How far can I spawn a gap between posts on a load bearing wall?
I have an entry way from the living room to the dining room / kitchen area that I would like to expand. How far can I span across and meet up with double or triple studs on the other side? Also, there is a diagonal board going across the studs (1x6), which I don't understand and would also remove.
Picture from attic, the angled boards shown converge on the wall in question (it is perpendicular to the joints), but they only do that 5 times across the whole length of the house.
Here is a picture of the wall from the kitchen / dining area. Obviously they felt it could span the entry way (which I want to expand). Also that wall is not continuous, when it gets to the stairway it goes 80 inches without any support before another wall shows up.
There is also a diagonal board going across the studs (it is a 1x6). I am not sure what its purpose is, and whether I can remove it.