Question I would like to increase the opening between the kitchen and family room. Currently there is a 30 inch door opening and I would like to increase it to 8 feet. This is a load bearing wall in the center of the house supporting the floor joists from the second floor. What size LDL doubled up would be required to support this remodel?
Answer Hi Gary, a rule of thumb for headers in general residential load bearing conditions is one inch of depth per foot of span using 4" material..so an eight foot opening would require a four inch by eight inch beam or in your instance a double LDL eight inches deep (or nominal 8" would be actual 7 1/2"). However, if there is something unusual about how the upstairs bears on the wall in that location the beam size may change. If that is the case you may want to have an engineer look at your design criteria. Sincerely, Bruce Johnson
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