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Structural engineering question

Discussion in 'off topic' started by richardg, Mar 8, 2023.

  1. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

    I am thinking of buying this house, but not if removing the pillar in the picture is too hard. Anyone know of a relatively painless solution?
  2. Ian G

    Ian G pfm Member

    I think removal could be done pretty quick, you will have to allow for potential collapse of the property though, so allow for that within your budget.
    hifinutt, kensalriser, Yank and 2 others like this.
  3. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

  4. JensenHealey

    JensenHealey pfm Member

    Without a structural on site survey…. But it looks highly unlikely to be an easy removal. The pillar is a central support for what appears to be an RSJ already in place. So work out how else you can carry the load of the upstairs down to a structural load carrier in the floor.
    If it was an easy solution, the pillar would probably not be there anyway.

    Good chance the pillar was not there when the building was erected, a dividing wall may have been taken out but the long RSJ needs a central support.
    Dave Decadent, CarrotMan and tuga like this.
  5. Darth Vader

    Darth Vader From the Dark Side

    In the words of my architect "you can have anything you want - for a price". You'd need the services of an architect who will have his preferred structural engineer do the calculations. The architect will then come up with a solution but you may not like the cost!

    hifinutt likes this.
  6. Barrymagrec

    Barrymagrec pfm Member

    And there you have it.
  7. Bart

    Bart pfm Member

    It looks long in the picture but depending what is above it must be worth asking if the ceiling beam could be reinforced or replaced with something stronger and up to the job with the vertical pillar removed. You need to ask a structural engineer though. It might also be messy whilst the upstairs is temporarily supported with props.
    I would be optimistic about the job, if not the price!
  8. notaclue

    notaclue pfm Member

    Why not just bung a local builder a few quid and let him take his chances with an angle grinder?
    gintonic likes this.
  9. PsB

    PsB Citizen of Nowhere™

    Having just used a competent structural engineer to analyze a vaguely similar operation, I am willing to bet that the chances of you considering the required work to be "relatively painless" are exactly zero. The pillar is there for a reason, and there seems to be a substantial beam above it. If you remove the pillar and double the span of that beam, you would also need to (caution: amateur rule of thumb ahead) double the height of the beam. Etc.
    Davd likes this.
  10. lawrence001

    lawrence001 Basic Member

    If you like the house so much, how does that pillar spoil your enjoyment enough to put you off if you can't remove it?
  11. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Feelin' nearly faded as my jeans

    Never mind the pillar, those nets simply have to go.
    PsB and MikeMA like this.
  12. Rodrat

    Rodrat pfm Member

    My daughter has just had plans drawn up for a similar situation. She has to have the same pillar arrangement. One of the downsides of creating an open plan space in an existing property. We had to do the same to support the upper floor albeit enclosed in a wall.
  13. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    Stiffness of a beam is proportional to the square of thickness, tsssk. MartinC will be along to advise soon....
  14. Barrymagrec

    Barrymagrec pfm Member

    Put mirrors on it so you can`t tell if it`s there or not, like they do in shops.
    richardg likes this.
  15. GavinA

    GavinA pfm Member

    When I was in college the (joke) answer to problems like this was ‘skyhooks’.
    More seriously, the pillar probably supports 2 RSJs that meet at the pillar- easier handling than one very long single RSJ. If so that makes removal of the pillar even more problematic. The only likely solution as PsB suggests is a much deeper single RSJ replacing the present arrangement. That involves considerable upset and expense. I would just accept the pillar.
  16. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    It isn't even that "simple" in all probability. Look at the wall in the pic' that would have to take the extra load at one end of the bigger RSJ along the room.

    Potentially a phenominal amount of work and expense to achieve very little.
    dweezil likes this.
  17. Nero

    Nero Tired

    That could be a bouncy floor upstairs….
  18. Bart

    Bart pfm Member

    Just to say there could be more options… You could have more than one long ceiling RSJ to carry the weight of the upper storeys and you could use (hopefully smaller) vertical joists at the ends to help the walls bear the weight.
  19. Davd

    Davd pfm Member

    World of pain expense and compromise

    think it breaks up the living area/dining room quite well, even better if circular
  20. Ponty

    Ponty pfm Member

    I think you’ve got close to zero chance in removing that for any half sensible cost. My mum has similar in her flat, it actually breaks the room up very well. With the right furniture in the right places, it’s not a deal breaker if the house is good IMHO.

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