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Bozol 02-15-2010 02:02 PM

Load bearing wall?
Hello everybody,

I want to move my stacked washer-dryer from the bathroom to the front hall. The people who put the washer and dryer in obviously built the existing door after the machines were in the room - machines are 23" and the door is only 20". Therefore had planned to knock out one stud in the wall between the front room and bathroom and slide the machines out that way. Yesterday found that there was insulation in the wall and the studs were 2 x 6. Looks like a former outside wall, and the front room is part of a later addition. Is this then a 'load bearing wall'? Can I safely remove one of the studs for about an hour or two to get the machines out before replacing it? If I can't go through the wall I'm going to have to remove the door frame, not as easy.

Any advice would be really helpful.



Willie T 02-15-2010 03:41 PM

Get up into the attic and look at the top of that wall. Is any part of the house or roof structure sitting on top of the wall? In other words, is it "bearing the load" of anything other than the wall coverings (drywall, plaster, etc.)

Bozol 02-15-2010 04:37 PM

Does this mean that if there is a load on the wall then removing the stud for even a short period of time is a no-no? It wouldn't be longer than an hour that the stud would be out.

tpolk 02-15-2010 04:43 PM

why an hour 16 min tops and you could drive the stud over to give yourself a 25" space then drive it back,or add temp for same spacin if that one splits out. wires in the wall?

Bozol 02-15-2010 05:09 PM


The hour suggested is the time required to get the laundry machines out of the room, top. Are you suggesting I could knock the stud over to allow enough room for the machines to pass and then put it back once the machines were out? The rationale being that a 25" space is better than a 32" one?

tpolk 02-15-2010 05:18 PM

yes 2' on center framing even in load walls gives a clear span of 22.5". have everything ready to move out move stud empty space move stud back

Bozol 02-15-2010 05:25 PM

Thanks, I'll report how everything went. Probably make the move tomorrow afternoon or evening.

samiller1980 02-15-2010 09:28 PM

I personally would make my doorway larger and keep it that way, that would require a larger header. A trick I use when opening up doorways or putting pass through windows in load bearing walls is I take a small sheet of plywood (to protect flooring) and 3 2x4s (more if the opening is lager than about 36 in.). I wrap one 2x4 in scrap carpet, old sweater that i cut up, something soft to keep from damaging ceiling. Take the wrapped 2x4 and place it parallel with the doorway against the ceiling approx. 3-6 ft from opening (whatever you need to create a comfortable working area. closer to doorway = better.) use the other two 2x4s as supports with the bottoms resting on plywood and the tops wedged on the wrapped 2x4. repeat on other side of doorway, you have now created a temporary support that will allow you to remove or reposition studs or create a larger header for a larger doorway.

SULTINI 02-16-2010 06:26 AM

Yea why not redo it right why put it back the same way make the opening wider for future use you might be happy you did at a later date.

Bozol 02-17-2010 10:04 AM

Turns out it wasn't a load bearing wall, just weird construction - the wall is only there to hold up drywall. In the end decided to gut the whole bathroom, except the door!. Found mould behind the walls so now have removed all old drywall from walls and ceiling, replaced floor, replaced most of the plumbing (paid a plumber) and am now waiting on electrical. Then set the tub, drywall, paint and re-install vanity and toilet.

SULTINI 02-17-2010 10:25 AM

Sounds like you are making a big mistake, all that rehabbing and not changing the door size, that's a no no.

20" Bathroom door I don't think so.

Bozol 02-17-2010 03:02 PM

Hey Sultini,

The question I posted was about whether I had an issue with a load bearing wall, not whether my door is wide enough or not. I live in the Canadian arctic where construction requirements and housing designs over the past 50 years have been refined to deal with the cold as well as houses that need to be built up on pilings or posts. I'm removing the washer and dryer from the room precisely because I thought it odd that you couldn't get them out if needed and now I won't have that problem.

Mind your own business - you don't know what situation my house is in at all. All the contractors in town here who have seen the house have never commented on the door size, neither did anybody else on this site until you. Maybe it's hard for you to get in and out of a 20" door, but for most people almost two feet is plenty.

SULTINI 02-17-2010 04:45 PM

Sorry you feel that way, it's hard to mind my business when this is a public Forum and people ask questions and need help.

I try to be practical and advise with the best interest of the OP.

Believe me you are wrong if you think I am the only person that recommended the door be enlarged, go back and read the answers .. check out samiller1980. That's not counting the people that are sitting at their computers thinking " My that's a small door". but not writing.

I guess it's just the way I answer never went to KOOL SCHOOL.

Good luck on your renovations

baivab 02-17-2010 11:36 PM

Bozol - that was un-called for. I understand you might feel frustrated, etc. but the guy's only giving you a suggestion, as you're already doing so much and it's fantastic you're doing it thus at the same time it might make sense to open up your door a bit too.

tpolk 02-18-2010 06:59 AM

my thats a small door, i have the same size going into my bath in a house my wife and i bought and i havent changed it yet. its a stupid bifold and i curse it everytime i go thru it, have a pocket door to replace it with just havent got there yet. a1'8" door is small sultini be on the mark

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