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glenviewjeff
Relocating a support post
glenviewjeff

We found this house that we love, but it needs substantial renovation. The thing that killed it for us was the crazy kitchen countertop that has been narrowed to make way for a walkway. It seemed like there was no feasible way to work around this because of the placement of the support post. (See below photo)

So, I'm wondering: Have you ever relocated a support post before? I assume it's possible? The ideal location functionally would be to push the post to the right of the photo (towards the painting of the bear), so that it's instead along the half wall of the silly narrowed counter.

Would it be possible to move this post to the right and still support the beam it's presently holding up? If so, what range do you think this would cost as part of a bigger job--the portion for moving the post and presumably adding some kind of additional (steel?) beam work along the ceiling as needed?

See kitchen photo here: http://tour.vht.com/433204865/263-cedar-ln-glencoe-il-60022/photos

Lynne
Re: Relocating a support post
Lynne

Love the house.

I don't know about the post, but have you thought about closing off the narrow part, tearing down the peninsula and relocating the sink & dishwasher along the wall? That would leave the larger opening free, plus it would hide dirty dishes from the dining area.

The kitchen looks pretty large. You might be able to fit a small prep island in there too.

A. Spruce
Re: Relocating a support post
A. Spruce

No, that post can't be moved, now without some major redoing of the structure, aka very expensive. If it were me, I'd have put the sink and stove to the right of the post and left that center section open, it would have provided a whole lot more useable workspace and a flow that isn't there now. What would it cost to do this now? You're looking at relocating electrical, gas, and plumbing to another wall, not ungodly expensive, then, you will have to find similar cabinetry and counter tops to redo those.

dj1
Re: Relocating a support post
dj1

Get an opinion of an architect or a general contractor, since this post is holding one of the roof supporters. If feasible, it will be expensive to move.

The house is very nice as is, and barring any hidden flaws, it is a good deal.

ed21
Re: Relocating a support post
ed21

If I understand correctly, moving the post to the right would mean the post isn't under the beam above.
It can't be done and keep the simplicity and cleanness of the design.
If the beam at the post is where two beams are joined, that would complicate things even more.
I like the house. I don't really see an issue with the kitchen design. Compromises often have to be made. The narrow counter may me more usefull than you think.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Relocating a support post
Mastercarpentry

What a lovely house! The only simple solution I can see to remove the post would be to beam across from wall to wall where it was with something like the exposed beams. This will disrupt the 'cleanness' of the design somewhat, maybe too much but it won't look awful. Adding a hidden beam in an arched opening won't work with the straight-line design at all though that is a much used solution here. You may be in for a lot of expense in removing the post but with the superb design it is worth ensuring that you don't ruin the design in the process. If you can't envision all the possibilities an architect can help but at the least I'd involve a structural engineer in the process. This house is just too perfect to mess up in any way!

Phil

Fencepost
Re: Relocating a support post
Fencepost

The beam along the ceiling needs to be supported in some manner. You could probably move the post a few feet either way along the beam. Otherwise, you'd have to put another beam perpendicular to the primary beam and support the ends of that secondary beam in some manner.

I'm afraid that anything other than what you have will spoil the aesthetic of the house worse than what the post already does.

Whatever you do, you'll need to consult a structural engineer, or an architect (who will consult a structural engineer). In order for a modification to be approved by your local building inspector, it will almost certainly require an engineered design.

A. Spruce
Re: Relocating a support post
A. Spruce

I could see notching the main beam and inserting a perpendicular beam across to either side wall of the kitchen, the main beam then would be attached with saddles. This would not harm the open lines of the house, or really detract from the open beams. The problem here is one of cost vs benefit, I personally would find it hard to justify spending $10K or more, just to get a few feet of wider counters

Mastercarpentry
Re: Relocating a support post
Mastercarpentry
Fencepost wrote:

You could probably move the post a few feet either way along the beam.

I thought about that, but with the length of the exposed joist-beams my guess is that there's a joint at the post which would make that a tough nut to crack!

A. Spruce wrote:

I could see notching the main beam and inserting a perpendicular beam across to either side wall of the kitchen, the main beam then would be attached with saddles. This would not harm the open lines of the house

I worry about the aesthetics. The added beam would be the only exposed perpendicular element in the design house wide; everything else is parallel and that is a large part of what makes this design look so 'clean'. I wonder if the architect who designed this is still around? He should be named on plans filed with the building permit department and he'd be the best person to design a solution which blended in perfectly. I'd bet he'd get a kick out of revisiting the place and in knowing that his work is still appreciated and loved.

Phil

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Relocating a support post
Sombreuil_mongrel

I looked at all their pics, and that house is a beautifully-preserved Mid-century Modern gem, and they are nuts IMO to make structural changes like that. Once they get the estimates for moving it 6" one way or the other vs. replacing it with a huge steel I-beam, their passion for modification will pass on.
Casey

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