No metal support poles under a large structure

I need some help with a construction/framing issues. I did a 4,500 sq ft inspection today. In the basement I noticed there were no metal support poles anywhere. I thought this was odd as I’ve always observed them in other houses this large. The floors are wooden truss with some pretty lengthy spans, around 20 - 25 ft, but I don’t consider that a problem. I did see LSL beams, but no support poles anywhere. The basement walls are poured concrete. Does the current construction provide the proper support for the rest of the house? I’ve attached some photos that show the basement. Any advice would be appreciated!

You would need to review the engineered plan for the home to determine if those were what was called for and if other intermediate supports were or were not needed.


The floor joist are all engineered I Beams. You would actually need the engineered plans to see if they were installed in accordance to spacing and span. From here in Jawja, I don’t see any problems based on these pics.


They are right, no plans = no way of knowing. However, there are supporting walls. I look closely at jack studs, king studs, headers and cripples. I look for any signs of bowing, sagging, deflection, cracking or splitting. I look for alterations to the engineered trusses or I-joists.


Hey guys, thanks for the feedback. Brian, I’ll be adding those observations to my list of procedures. Thanks man.

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Just for the record and I was not there. I did not see any LSL beams or LVL beams. I see sawn lumber, a few engineered I-Joists and mostly engineered trusses. (maybe upper right side of photo 2, LSL or I-joist?)

Without being there to determine the spacing of the studs on the walls beneath the trusses, it’s hard to give an opinion on what is wrong or not. If the studs in the framed walls were more than 16" centers then they would not be considered “load bearing”. That would be an issue. If the trusses are rated for the span, column supports wouldn’t be needed. It looks like in picture 4, the trusses are offset and sitting atop the wall which would need to be of load bearing design. Another thing to consider is whether those walls are sitting atop a proper foundation or footing. without ripping out the floor who would know. The answer to that could be found in the buildings “blueprints” and building permits.

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Lally Columns. Lally Columns would be a more appropriate term for ‘metal support pole’.

Terminology is important when asking questions or writing reports. Correctly identifying items should be part of your knowledge base. It is beyond the scope of a home inspection to determine the span, deflection, bearing capacity or need for columns based on the materials observed and you should not go there unless something is amiss upstairs - too much deflection or lots of cracking or lots of racking.


Hey guys, You are all correct in your observations. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t blatantly missing something; you know, can’t see the forest for the trees kinda thing. I appreciate all your feedback.