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Old 02-02-2011, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
46 posts, read 173,953 times
Reputation: 46

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I have been trying to find a local Structural Engineer for a small project I would like to do but need verification first on a wall. Most of the people I talked don't want to bother with the job cause its small or they want a lot of $$ to look at my project, then do blueprints and get permits, etc. I don't need all this so does anyone know someone in the field?

All the flooring in my place needs to come up, can anyone recommend a decent place to get estimates that you have used? Some of the local companies seem kind of high for install rates but their tile, carpet and hardwood prices seem great. I'm not sure how I am going to do the layout just yet but I could use a trusting company to help me with quotes.

Thanks
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
9,320 posts, read 17,737,565 times
Reputation: 5744
Obviously you have spoken with a few engineers already to state that they are overpriced. What some people consider small projects may turn into a lot of hoop jumping on the engineers part. You should get a permit if you are adding a room because all it takes if for one nosey neighbor or an inspector to catch you. Google Earth has been busy busting people in the rural parts and they then have to hire engineers, architects etc to bring their projects up to code. If it is a bearing wall you are moving or removing you will need to go through the county/city process and will need blueprints and the engineer's stamp.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
46 posts, read 173,953 times
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I understand the issue with adding a room or removing, etc. My situation is fairly simple and I just need a yes or no answer. I am not trying to do an add on or even separate two rooms by knocking down this wall. I have a three car garage and between the 2nd and 3rd car slot there is a wall about 10ft long that separates the two but you can still walk around each side. There is a supporting post at the end of the one side and the other supporting post is in the wall at the other end. In the middle is just 2x6 framing. The framing isn't even sitting flush to the beam above it so I would like to knock down the framing if it has no reason to be there to open up the garage but still leave the support posts. If I need blueprints or permits after everything is confirmed then I have no issues to pay for them but if a guy comes out and looks at this wall and within 5min tells me it has to stay up I dont want to be out $300 since the wall will just stay up then. Its not a big enough deal to have people come in, add new beams and remodel just this area to open up a few extra feet of space. If the wall isn't load bearing then great, its coming down.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Rural Michigan
6,341 posts, read 13,336,675 times
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If there's a support beam and steel posts holding the structure up as you've posted, then the studs aren't doing anything. I doubt I'd be calling in engineers for this - A licensed General Contractor or framing contractor could probably confirm it's not load bearing with a quick walk-through...
Maybe just call a few and offer to buy lunch if they help you out...
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
46 posts, read 173,953 times
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Zippyman: The support beams aren't steal, it is a compression set up, there is a thick wood beam that runs from the garage wall to, six 2x6's stacked on top of each other being supported by five 2x6's strapped together running up to them. I think I have someone who can come out but we are working on a few things with possible other work as well. A pic of what is going on is below.

This is the beam above the separation wall


Wall opened up


Back wall, hard to see cause of the pic but same compression set-up



Besides that anyone have recommendations for flooring work? I have someone from flooring america coming out to give me an estimate but anyone else know of good companies or contractors that need work? The more I can save the better because i don't plan on living in this house all that long.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Rural Michigan
6,341 posts, read 13,336,675 times
Reputation: 10513
The pics you've posted are odd - I wouldn't expect the wall to be load bearing with the trusses faced in that direction, but the beam in the attic & the steel tie-straps peg it as original to the house, and builder's here always do the minimum required... Personally, I wouldn't touch it... but I'm not a builder.

As for tile setting, it doesn't require a permit or a license in Phoenix - there are lots of laid-off tile guys on Craigslist - the going rate is about a buck a foot (that does not include pulling up the carpet & tack strips or leveling the floor) - if you're dealing with unlicensed guys, you pay $0 in advance, watch them work, and don't be afraid to send them home if you don't like what they're doing. Really, no different than licensed contractors, except your checks will be smaller.

If you want to save some bucks on the product, check out "construction lots" in Downtown Phx - My brother was able to get 20" porcelain tile for $.99 a square foot last year and it was identical to the stuff in the (discount) tile stores for $2.79 a square foot. In fact, construction lots ran out, and he bought a couple extra boxes from one of the tile stores in case he chips/cracks any of them in the future... exact match.. If you want wood flooring, the laminate @ Costco can't be beat - you can lay it yourself - I did, and everyone who sees it installed raves about it...

If you're doing anything larger than a bathroom, pop for delivery - the stuff weighs more than you can imagine, and you'll likely hurt your pickup trying to drag it home yourself.

FWIW, if you want a truly excellent tile job, pull off all the base moldings and toss them in the trash - the tile guys can go up to the wall, and you can get bigger/better moldings at
Aztez Door & Trim in Mesa - about half the cost of similar moldings at the depot - The minimum order for free delivery was about $250, and for my brother's place we had to order crown moldings to hit that number... they were that cheap..

I laid mine out on sawhorses and had the painter spray them with a couple coats of white paint before I installed them - then you just go over the nail holes with white paintable caulk - super glossy finish, easier for the painter, & neater than having tile/mortar/grout covering half of the teeny-tiny builder base moldings.

Last edited by Zippyman; 02-07-2011 at 10:03 AM..
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
9,320 posts, read 17,737,565 times
Reputation: 5744
With the hold down straps and limited photos at first glance this could be a brace/shear wall. This could explain why engineers are hesitant to just bless it with a stamp. They sometimes need to examine the other elements of the structure. But, Zippy has a good suggestion that may be more economical at the outset, and that is to contact a licensed contractor to come and see the wall. Best to be safe and not have a headache later on. Best of luck.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
35,902 posts, read 45,965,305 times
Reputation: 24580
I've framed dozens of houses and built a couple of them myself. I agree with Zippy that the pics are odd. The built up and strapped post is what catches my eye. If I am looking at things correctly, it appears to be in the wall you want to remove. Such a post is there for some reason. On the other hand, it does not appear to be structural as the wall parallels the trusses. But why is it there then? Typically non-bearing walls are just stud walls sometimes 24" o.c. And beams are for appearance. 2x6 is not typical except in plumbing partitions. Current codes require a lot of shear and bracing so you see some weird things. Proceed with caution.

You don't need a structural engineer for this. Anyone with a building background can look at it and figure it pretty quickly. Even a good handyman with some construction experience. Just hard to get the big picture in the photos. But do find someone unless you are sure.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
35,902 posts, read 45,965,305 times
Reputation: 24580
The more I look at this, the more I am thinking this wall and beam arrangement was put in there as a shear wall/bracing requirement under the code. Bracing has to be spaced at a specified distance along the structure. With the big garage and your floor plan this (wall) may have been the only way to achieve that. The purpose of bracing is to resist forces parallel to it so that the house does not collapse (fall over sideways) in earth movement or high wind. Is your house fairly new? Years ago you would not see something like that.

Last edited by Ponderosa; 02-07-2011 at 11:07 AM..
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
35,902 posts, read 45,965,305 times
Reputation: 24580
One more thing. If this is an approved bracing wall as it appears, the sheathing may be required as well to meet code. The drywall you stripped off could put you in violation of the building code.
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