 3, but I got the four.

I know theres ways that houses are designed and I guess they're there for a reason.

Is there an equation or something on how much the steel can handle and possibley remove/relocate these posts?

They are in the way in basically every room I'm creating (except for 1 which falls in a wall).

My father in law had 3 in his cape and completely removed 1 and relocated 1 when he finished his basement. And his house is completely dormered on the second floor with granite tile and thick concrete mud job on the first floor and hasn't had problems in the 15+ years.

Anyone have any input? Or who would I call to come and check it for me?

Thanks all in advance!


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This is over my head, but I would think that you would consult a structural engineer, and one that does residential would be even better.

Perhaps (I don't know, though), under professional guidance and permitting, you could have the floor broken, and new footings poured for new posts in the location you need.

Not for the faint of heart.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 11:13AM
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Thanks for your reply. I have my father in law who is like "I moved/removed mine, you'll be fine"

I'm like, are you crazy! They're there for a reason. lol I just need someone to verify that they can be moved to where I want them or not.
I have people that have done it themselves in their own homes at their own risk, but I'm more careful. But for the majority of the people that I know that did it, only had 3.

Any other opinions or suggestions are appreciated.

Thank you!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 1:02PM
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Those posts are part of the system that holds your house up. It's part of the weight distribution system that every house has. I wouldn't move a one without consulting a structural engineer first. Your father-in-law may have been lucky but his advice is poor.

A structural engineer can have a beam designed to carry your house's weight with out those posts. Not inexpensive work.

Enjoy the journey.

eal51 in western CT

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 3:34PM
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I removed one of mine in my basement. I contacted a building supply company and told them what I wanted to do. I gave them the demensions of my house and they made 2 steel beams that fit inside the existing beam and then I bolted it all together. It worked just fine and I fell it was well worth the extra room I gained. As far as just removing the post, I wouldnt do it without added structure support.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 4:39PM
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Blue fastback,
I'm trying to visualize what you did. What were the shape of those beams that "fit together"? Assuming you had an I-beam, were the additional beams the same? Were they mounted underneath the main beam? And how were the posts mounted at the bottom? Beneath the floor on footings? Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 10:16PM
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Thanks for your replies.
I will be calling an engineer or someone that knows about steal and loads.

I was at my parents house and they only have 2 posts in their basement. I looked at their i-beam, measured it and found that its 8" high by 6" wide. This is much bigger than mine which is 6" high by 3 1/2" wide.
Guess thats why I have 4 posts... :-/


    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 8:32AM
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Lets see if I can explain a little better. The house had an I beam in the basement. The 2 steel beams that I had made up I guess I would call the "channel shape" so lets say my original I beam was 10" tall and 5" wide. The "channel" was 9 1/2" tall that fit tight into The I beam on both sides not under the I beam which would basiclt sandwich the original I beam together. The steel company predrilled a series of holes into the channel so when I installed the 2 "channels" I had to drill into the original I beam and installed grade 8 1/2" bolts that held it all together. As far as the posts go, the posts were poured into the floor on a footing like all basements. I did not bother the dig up the floor and remove the post, I just cut the bottom of the post with the almighty Sawzall. One thing I did not mention is that we removed the steel post prior to installing the channel steel and had the I beam supported with a old house jack and I want to say a 4x4. We also jacked up the I beam just a little bit knowing that steel does flex so that when the 2 steel channels were installed the 4x4 was removed the I beam should sit level again. So now the I beam is a little wider then originally because the 2 channels stick out farther then the I beam. The I beam is now boxed in with plywood and painted and you cant tell that anything has been altered. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 10:25AM
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Hi there

What you have done is extremely risky without a structural engineers approval. By removing the post and strengthening the beam you have transferred an increased load to the remaining footings under the posts. Simple question - are the post footings able to take the increased load. You'll never know without a proper inspection by a qualified engineer. For the sake of your family have it checked as you don't want that footing to fail and have the house collapse.

Please people use qualified inspectors and never trust the advice of a building supply company. It's common sense all the way I would think.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 6:30PM
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Horrifying, eh?

Beam too short? Shim it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Inspection Nightmares

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 7:30PM
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