Basement Bearing Walls
Last year at this time we began framing the house. Looking at the pictures reminds me of one thing I chose to do in our new home that is a bit different. I chose to frame a bearing wall down the center of the basement instead of using lolly columns and a beam. My reason was pretty simple. I know some day we’ll finish the basement and I’d just end up framing a wall anyway. The other nice thing is not having lolly columns. If I ever need to put in another door opening all I have to do is cut some studs, throw in a header and I’m done.
After the bearing wall was finished the floor joists were installed spanning the entire distance from the front to the rear of the house. Once the joists are in we used “squash” blocks on either side of each joist to help in two ways. One, each block can be cut to hold the joist at the proper elevation to level the floor system and secondly, the “squash” blocks help transfer the bearing wall loads from the 2nd floor down the the lower bearing wall. The reason that is important is the web of the joists really are not strong enough to transfer the load. Hence the name “squash”, you are preventing squashing of the joist web plate.