Long time follower, first time poster.
I have a question in regards to the load bearing status of my home. I am attaching some photo and wanted to see anyone professional opinion of the layout and whether or not the highlighted box in the middle of the plan can have the walls removed or walls removed but columns placed at the stair edge.
I typically see this style home with open bannisters, and my ultimate plan is to open the wall from the living into the kitchen and have the stairs contain ballisters instead of the walls. The ceiling is vaulted. I knocked on the walls and they are stud walls, but I have no visibility to the top portion.
Please let me know any items of clarification! The basement has the joists running perpendicular to the wall, thus I ask.