I have a split level home and would like to convert the garage into a family room. However, there is a H beam that runs through the middle of it perpendicular to the joists for the floor above. This is not a problem except that there is a column in the middle that I'd like to remove. Currently the span is 22'. My plan is to have the finished space about 17' of this.
There is one floor above, no attic above that, only a crawl space. I live in the northern Midwest (Chicago).
Can this beam be supported by adding additional columns at either end? Would a different beam do the job? Is any of this feasible? Headroom is currently only 7'9" so I'd prefer not to add a deeper beam if possible.
Thanks for any help.
(Yes I plan on consulting an architect or engineer eventually.