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I have a 15 foot span with an opening of 8 feet already there.

I want to know what size beam I should use to be able to take down the rest of the wall. I’m curious of what size beam would I need to be safe? I don’t have a second floor, just ceiling joists above.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. It's going to be hard for us to give you a safe recommendation, but let's see what answers you get. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. – Daniel Griscom Nov 18 '19 at 0:37
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    You're going to want to retain a structural engineer to evaluate the required load handling capacity. There are far too many variables to make such an evaluation just by looking at this photo. – jwh20 Nov 18 '19 at 0:54
  • OK, I edited that detail into the question. (You can do the same!) – UuDdLrLrSs Nov 18 '19 at 12:25
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The box crossing the 8 foot opening is rather shallow (in height) and it seems unlikely there's really a beam in there. If there's no true beam there now that raises the probability that you can freely make the opening wider.

There are several things you could do to find out whether there's a beam in that box. One is to pull the drywall off one side and have a look. (I'm guessing it may be 2 or 3 2x4s nailed up into the bottoms of the trusses and serves only to support the drywall.)

If there is a beam in the box there'll be two or more studs at the left and right sides of the opening to support it. Probe the sides of the opening, ie between the light switch and the opening, to see how much wood is there. You could do it with a stud finder, a nail, a drill, etc.

Another thing to check is the roof trusses. Look at how the webbing members are arranged in the truss. Do a pair of webs come together and rest directly on top of this wall? If so the wall is likely bearing, but if not, the wall is likely non-structural.

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  • You are assuming that wall is stud-and-drywall. In the UK, my first guess would be brick-and-plaster - so no studs to support the beam. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Nov 18 '19 at 16:30
  • Brick and plaster on an interior wall? – isherwood Nov 18 '19 at 17:19

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