The Dangers of Cutting Concrete without an Engineer

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x ray machine-concrete slab

Complete Building Solutions was recently called out to inspect the concrete slab on a 36 story building in Minneapolis. A contractor working on the site was looking to install new plumbing and would need to cut into the concrete to do this. After X-raying the floor he became concerned that the slab was structural. He noticed that some of the slab was poured 7-12 inches thick, the footings were 20 feet deep, and some of the existing rebar was placed only 2-3” apart from each other. Because of this, he no longer felt comfortable to proceed without an engineer’s opinion.

Concrete Slab

The video below shows our team and the contractor working together to examine the floor.

Complete Building Solutions determined that the slab was NOT structural and that it was safe to proceed with the plumbing installation.   Our engineer’s then provided a scope of work to the contractor on how best to fill the voids under the concrete floor and place the new concrete floor with the proper rebar installation.

Engineers -structural slab

Is my Wall Load Bearing

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Most homes built before the 1980’s were hand framed which means any wall removal or addition project typically needed to be structurally engineered by a professional. The replacement of hand framing with trusses during the 1970-1980’s simplified the whole process making it easier to pull out a wall.

However, wall removal/additions can still be very complicated and frequently require an engineer’s stamp of approval to acquire a permit. Because of this, customers call us weekly to help them determine if a wall is load bearing.

The picture below is a great example of one of those calls. The owner of this two-story home wanted to remove an entire wall and create a new beam and column system in order to open up the existing great room.

Load Bearing Wall

Complete Building Solutions performed an onsite inspection and determined that the wall was load bearing with an existing header. Our engineers then designed a column and beam to replace the entire wall.

If you are looking to remove/add a wall or start a new remodeling project, feel free to give Complete Building Solutions a call today for questions 612 868 2922