I was not able to upload a picture because it says invalid image but i uploaded to a different site:
It is a simple floor plan of the stair opening in my 1920's home. The joists are the larger lumber like most older homes at about 3"x8". The problem is that I hit my head near the bottom of the stairs or I have to plan limbo to get under. The stairs are already too steep so I cant reduce the run and the kitchen platform at the top of the stairs is already short so i cant move it back. I wanted to extend the opening to the next available floor joist for a longer overall opening but i'm not sure if this is ok or if I really do need to put out so much time and money for a structural engineer for what I see as such a small change.
The home is a 2 story with basement. Stairs for the upper floor are right above the basement stairs except extend much longer such that the load from the upper stairs stringers do not land directly above the joist in either the before or after image.
My plan is to cut the joist where I hit my head, remove the 2 timbers running parallel to the stairs and replace them with 3 or 4 2x8's but longer to extend to the next joist. Finally, what do you think?