Door in load bearing wall


Old 12-14-05, 05:32 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 66
Question Door in load bearing wall

Hello. First time in forum.

I am putting a door (32" RO) into a second floor load bearing wall in my house. The walls are about 8'8" high. Above is a finished attic and the wall sits on the load bearing wall in the first floor below. Second floor ceiling joists overlap on the top plate and floor joists overlap under the bottom plate of the second floor wall (on the top plate of the first floor wall). I hope I'm being clear. There is no subfloor under the finshed floor so the bottom plate of the second floor wall sits directly on top of the floor joists. Wall studs and floor joists are 16" OC.

I got a building permit and framed in the door. Header is 2 2X6 with 1/2" plywood sandwiched between on 2X4 jack studs. Once I got this done it occurred to me that once I cut out the section of bottom plate to finish the doorway (I have not done this yet) the jack and king studs on either side of the doorway will be hanging out unsupported. There is no subfloor and the studs did not hit directly over the floor joists - one side overhangs by about 2" and the other side hangs over by about 4.5". I am thinking of placing 2X4 pieces on end directly under the studs between the bottom plate of the second floor and the top plate of the first floor and attaching them to the nearest floor joist. On the one side I will probably have to stack them 3 deep to support the entire overhang. Does this make sense or do I have to come up with some othe fix? If so, how should I go about attaching the supports? How many and what type of fasteners, etc? I guess worst case I can leave the bottom plate section in and have an elevated threshold, but really don't want to do that.

Thanks. BTW, if it makes a difference I live in Newport, KY.
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Old 12-16-05, 09:40 AM
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Before you do anything else you are going to have to make sure that you new header is 33 1/2" loner than you door. you rough framing has to be 1 1/2" wider than your door. This allows for door, jamb, and a constant reviel for shimming. My advise wouldov be if the lid or ceiling above the new door is drywall, cut out an area about 8' hang a 4x4 post from the ceiling joist with hurricane straps so the beam holds the weight of the above floor. Cut out the studs you will need to cut out to frame in the new opening. Then cut out you bottom plate. This way with the rough opening already framed in all you have to do is butt your sawzall up against your new king stud and cut out the bottom plate. Then install you new header, and cripples so that teh weight of the aboe floor is supported. Take the 4x4 post and hurricanes out replace sheetrock of lid. And you are done. I amgoing off of your info, which I think is a little legnthy. Some times you can give to much info. If at all possible send me a picture so I can get a better understanding of what you are looking at. Good luck.
Old 12-16-05, 10:16 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 66
32" RO is correct and will leave 1 1/2" for shimming. It is not a standard size door. I'll try to rephrase.

The new opening is currently in place with the king and jack studs sitting on the bottom plate, which has not yet been cut out. This is on the second floor with a finished attic above.

There is no subfloor (95 year old house) so the bottom plate sits directly on the floor joists.

The new king and jack studs did not land directly on joists so when I do cut the bottom plate out they will be hanging over from the joists about 2" on one side and about 4.5" on the other.

The top plate of the load bearing wall of the first floor sits directly below the bottom plate of the load bearing wall on the second floor (the one I put the opening into).

Since the studs need to bear fully on a plate, I want to put short (8") 2X4 on end under where the studs overhange the joists so that they will then bear on the top plate of the first floor bearing wall. Can I do this and how do I fasten the 2X4s in?

I hope this is a little clearer.

Old 12-16-05, 04:28 PM
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 3,140
I know exactly what you are trying to do. However, in order to give you a correct answer there are alot of variables to take into consideration as well as alot of mathmatical problems. Live load, dead loads, weight supported and the list goes on. I think I would ask your building inspector, permit section, or a structural engineer if this is safe. What may be good now, may develop into a big problem in a couple of months. Better to be safe then sorry. Good Luck
Old 12-25-05, 07:49 PM
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If there is no subfloor, then I would install blocking inbetween the joists were the king and jack stud are hanging over. I would also use a simpson tie that would also allow for the additional weight being placed in the blocking. Another idea would be to make your new header larger to connect to the next studs over from the door. this would allow you to build you door opening with minimal weight on the newly installed blocking. would still be a good idea to talk to an inspector to the possibility of these. As you know where it might fly in one place it would fail in another. Good luck

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