0

I am trying to create a new bedroom in the basement. The first problem I hit is that there is this short concrete "wall" with a post coming out of it. Actually, the post is 3 2x4's joined together. If I leave it as-is, it would make the future bedroom a few feet shorter than if I were able to remove it.

Weird small wall with post growing out of it

My first thought was to put in a temporary post, jackhammer out the wall, take out the original post, and replace it. However, that seems kind of daunting for a couple of reasons:

  1. How to build a new post? Maybe jackhammer out some of the floor slab then fill it in so that it sits below the floor and not just on top of it.

  2. This seems like it would be a "structural modification" which requires getting a construction permit and having things inspected, and I'm wary of that because all the other improvements to this 1925 house (such as replacing knob and tube wiring) were clearly done not up to code.

With that in mind, I'm thinking it would be better to rent a concrete saw and cut that wall vertically close to the post, so I can jackhammer it out without disturbing the post.

Any advice is appreciated!

  • 2
    If you get a permit for this job, the inspector should only be inspecting aspects of this job. Also note that bedrooms in basements require an emergency escape route, other than the stairs leading out of the basement. Which means you're going to need an egress window or door leading to the outside from the bedroom. Well, that is to say. If you were doing permitted work, you'd need the escape route. If you don't include the escape route, you can't list the bedroom as a bedroom if you ever sell the house. – Tester101 May 21 '15 at 11:25
1

That is really sketchy. Built-up 2x4s aren't great for carry loads - something like a 4x4 is much much better.

If you want to replace it, a temporary support on each side, take out the wall, dig out a section of the floor, and then pour a footing underneath, let it cure, then put in a replacement post. Steel is a lot more common for this usage than wood.

  • I like the idea of replacing this (and maybe other) posts with steel. It sounds like it will take up less space, require less messing with concrete, and be plenty sturdy. Thank you! – Corrupter of Code May 21 '15 at 15:14
  • yeah, contact a local steel yard, I just did something similar; around $75 for an adjustable steel column with a plate welded to the bottom with holes, for fastening to the concrete. – DrewJordan May 22 '15 at 17:21
0

Hmm, this definitely looks structural. Any time you see 2 or 3 2x4's nailed together like that it is usually for some kind of header. The other issue I see is that it looks like regular 2x4's and not pressure treated. Anytime you have bare wood sitting on the subfloor, it should be PT.

I would definitely put in some supports before you do any cutting to the concrete, if you don't want any post there you'll probably need to build a header with some 2x6's or better to carry the load.

Oh, also a concrete saw would probably cause less vibration than a jackhammer, something to consider when you're worried about structural integrity.

Good luck!

  • 1
    If you're going to reinstate the post at its current location, don't forget to pour a footing to give it some actual support. Most of the time (but this needs to be checked by someone competent, because we internet layabouts don't know what's upstairs), pads are 2' x 2' x 10". On that, you could bolt an adjustable steel column. Depends on your locality, but sometimes jobs like these require permits; other times you visit the counter and they tell you to please go away and stop bothering them. (And please please don't delete or move the post without some serious competent engineering...) – Aloysius Defenestrate May 21 '15 at 5:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.