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Wiscbldr 11-01-2010 08:42 AM

creating an opening bearing or not?
Hi, first time poster here.

Im in the process of doing some remodeling on our ranch home. We would like to open up a wall between our formal dining room to our living room. The wall that we would like to open up has a stairwell between the dining room and living room. So we dont want to open it completely top to bottom, just open it up from half wall up to create an archway to overlooks the stairway, and opens to the living room. The total opening is probably only about 5 feet.

Im assuming the wall is load bearing. I haven't removed the drywall on the stairwell side yet. On the dining room side I have removed some of the drywall to expose the studs. There is one electrical outlet at the bottom, but no other HVAC/electric/plumbing issues. The studs are 16 in on centers.

Q: Is it possible to remove some of the middle studs enough to put 4x4s vertical into the wall opening on the ends, and 2x4s horizontal in order to frame the opening and then trim out?

Q: Must the inside studs that will be cut out be removed?, or can I cut them to the correct height to use as framing for the opening (top and 1/2 wall bottom)?

Q: Should I put a header above that new opening?

I guess what Im trying to do is cut the opening enough to put a 4x4 against the end studs/posts; cut the middle studs, nail back in horizontal 2x4s or a header to frame the top opening and 1/2 wall bottom without removing all drywall top to bottom.

Because there is an electric outlet at the bottom, I would look at disconnecting the wire, stringing it through the new 4x4 I want to put inside the wall, and put the wire back through the rest of the studs that are already drilled for the wire.

Is this type of remodel doable? Will the end posts/studs support the middle section enough, or will I have to put in a header between for more support?


Ron6519 11-01-2010 12:23 PM

Try posting a picture of the area in question.
Be aware that the electric can go up the wall to the floor above or to a light in the ceiling, etc...
If the wall you intend to modify is indeed a load bearing wall, you will need a header, not just 2x4's.

Wiscbldr 11-01-2010 02:32 PM

Ill see if I can take some pics of the area and post them.

In looking at the area, the electric runs along the bottom and then goes to the corner before going down. There are no other switches, lights, wires, vents in the wall in the area that we want to open up.

I think that there is a doubled up stud on the far right, and the far left 12 inches from the other 2-3 studs that are spaced 16 inches apart.

My question is if I need to create a header, and if so, how do I go about putting one in since the other side is a stairwell and no way to brace up the joists from that side.

Can I put in 4x4s, doubled up 2x4s, at the far right and far left where I want to create the opening, and will that support the overhead enough to remove those middle 2 or 3 single 2x4 studs...or at least enough so that I can install a header above the opening?

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