Widening a doorway

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Hi, I want to widen the doorway from my kitchen to dining room. My home is a Cape Cod and I know this is a load-bearing wall. The current doorway is 30", I want to take off the trim molding and make it 57" - 9" more on one side and 18" on the other. Will this need a header? It will leave 81" of load-bearing wall from the new opening to the exterior wall and only 51" on the other side because it ends because of a hallway that is 42" until it continues again another 116", that last 116" to the other exterior wall also has a 37" closet. Wow, I hope this isn't too confusing! I'd appreciate any thoughts on this. If it needs a header, I don't have a problem with that beause the attic above is finished and I work up there. I just don't want to pay for a job that's un-needed.
  8 answers
  • Kim Kilmer Kim Kilmer on Apr 14, 2015
    Doing something very similar in my cape as well. My brother-in-law is a carpenter and he said you are much better safe than sorry. Use the header it shouldn't add too much to the cost. Then again, I only pay for materials! :)
  • Tracy C Tracy C on Apr 14, 2015
    Alright Kim, thank you for the good advice!
  • Jane Jane on Apr 14, 2015
    I would get a professional to come & give you a bid on that job. Before you make a terrible error, I would gladly ask for some sound advise.
  • Ray Phillips Ray Phillips on Apr 14, 2015
    as a retired builder " and today really tired" you will need a header, There are several ways to go with it, but without a pic of both sides and a pic from bottom it is hard for me to recommend the way to go.. I take it that there is not a header now. that the 30" opening goes to the ceiling. Cut out the drywall on both sides to the opening you want. plus 1 1/2 on both sides Then cut out drywall 10" from the ceiling on both sides to both ends of the room. then rip plywood 10" and glue and nail or screw to the studs on both sides. then cut out the studs from the bottom of the plywood back to the drywall. Now cut 2 2x10 boards and nail a piece of plywood between them and that is your header raise it to the ceiling and glue and nail it to the plywood. Now cut 2 studs the length from the floor to the header and nail then in place at the end of the header add a piece of plywood to bottom of header and trim around the opening . Paint or stain the plywood. I twill look like a beam from end to end. Hope this helps. if I can help go to my FB page and message me and I will send my phone #. Hope everyone here has a great and blessed day.
  • Donna Donna on Apr 14, 2015
    My husband did this in our home over 20 years ago. Yes, he left a header. He just cut out the size opening we wanted and where we wanted it, but left about 10 inches from the ceiling down in the opening. What a difference it made.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Apr 15, 2015
    I removed a door and widened the opening by stairs to a 3rd floor. The carpenter put in a triple header using 2 x 8s or 2 x 6s - looked like planks screwed together or such. Wood casing and trim covered most, but he put a piece of drywall over what was exposed.
  • Tracy C Tracy C on Apr 15, 2015
    Good morning everyone.....it was so nice of you all to respond to my question. I would never attempt to do this without getting answers first and I really thought it needed a header even though I'm not widening a great distance. Ray, thanks for all the detailed instructions! I will show your post to my hubby and ask if he is confident we can do this job. I will probably end up asking for your number so I can talk to you before we begin if we do, to make sure we understand completely. BTW, the doorway opening is only 78" in height and from the top of the doorway it's another 17" to the ceiling. If we decide to go with a carpenter on this do you have any idea of what price range it will cost for a job like this? We won't be doing this until June but it's one of the first things we need to do to remodel the kitchen.
  • Ray Phillips Ray Phillips on Apr 16, 2015
    I have no clue as to the cost in Md. In my area it will run around 1000.00 depending on how tight the work area is. go on FB and send friend request and I will send phone number. There are a lot of Ray Phillips on Fb. I am wearing a Confederate uniform with cowboy hat. This a pic of my Police Chief and I last year. wearing my uniform. Have a great and blessed day.