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Building Homes or Extensions/Replacing a Load Bearing Wall


I am in the early stages of planning a remodel to my kitchen and family room. I will be removing the load bearing wall between these 2 rooms.

The total span is 18 feet. I am targeting a clear span of approximately 15 feet. I will need to accommodate some electrical and HVAC at each of the space therefore not looking at a full 18 foot opening. The current wall is constructed with 2x6 dimensional lumber. It is supporting 2nd floor overlapping joists of 2x8 dimensional lumber on 12 inch centers. Joist on the family room side terminate just past the beam and run approximately 12 feet in length. Joist on the kitchen side also terminate just past the beam and also run approximately 12 feel.

This wall sits atop a 6" x 6" steel i-beam in the basement. The basement beam is approximately 36 feel long with steel posts supporting the middle section at 12 foot intervals. The ends are supported by a poured concrete foundation.

The new beam will sit directly over the basement i-beam.

So my question is 2 fold.

What size beam should I be considering?

Does the new beam support need to sit directly over the basement post or can I get away with a steel post offset by 3 feet?

I will be having an engineer come in but he is not available for a couple weeks. Want to get a head start on planning and budgeting.

Thank you,

Hi Bill- So the size of the beam should really be left to the engineer as there are many factors to consider. As well, the column for the beam will need a footing under it-wherever it is- and the engineer will find the correct location. These are very specific questions that can only be addressed by an engineer.
Please feel free to contact me for any reason.

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Glen W


I can answer questions about the whole home building, additions and renovation processes. I am able to talk about finite hands on skills to budget and management areas.


I have been a General Contractor for over 25 yrs. and in 10 States

BA - Architecture

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