7 foot header for wall opening

Old 07-15-03, 05:07 PM
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7 foot header for wall opening

I am looking to open up 2 connected walls (they are in an 'L' shape with the longer wall being 7 feet, and the shorter being 3 feet) that separate my kitchen from the living room and dining room. Here is a link to pictures of the wall, with the drywall removed: http://www.echofinace.com/header/default.htm My intentions are to remove the 4 studs on the 7 foot wall and add a 4x8 header directly under the existing pair of 2x4's at the top of the studs. The 7 foot wall runs perpendicular the ceiling supports ( one story, concrete foundation ). There is a 13 foot span from the adjacent living room wall, and another 9 feet to the outside wall. I know the wall supports the ceiling beams, as they meet above the 7 foot wall in the attic, but the 7 foot wall provides no other visible support to the roof. There is no 'post' where the 2 walls meet at the 'L' - just 1 2x4 on the 3 foot wall, and 2 2x4's on the 7 foot wall. My question is will adding a 4x8 header be sufficient to carry the load of the 4 studs I am replacing. Also, should I replace the 2x4ís on both ends with 4x4ís? I can see on the right of the 7 foot wall, above the doorway is a 4x6 header on the span to the other wall in the kitchen that is doing the same thing as I intend to do. Lastly, do I need another header for the 3 foot wall. Thanks.
Old 07-17-03, 01:52 PM
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The diagonal brace would appear to make this a shear wall. You probably need to consult a structral engineer and get a PE seal on the change. It may be possible to use plywood to restore the strength lost by removing the diagonal, but only an on site inspection can tell.

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