Can We remove These Columns

citadelcadetApril 26, 2014

We are remodeling the home and are curious is these columns can be removed and what the cost could be. My wife and I hate the roman column look....

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citadelcadet

there is another view... 4 columns total...

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 8:54PM
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millworkman

Probably not but you would need either an engineer or a good contractor to tell you for certain.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 8:56PM
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worthy

Likely just decorative. Check the basement structure to see if there is any post running to the floor or multiple joist directly under the columns. If the columns are hollow wood, they don't have any structural strength, though they may be disguising a steel or wood post. On the other hand, I've put in structural fibreglass columns capable of supporting 8,000 pounds each, but which were purely decorative in that case.

You may be able to lift up one of the column bases by removing caulking around the base where it meets the column. It depends on how they're constructed. If you can do so, this will enable you to see if there are any supporting members inside.

This post was edited by worthy on Sun, Apr 27, 14 at 11:37

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 9:10PM
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littlebug5

Yeah, I don't like the Roman column look either. Why don't you simply box them in to make them square posts like the one shown in your second picture? That shouldn't be too big of a job.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 10:30PM
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schicksal

We removed two but knew they were installed where there used to be a sliding glass door and there was a nice big header over them.

You'd need to ask about loading and figure out whether there is anything inside the column like a steel pole.

Here is a link that might be useful: Your columns may have come from Home Depot.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 6:01AM
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annzgw

......and be prepared for some patch work on your hardwood floors if the columns are not sitting on top of the flooring.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 12:39PM
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citadelcadet

thanks. I would rather not have to create a box column out of them as I am trying to avoid the look of support posts if possible.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 10:46PM
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Trebruchet

citadelcadet:

Supporting or not, the columns can be removed, but cost-effectively is another question.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 11:22PM
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citadelcadet

thanks.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 2:53PM
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renovator8

Something must support the floor/balcony above and it is difficult to tell what it is from the limited photos. You need the original structural framing plans which may be available at the local building department.

If they were true Roman/Tuscan columns they would be about 20 to 30% larger in diameter and more appropriate for the space. Of douse if the photo was taken with a point & shoot camera or another kind of wide angle lens it's difficult to tell much about the proportion of the design.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 9:53PM
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aidan_m

Looking at the second photo, I'm not certain the structural framing plans could even be drawn. What a mess!

Looking at the first photo, it's a reasonable assumption that the columns support the walkway above. It does not appear that they could be eliminated. Some kind of support is necessary where the elevated walkway bends. You can't hide the supports without completely rebuilding the walkway from scratch.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 11:28AM
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millworkman

That was my thoughts aidan

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 8:37PM
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citadelcadet

can a curved laminated beam or steel beam work to span?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 10:55PM
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schicksal

Depends, and that would get you into rebuilding the walkway territory.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 10:24AM
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citadelcadet

How expensive do you think doing that would be?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 4:25PM
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aidan_m

How expensive was your house? Cost of remodel is directly proportional to the cost of property in the area.

In order for anyone to know the scope of the project, more pictures are necessary. We can only see a small portion of the walkway. Can you find the framing plans? That would save you a whole heap of money. Ask down at the hall of records. And please post more pictures of the room.

The placement of columns and overall shape of the room are quite unusual. It is very visually awkward to look at the second picture. The small gap between the square and roman column particularly bothers me. I would be concerned that a child could get stuck in there if left unsupervised.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 7:18PM
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Trebruchet

citadelcadet:

You can do almost anything you want with the right budget. The problem is always cost effectiveness.

On the grand scheme of things, you would probably be better off designing a new home that has no columns than to try to design out these.

On the other hand, I knew a guy who had an addition built on to his boat. Sawzalled the back of that bad boy off and added 10' or so of deck. With new fiberglas and paint you couldn't tell. He could have had a new boat for what he spent, but he liked the one he had.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 7:28PM
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citadelcadet

here are some additional pics

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 2:06AM
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citadelcadet

another pic

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 2:07AM
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citadelcadet

another view of the area

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 2:08AM
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cindywhitall

I don't know much, but my thinking is that if it's an older home then they are probably for support. Some of them seem weird to add for no reason, especially the one right next to the square column.

Remember, old homes did NOT have open floor plans. Somebody opened it up and the columns were needed. That is my guess. Only the original plans, or a professional would know for sure. I like the idea of seeing if they are hollow,that will tell you!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 11:13PM
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SolidConstruction

It doesn't seem very possible since the columns seems like a load bearing ones. Only option for you can be building load bearing beams instead then you can remove the columns if you don't want your house to fall apart.

Here is a link that might be useful: Interior Remodeling

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 10:29AM
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worthy

Instead of endless speculation, check the basement structure as I mentioned earlier. That will be the best indication of whether the columns are supporting or not. To be sure, of course, you should invest in an on-site check by a structural engineer.

Ask down at the hall of records.[for building plans]

Do municipalities really provide ready access to the public for house plans?

Here they are accessible, last time I checked, for only so long as the house is under construction. And you may only look at them, not copy them or remove them from the Building Department reception desk.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 8:36PM
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citadelcadet

We removed the 4 columns this afternoon and they are completely hollow. In fact we could shift them if we pressed hard against them while they were installed.
Could they still be load bearing? The are pretty light and completely empty...

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 12:42AM
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citadelcadet

Speaking with my contractor, he says that the columns had no weight/ load on them. They we nailed to the subfloor but once the nails were removed you could push them back and forth across the floor/ ceiling....

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 10:07AM
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jackfre

Call a structural engineer. I did this at my home and the architect brought in an engineer. Until you have an analysis from a pro with his stamp on the plans we are all sing in' in the rain. In my circumstances we had to add 4x6x1/4" posts down to new piers 24x24x12 with a 1/2"x6x18" plate attached. The carrying beam was 4x10x5/16. I'm a certified welder and so did the steel work myself. Otherwise it would have been...pricey.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 2:28PM
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citadelcadet

Just had a structural engineer inspect and he reports the columns are not load bearing! These things are heading straight to the dump....

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 11:35PM
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