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.
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Last edited by Drywallinfo; 08-11-2013 at 08:03 AM.