Expanding Openings in Basement Hallway


Old 03-29-18, 10:52 AM
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Expanding Openings in Basement Hallway

Hi all,

Pretty new to the forum (and home ownership!) and looking for a little guidance. Any help is appreciated.

We're widening the openings in two thresholds in our basement hallway. One is the threshold just to the right as you come down the stairs. We'll widen that one by knocking out one stud to the left and putting in new beams that go one stud farther. The second threshold goes into the den, and we'll be widening it by one stud on each side.

The two big issues I see are how much stronger the beams should be that we put in (which I'm already taking care of by having a contractor look at it and estimating the beam strength needed using the ICC tables re: snow load, etc.). So the other big issue is *Removing part of the concrete footing.*

Note in the pictures that there are concrete footings along all these walls. The plan is to remove the portion that will be jutting into the newly widened thresholds after we've widened them. Since they're pretty small I'm planning to chisel or sledge them or something. However, reading elsewhere about people trying to remove bigger concrete pads, there was conversation about how once you crack the pad you're trying to remove, it's easier to break up the rest of it. That got me thinking—will whacking away at the portion of footer I'm removing actually weaken the rest of the footer? What method should I use to remove the footer portion, esp. if it's true that whacking it weakens it? I assume a chisel would be better than a sledge in that case?

Note: In the pics, the footings are covered with a thin piece of metal that was folded over top. Looks pretty DIY! Obviously I'll plan to leave the metal covering in place when I remove the footing sections I need.
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Last edited by PJmax; 03-29-18 at 11:54 AM. Reason: reoriented picture

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