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Question DetailsAsked on 2/22/2015

Cost to remove center pole supporting floor above garage

Floor above 2 car garage used for storage has a steel pole in the center and two steel poles on each side supporting a beam that is piecemeal.. I would like to replace the pole with a center beam with supports on both sides and eliminate the pole in the middle.

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3 Answers


More than you want ?

The problem will be two-fold - first, the beams are supporting the floor joists on both sides, so they will have to be propped up with temporary studwalls while the beams are removed. If there is a load-bearing wall right in line above it, that can complicate matters too, depending on exactly how your house is built. Then a new beam can be put in place, modifying or replacing the posts and their foundations as necessary.

The other issue is that the new beam will have to be much stronger to span about double the original length and carry the same total load in one beam that two used to carry - typically about four times the moment-carrying capacity (bending strength) at the center because the moment goes up as a square of the length - so double length means 4 times the moment (bending force).This likely may mean wider (so joists have to be cut unless they sit on top rather than tying into the side of beams), but will also have to be significantly deeper, which may cause overhead clearance issues. A 6-10 inch increase in depth is not unusual. If overhead clearance is an issue, then the beams may have to be replaced with a steel beam or two side-by-side wood beams.

So - obviously without seeing the specific situation, i can only give a rough ballpark WAG. I would be surprised if a wood replacement, assuming no clearance issues, for less than $1500-2000; and a double-beam or steel beam system can easily run $3000-5000 range. Potentially more if there are complications like difficulty putting in suitable posts and foundations to bear them, because existing end pipe posts and/or foundations might or might not be adequate to carry the additional load that the center pole used to carry - plus the added beam weight, of course.

Your starting point would be probably about $250 or so for a site visit and preliminary calc by a Structural Engineer who says he can design a replacement beam and support system, to come look at your situation and look at what your dimensions are and whether deeper beam(s) could fit without impacting available (or legal) vehicle height requirements (yours or local code). You certainly do not want to (for resale value purposes) make it lower clearance than a pickup or SUV that can make it through your doors. That visit will give you a much better picture of likely difficulty - replacement with a single deeper glulam beam would be toward the lower end cost normally, doubled wood or steel beam cost being near middle or higher end would likely depend on how the existing joists tie into the existing beams, with wood beams usually being cheaper, assuming foundation issues are simple, because the connections are simpler.

BTW - if the existing beams provide minimal clearance to pickup/SUV now or come down to about same clearance as the doors thatis not necessarily a single-beam deal killer, depending on how joists tie in. If the joists currently sit on top of the beams, it is feasible to tie the joists into the sides of the new beam, so that allows about 6-8 inches (typically) of the beam to sit up in the ceiling, so with that plus original beam stick-down into the garage a single beam might still work.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD



This is Kelly M. with Member Care. Thanks for posting your question.

Although we don't track going rates for various projects because this varies widely depending on market factors and location, members are encouraged to include how much a project cost in their reviews.

With that in mind, a good way to find out a general price range, login to your membership and search for Structural Engineering, and then look as the project cost associated with each review. The best way to get the most accurate information is to request multiple bids from several local contractors. As the price will vary with work site considerations and individual contractors' approaches, getting multiple estimates will help provide a clearer idea of what to expect in terms of pricing.

I hope this information helps! Please let me know if I can assist further. You can respond to this thread or submit a new Answers post. You can also reach us at We're happy to help!

Thanks again, and have a good day!

Answered 5 years ago by Member Services


LCD gave the best answer related to the dynamics of your situation. You have to maintain support while removing support. Also the length of the beam, the weight resting upon it, and the overall condition of the frame work in the garage. Earnestly I would get three estimates, that way you can take notes during those meetings and you will have greater understanding. You may need a steel beam and not wood, and there will likely be other issues when removing those poles. Best of luck

Answered 5 years ago by Sheltiemama

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