Asked on Apr 23, 2013

What to do with load-bearing posts

JohnLeslie DWoodbridge Environmental


I'm rehabbing this home and want to remove the posts between the DR and LR; problem is, these support the upstairs wall and the roof is supported on it, so it will be $2200 to get rid of the two posts to the right and leaving the one to the left, moving it over to the right about a foot. I can save $1000 by just having two posts- I would remove the middle and move the two end ones closer together. Any thoughts on type of decorative (remember has to be load bearing) posts, or taking a 6x6 and decorating it to function well? Thanks ahead-
5 answers
  • you cannot simply move over a load bearing post and expect it not to cause issues with settlement. I suggest you obtain the advice of a professional engineer to determine the new load path and if the increased spaces between the main holding up the ceiling is larger enough for the new span. It is not as simple as just moving a foot one way or the other.

  • Larry
    on Apr 23, 2013

    Thanks, yes, I've got my contractor working with a structural engineer. We will have to move/create new support footers and put in a 14' steel beam overhead

  • I would look into doing a wood engineered beam instead of using steel. Price is less and the carpentry is easier using wood. Also you will need a larger steel structure than wood as far as height. The whole idea is to have a load path to the ground. So you're right on track putting in new footings to support the new load bearing columns

  • Leslie D
    on Apr 24, 2013

    I saw a really cool treatment of basement support posts on MegaDens this past weekend. The same episode is coming up again on April 25, 2013 10:00 AM e/p May 19, 2013 1:30 PM e/p They actually used the existing posts, added different lengths of posts that were the same diameter, and made a contemporary open wood box floating shelving unit. It completely hid the fact that they were support posts, and acted more as a room divider. If you can set your DVR, or catch the episode, it may be worth a watch, and be a cheaper alternative, especially if you're rehabbing this home as an investment.

  • John
    on Sep 17, 2013

    I agree with Larry. I saw this same solution used in an episode of the Property Brothers. I don't know the cost but it is the only way to open up the space with no support pillars.

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