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mogas 08-10-2013 10:30 AM

Bearing wall
Hey guys my wife and I just bought our first house! We tried to move the couch and other items down stairs and the doorway is a regular single door size nothing but a small desk and bed fit down there. I want to widen the doorway to french doors or leave it open. It appears to be a bearing wall but how do you know? If it is do I need to put a beam in above the doorway?

Jungle 08-10-2013 11:50 AM

A load-bearing wall (or bearing wall) is a wall that bears a load resting upon it by conducting its weight to a foundation structure. The materials most often used to construct load-bearing walls in large buildings are concrete, block, or brick."

You might try a stud detector or drill a hole to see what inside the wall. If you have support beams beside the door obviously you can't take them out.

Drywallinfo 08-11-2013 08:01 AM

Another tip is that load bearing walls will usually be perpendicular to your floor joists and roof trusses. If this is a load bearing wall, you will have to beef up the header, as you describe. You should get some experienced builder to come in and tell you how thick that new header must be - it will depend on how wide you make the new opening.

CallMeVilla 08-11-2013 05:07 PM

Forgive me for reading closely ... The door is too small and leads to a staircase to the downstairs? Even if you could magically insert French doors, what do you do about the width of the staircase?

Maybe some pics would help ...

I am sensitive to this because I am about to serious attack the underside framing of an existing curved staircase. Wish I had YOUR problem! :D

nealtw 08-11-2013 08:49 PM

2 Attachment(s)
The first picture is a barring wall with headers over the door and window, the second picture is a non barring wall. Finding a header above the door is usually a good indication of a barring wall. Not finding one is not a garrentee that parts of that wall isn't load barring. Have you got access to the framing below or is the area finished?

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