Moving a Doorway in a Load-bearing wall

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Posted by: from Thornhill
2/16/2012 at 2:46:45 PM

I plan on moving a doorway approximately 33 inches on a load-bearing wall. I realize that the load must be supported on both sides, as the joists are overlapping on this wall, while the doorway is being moved.

My problem is that one of the two Point Loads from the new doorway down in the basement, from the one side of the new doorway, will be directly over the mid-span of another doorway.

My thought was to extend the Header Plate from the doorway being moved an extra distance to spread the Point-load out further.

Does this make sound engineering?

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Date/Time2/16/2012 at 3:40:39 PM

It's not really required for a door way. The point load is really only carrying 15" of the floor above (in a 30" opening). However if you can overspan the opening below, that would be prefered. You can't make it to strong. Try to place the piont load that is carrying the new header, overtop of one of the floor jiosts. That will carry the load to the wall below.

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Date/Time2/16/2012 at 4:51:05 PM

Hi Alan,

Probaly your best and safest bet would be to hire an engineer, to design your project. Doesn't necessary mean its expensive, I mean its alot cheaper to pay a few bucks for a professionals advise, then trying to wing it yourself or rely on others to comment.

At the end of the day, if you have a major sturctual defect, how much will it cost you to correct it? And if the modification colaspes after you've moved out, well now you have a law suit to deal with, how inexpensive is that??

We have an engineer we sublet alot of our interior remodeling to, usally cost less than a $1k and often more than $500.

Hope this has been helpfull



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Date/Time3/11/2012 at 11:25:09 PM

Hey Allan.

You have the right idea. It is always a good idea to cary point loads away from door openings. You more than likely wouldn't have a problem with it landing in the middle of the door below, especially since it should have a header as well.

But I agree with you with moving it over, providing your new header is sized properly for the span you are creating.

Good luck!


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Alan in Thornhill
Date/Time3/12/2012 at 9:10:56 AM

Just getting back to Joe from Clearwaters comment. I took your advice and double checked with an Engineer.

In the end there was a simple solution to my situation, but not the original solution to me renovation. My wife changed up the layout, which transferred the pointload to a load-bearing portion of the basement wall.

But, according to the Engineer, I could have doubled up on the doorway header and added more jack-studs to distribute the loading, because the doorway in the basement was an entrance to a storage area, thus the extra bulkheading would not have been readily seen.

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