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Brenda
load bearing wall was removed. Putting up beam
Brenda

Need some advice. I have an older two story farm house and the previous owner took out a load bearing wall, on the first floor. When we put in the beam to hold the load do we cut through the floor and put cement under the house to hold the supports or do we put the supports directly on the floor? I've had 2 contractors look at it and one recommends the floor and the other the cement.
Thank you
Brenda

Fencepost
Re: load bearing wall was removed. Putting up beam
Fencepost

You may not need to cut a hole in the floor, if you have sufficient access to the crawl space. The beam will be supported by a post which rests on the floor. In the crawl space, you will need to have another post directly under the main post that goes between the subfloor and a concrete pier block.

The other option is to cut a hole in the floor and use a single post from the beam all the way down to a concrete pier block.

Either way, the post MUST be supported by a concrete pier block that rests on undisturbed mineral soil (clay). You may need to dig out some dirt to get to the mineral soil; scrap3 out a level bottom in the soil for the block to rest on. You may be able to use a precast block, or you may need to pour a concrete pad in place.

You can't just support the load of the upper floor on the lower floor without extending the support down to the ground. The first story floor isn't designed for that much of a point load.

If you don't have a crawl space but a concrete slab floor, you *might* get away with resting the posts directly on the concrete floor, but that is dependent on the subgrade (below the concrete) being properly compacted AND the concrete being sufficiently thick to bear the load. Otherwise, cut a 2-foot by 2-foot square out of the floor, dig down at least 12", and repour concrete to fill the hole.

The above is based on general construction principles. It is NOT an engineered solution and NOT guaranteed to be an acceptable solution for your situation. Consulting a structural engineer is recommended -- for a fee they will design a solution that will be acceptable to your local building officials.

P.S. -- Cement is an ingredient in concrete, which is made of cement, sand, gravel (aggregate), and water. Cement is a natural mineral that is mined and processed so it can be used in concrete production. Sand and gravel make up the bulk of concrete; cement acts as a binder (glue) to hold the sand and gravel together. When concrete cures, not all of the water evaporates. Some of it chemically combines with the cement to activate cement's binding properties. Concrete contractors everywhere get irritated every time they hear someone refer to concrete as cement.

dj1
Re: load bearing wall was removed. Putting up beam
dj1

We need more info, such as: the size of the beam, the load that will sit on it and more.

You may want to consult an engineer or an architect on this one. They have a way to figure it out, draw plans and put their name on them.

I once added a second floor over a single story house, and I had to cut the slab in 4 places, then dig 2'x2'x2' holes, fill them with rebar and concrete and erect posts to support the beams.

A. Spruce
Re: load bearing wall was removed. Putting up beam
A. Spruce
Brenda wrote:

Need some advice. I have an older two story farm house and the previous owner took out a load bearing wall, on the first floor. When we put in the beam to hold the load do we cut through the floor and put cement under the house to hold the supports or do we put the supports directly on the floor? I've had 2 contractors look at it and one recommends the floor and the other the cement.
Thank you
Brenda

Whenever you modify load bearing structure, you have to transfer the load to other load bearing points within the structure, that is to say, if you open a load bearing wall, then you have to install a header to support the weight above, then you have to make certain that that header load is transferred to load bearing support below. If the structure is old enough, then the loads are repetitive, meaning one load is bearing upon another, upon another, which means that it's usually well supported below. In structures less than 40 or 50 years old, this may not be the case, loads may be dispersed or spanned to other areas, so modification to one thing may not necessarily mean it is supported elsewhere. The best bet is to have an engineer look at the situation and specify the needs of the structure. In lieu of that, a GOOD general contractor that is well versed in homes like yours can likely offer good opinions on a course of action. If you're getting conflicting opinions, then get more bids and more opinions until you feel you have a majority consensus on what you need done.

Mastercarpentry
Re: load bearing wall was removed. Putting up beam
Mastercarpentry
A. Spruce wrote:

Whenever you modify load bearing structure, you have to transfer the load to other load bearing points within the structure, then that load has to be transferred directly or indirectly to a proper foundation capable pf supporting the load.

There, fixed it for ya and made it simple :cool:

A good GC who is familiar with the local geology and soils can give you a good foundation without needing an engineer, but legally you're supposed to have all foundations designed and approved by an Engineer. Normally the standards given in Building Codes are adequate and normally that's what we do sans Engineer. As long as it passes the local Code Inspection you'll be OK.

Phil

Brenda
Re: load bearing wall was removed. Putting up beam
Brenda

The one contractor who suggested putting the posts directly on the floor said he could do that because there is a wood beam under the floor that runs the length of the room, where the wall was taken out.
The deed to the house shows the house as being built in 1932. The length of the room, needing the support is 15' 3". I have no way of knowing when the wall was removed.
I know there is so much experience here with older homes that I would get good advice from you guys.

A. Spruce
Re: load bearing wall was removed. Putting up beam
A. Spruce
Brenda wrote:

The one contractor who suggested putting the posts directly on the floor said he could do that because there is a wood beam under the floor that runs the length of the room, where the wall was taken out.

You're proving my point about how older homes were built. If this is the case, and you do have support under the floor, then installing posts and a header will be sufficient.

Brenda
Re: load bearing wall was removed. Putting up beam
Brenda

Too funny.
I just want to have it repaired the right way so it last as long as the rest of the house.

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