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Question DetailsAsked on 3/1/2016

I need to replace a bearing wall to a 4 x 12 x 18 feet long beam, how much it will cost?

I need to open the stair way, so wall is in our way, but if i take down the wall it will be nice and open, but that wall is a bearing wall. so I figure I can put a 4 x 12 x 18 beam and dump the wall. so how much will be that project cost. need ideas . Thanks.

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When signed in as a registered user or as a member, you will see some similar questions with answers linked below this response - and there are more links to other related questions below them. To take out a stairway wall I would guess you are looking at something probably approaching the $1000 range or higher if a full-length wall - I would be surprised to see a lower number, including drywalling and painting of the cut-off wall section.

Also - remember if taking the wall out, you then have to provide a legal bannister and railing to replace it.

I am not quite sure WHY you are taking the wall down, but bear in mind the beam will odinarily be sticking down a step height or two from the top landing, so unless going to MAJOR effort with the flooring joists, this will gain you an open-sided staircase, but NOT additional width. To get more width you would have to change the block-out framing in the floor joists around the stairs - which is a bigger effort, especially if the supported joists are not continuous through the stairway area. If that is the case, coule easily creep toward the $2000 number.

Note you will almost certainly need a Structural Engineer to design the beam and its supports before you can get a building permit, which is required for structural modifications in essentially all jurisdictions.

And don't be surprised if he says it needs to be deeper - so consider headroom issues, and consider if you can tolerate a deeper beam or a steel beam instead, if needed. That sounds off the cuff like too shallow a beam (assuming you mean wood, not steel) for that span if this is a normal lead-carrying wall - commonly that length lead-carrying beam is about 16-20 inches deep. It is quite possible a multi-lam or doubled up LVL beam might make it at a shallow depth, but 12" deep still sounds pretty lean to me for an 18' span - not knowing floor loads or spans and upper story loads on the beam, of course. Just a gut feeling without the numbers to run a design, but sounds like an 18" plus depth situation to me for a normal house configuration, assuming that wall is carrying floor joist spanning half or more the width of the house. Bear in mind also that an 18' beam in natural wood is a special order item usually - commonly only in-stock to 16 feet in some areas because that is the normal length limit for most mill-production lumber, though 18' garage door beams are commonly available, and available in differnet and larger sizes on special order up to about 60 feet. Also, commonly only locally available (especially in midwest and eastern states) in depths up to 12 inches. Beyond a foot deep or over 16-18 feet longusually LVL or glulam these days, which is only an issue if you are going to leave it exposed.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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