I want to cut a pass through in this wall to join the spaces better in my basement, but before I start cutting studs I was hoping for a 2nd knowledgeable opinion. The beam is a ~15.5ft span steel W12x40 (joists run perpendicular 16" O.C.) and is supported on one end by a beam pocket in the foundation wall and on the other end by a column of 2x6s. I don't believe the wall is supporting the beam due to it being supported on the ends, and there is not a thicker footing under the wall I want to cut through (calls for a 16"x8" footing on all bearing walls). Also, there is not a wall directly above this one so my assumption is the weight from the roof, and 2nd floor, comes through the center stairs and exterior wall around the pass through.

Architectural plans
Architectural plans
2x6 interior column2x6 interior column Pass through areaPass through area

Top of wall interiorTop of wall interior

  • What are we looking at in the 3 pics of the walls? Give us a frame of reference. Describe each image. Heck, are we looking up or down in that last one? It looks like we're looking down at 4 outlets near ground level, but why are the outlets near the top of the picture? Help us help you!
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 27, 2023 at 23:46
  • Pictures are of the architectural plans, 2x6 interior column, basement wall I want the pass through in, and looking up inside that wall at the top of the framing/bottom of beam respectively.
    – CAus65
    Commented Jun 27, 2023 at 23:52
  • Go ahead and edit that info into your original question to make it easier for everyone to find. I got notified that you'd replied, but others will be asking themselves the same questions as they're looking. My guess is that the steel is self supporting, but I don't know enough to really feel comfortable with that as an answer for you.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 27, 2023 at 23:57
  • Usually it is a beam or a load bearing wall, not both together. Question would be if the designer went with a weak beam that needs a bearing wall or not.
    – crip659
    Commented Jun 28, 2023 at 0:09
  • A steel beam as you described almost always IS the structural member, and should not require a 16" on center 2x4 wall under it for support. What's the span of the beam, ~13'-6"?
    – SteveSh
    Commented Jun 28, 2023 at 0:27

1 Answer 1


As mentioned, a steel beam is the structural element and it is normally supported at the ends. A wall under it would not normally be load-bearing.

I am worried about those 6 studs in the first photo. Whatever they are, you shouldn't take them out. If in doubt, take the drawings to an architect or engineer.

  • Those 6 2x6 studs form the column for one end of the beam. Look at the picture again, then refer back to he architectural drawing as to where the beam is. Agreed that those studs/column should not be touched.
    – SteveSh
    Commented Jun 29, 2023 at 13:22
  • Agreed, I'd never touch the 2x6 column. It's on the left side of the doorway in line with the load bearing wall on the drawings
    – CAus65
    Commented Jun 29, 2023 at 23:27

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