Latest Discussions : Basement & Foundation


02:29PM | 11/23/02
Member Since: 11/22/02
13 lifetime posts
First of all, let me say that I don't plan on doing any of this work myself and plan on seeking professional help. With that being said, I am in the process of planning a basement renovation and ideally would like to remove a 22 ft load bearing wall to open up the area. My house is about 50 years old, and 2 stories high.

My key questions are:

1. How "big" of a project is this for someone that is experienced in such matters? Would kind of $$ are we talking about?

2. Would removing only a portion of the wall (say 10 ft or so) make the job easier? Cheaper?

3. Would the strucural integrity of my house be affected in any way, assuming the job is done correctly?

4. Who would I actually contract to do such work? Should I first hire a structural engineer and then a contractor? Or would a general home builder/contractor be able to handle such a job?

Any comments welcome. Thanks.


05:17PM | 11/26/02

  • Removing a 22' long load-bearing wall in the basement of a 2-story house could be done but would require the addition of a beam with support columns or one large steel beam to carry the load.
  • If you go with the smaller beam and columns the columns would need to have a concrete footing poured under each one.
  • You can expect to pay several thousand dollars for such a project. Due to price fluctuations across the country I cannot be more exact than that.
  • Removing only a 10' section would be cheaper but will still require a beam to carry the load across the opening.
  • Provided the job is done properly the structural integrity of the house should not be affected.
  • I recommend you get a structural engineer to approve any changes you make to the load bearing walls. He is much better qualified to calculate the size of a beam for the load it will be carrying.



05:36PM | 11/26/02
Member Since: 11/22/02
13 lifetime posts
Thanks very much for the reply.

Given the complexity and costs of the job, I am now considering putting in double doors to connect the two rooms instead of opening up the entire area by removing the wall.

One more question: Would putting in double doors require the same columns and footings as removing a 10' piece of the wall (and the hiring of an engineer)? And roughly how much $$ would I save vs. taking down the entire wall?

Appreciate any feedback. I will be looking to start getting estimates next week but would like to be as informed as possible prior to that.


03:52PM | 12/05/02
Member Since: 11/22/02
13 lifetime posts
How much of a difference does the type of wall make. For example, the basement wall I will be opening up is constructed with 12" wide concrete blocks.

If I just plan on opening up a 5-6' wide opening, do I need to install supports colums, or would the beam simply rest on the block wall?


02:26PM | 12/06/02
You can probably open up a much larger hole if you wish. The difference will be the size of the beam you will need to carry the load. The beam can rest on the block wall. How large a hole you can open up will depend on the size of the beam and the size and construction of the wall footing. The wall should also be filled with concrete block fill under the beam.


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