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I purchased a home made in the 1940's and was wondering why there is no support columns in the basement. I have seen other homes in the same area and probably made by the same developer with these columns. Should I be concerned? I pray that these columns weren't removed at some point and it puts me and my family in danger. I have spent my life savings in other repairs and the purchase of this home and I really don't have any money left for this repair if needed. is this common not to have them in the basement? Please help!

  • Do your floors feel bouncy? Are there any signs of cracking in the walls? Is the basement finished or bare framing? It's quite possible that your house never had posts; similarly, they may have been removed, but we'll need more information. In the end, it may be that you need a visit from a competent individual (contractor/ engineer). – Aloysius Defenestrate Nov 13 '16 at 21:29
  • Photographs and a sketched plan of the basement would help a lot here. – Ecnerwal Nov 13 '16 at 21:53
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    Not every house needs columns. In some cases the "column" is provided by a load-beating basement wall, or a load-beating column built into the chimney. (My house started as the latter, but at some point the chimney support started failing and laly columns were added at that time.) – keshlam Nov 14 '16 at 0:50
  • I am always one for doing what you can. I routinely give advice not accepted well by the masses. But in this case, if you really have a concern, call a structural engineer and ask for an onsite consult. If you call around, you probably can get one for a reasonable price and gain some knowledge of how things are and how things should be. Then come back to Home Improvement with specific questions from your elightened self! – Damon Nov 15 '16 at 7:37
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It depends entirely on the design and construction of the building.

If there were columns that were removed there will typically be visible traces of where they were on the floor and in the framing overhead.

A pre-purchase inspection would typically note something like this if it was a problem.

If the house is not showing signs of instability such as the bouncing floors and cracks that Aloysius inquires about, it's unlikely that it's on the verge of falling down, particularly if it has been standing for many years (or since it was built) without any basement columns.

If they are missing and need to be replaced, they are actually quite affordable.

  • My floors do seem bouncy and towards the back of the house there is a dip on the floor, perhaps from settling? Im not sure. In the basement there is no sign of removed columns for the basement has stucco ceilings and wood laminate panels on the walls, nothing exposed for me to see if infact there were some columns at one point. – Lucky C. Nov 14 '16 at 7:18

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