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Could this post be moved? It looks like it doesn’t go all the way to the 1st floor, but it also looks to be the only support for the large center beam supporting the roof above.

I would like to move the post back towards the mirror wall (to the left in the second picture) about 4-5 ft to gain space on the 2nd floor (the floor opening could then be filled in).

support beam room support beam enter image description here

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    We would have no idea since you've only showed us a small portion of the information needed to make such an assessment. Completely missing is what's holding up the post at the proposed location. Get a local expert on site.
    – isherwood
    Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 12:47
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    1) Your question is unclear. How does moving that post "gain space" anywhere? If you move it 4 feet towards the mirrors it's in the middle of the staircase opening. I just don't get it. 2) It seems like the decor generally is supposed to evoke a ship, and the post is supposed to look like a mast. Moving it away from the center of the room will ruin that image and make it look like a strange hack, or a structural repair. It should be where a mast would be.
    – jay613
    Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 13:32
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    How much money do you have?
    – erickson
    Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 22:30

3 Answers 3

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Wow... I totally missed the detail that the post is to be moved not removed. Much of this answer is still appropriate but changes to relocating the "green" beam instead of beefing up the "blue" beam.

I am assuming that the "beam" you're referring to is the post pointed to by the red arrow:

Modified version of OP's post with arrows pointing to a post, ceiling joist and floor beam

In that case, the absolute answer to your question is "Yes".

HOWEVER

It will take significant work by a licensed structural engineer to make the modifications to the rest of the structure to ensure that it doesn't collapse.

The post in question carries the weight of the horizontal beam noted by the blue arrow. This beam carries the weight of one end of every single beam in your ceiling (see the other pic), and therefore carries roughly 1/2 the weight of the entire ceiling.

That post then transfers the weight down to the very thick looking beam in the floor that I've identified with the green box. This beam is what's keeping your ceiling from collapsing.

Your structural engineer will have to find a location for a new version of this "green" beam to support the post where you'd like to move it. That beam will have to be sized sufficiently (i.e. the same size as the existing one), to carry the load presently carried by the existing one. It will need posts (potentially hidden in existing or new walls) below it to carry the weight that's about to be put on it. Those posts will need proper footings in the ground to carry the weight on them. It's possible that some of the roof structure may need to change to accommodate the new location of the supporting post. Because of the glass above, there's a lot of weight on that post and the joints between it and the "rafter" beams that attach to it will need to be recalculated based on the new position.

This new beam will become a visual obstacle wherever it's going to be placed (it will be roughly the same size as the one it's replacing) and you may not like it there.

Any utilities (HVAC, electrical, water, other) running through the area of this new beam will need to be rerouted around or through it (I'd think that "through" would be possible, but would need to be designed in from the start).

Will this renovation be a simple task? No

  • There will, most likely, be some significant steel work involved in removing that post.
  • The intent of removing the post is likely to be "visual". i.e. you don't want it cluttering your view. Note that the I-beam in the center of the ceiling will likely be considerably taller than the current one, providing a different visual "obstacle".
  • Removing this post and the beam it supports will be a MAJOR renovation effort as something will have to support the roof while the existing beam is removed and a new one installed. Or, the entire roof might have to be removed and rebuilt.
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    @AraAraakashi If you leave the post there, but fill in the opening in the floor(removing most of the safety barrier), would that be okay? Would be much less engineer work and maybe can use it for pole dancing, or a basketball hoop.
    – crip659
    Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 13:49
  • Thanks, Yes, this is a possibility if the post is too hard to move. Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 15:14
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    @freeman. Yes I think you’re exactly right. The current staircase is a huge spiral. I’d change this to a wanderer (L shape) using the landing on the left off of the door with the porthole (this house is called the boat house… I do now see the “mast” :-) ). Then I could gain a bunch of space. Pole support could go all the way to a first floor footer and be hidden/out of the way. But not sure if moving it 4-5 ft will force another support on the opposite side as you are correct that it supports the whole roof structure. Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 15:19
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    It looks like not only all you've said, but that the structure will then go from being a simple 'prop it up in the middle' to a true cantilever, adding factors more weight to the newly-cantilevered section. that's likely to need a much heavier top beam, and a re-assessment of the new balance.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 16:44
  • Who knows, @Tetsujin. That's why it needs someone on-site and licensed to make those decisions. Maybe some of it will be cantilevered, maybe a whole new 2' (or taller) piece of steel will need to be inserted to support the roof, maybe the roof will need to be beefed up. Whatever is needed, one thing is for sure - it won't be cheap!
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 28, 2023 at 11:46
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The vertical bit is called the post, which is holding the horizontal beam. Any such changes require consultation with the original architect/engineer or a new engineer. This needs to be stressed, otherwise, you risk a major structural failure.

From my experience, from taking one paper on civil engineering and having 3 houses built, the beam would have been sized, based on where the post is attached. So, if the post is moved, it is highly likely that the beam would need bulking up.

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Here's some very quick and dirty photo editing. If you DIDN'T move the pole but still filled in the area I think you're talking about, you would end up with something like this:

enter image description here

I'm guessing there's a spiral staircase curling under that new floor but there's still sufficient head space, maybe even enough to additionally floor the area outlined in red. If you can put up with leaving the pole there and put a new railing along that new edge, that's probably the cheapest solution to come fairly close to what you want.

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