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A question of exterior walls.

My sister’s house is a classic “converted cottage” and has a porch that was converted in to an interior living space room years ago. The old exterior door, but not frame, was removed as well as the window. Leaving a large opening similar to a kitchen pass through.

I have installed headers for enlarging a door opening in my own house on interior load bearing. However her wall is the original exterior wall which is holding up the 24”ish on center roof.

I want to open the door frame and window opening to tie that porch room and living room together better. What I want to know is, is there a difference when working with an exterior wall? It is carrying the roof rafters.

Do I need to make a header with something stronger like LVL, do I need double jack studs, or are lally columns needed? Also since it is an exterior wall do I have to build a support wall on both that floor and the basement below?


Re: A question of exterior walls.

What will be needed as a header or beam to span the opening will be based on the width of it. Under the supporting members (jack studs) there will need to be load-bearing suited to carry that load as well. You may have to add that if it's not there but with that being the original exterior wall I'd expect it to be supported well enough already unless someone altered it too. Call your local Building Code department for the specs you'll need to build to, they'll usually be very helpful with such things.


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