We are in the middle of ripping out wood paneling in our living room and replacing with drywall.

After ripping out the paneling around the door we decided we'd like to raise our door frame up to be higher and to add an arch. This is our load bearing wall.

We were thinking about just doing two temporary A frames on either side of the door frame while we raise it.

Added better pictures (First one is a pan shot the beam is level and does not look morphed do to merging a large distance into a single picture)

Question: Is there a better way to go about raising the door frame or is this the easiest temporary solution.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  • That doesn't look like a typical load-bearing wall/header. The header isn't large enough and isn't supported properly for such a case. Are you sure it is? Photography tip: Turn your phone so you don't waste 60% of the shot on blank ceiling, then show us a wider (full) perspective. :) – isherwood Oct 9 '20 at 13:02
  • @isherwood based on the color of the wood and uneven spacing of the cripples, I'd venture that this is pretty old construction and thus isn't up to modern standards. I wouldn't discount this being at least somewhat load bearing based solely on light duty construction. – FreeMan Oct 9 '20 at 15:49
  • ... which is why I asked. We could speculate all day. :) – isherwood Oct 9 '20 at 16:04
  • I have updated pictures to not be awful, thanks to all the advice so far, not sure if this will change opinions of the best solution. – Kyle Oct 10 '20 at 4:24

I had a similar situation recently and here's what I did. Disclaimer-there might be better ways to do this and I suggest you wait on more answers or comments.

I created a temporary header near the doorway using 6x6's on the ceiling and floor, with bottle jacks and studs to hold the system up. I used foam board on the ceiling to not damage the drywall finish. Once everything is in place I slowly cranked up each bottle jack a little at a time until I could tell I was getting good pressure on the ceiling. If you go this route, you need to verify which way the floor and ceiling joists run, so that you can distribute the load. If you have trusses, make sure you put this on the side of the wall that keeps it under the truss. You will need someone to help get you get this set up, it's difficult to hold everything in place while working the bottle jacks. enter image description here

  • This is a good strategy, though a simple top plate and studs fit snugly will also do if jacks aren't available. – isherwood Oct 9 '20 at 13:05
  • OTOH, a pair of 12 or 20 ton bottle jacks can be had for a song. There's a place that gets all their freight from the harbor and they have some reasonably decent stuff these days at manageable prices. I used a couple of their 12T jacks to raise a PT 6x6 to support the porch roof while we rebuilt the porch underneath it. Supported the horizontal 6x6 with 2 vertical 6x6 resting on plywood plates to spread the load a bit on the grass. I used 6x6 post anchors to ensure the beam didn't wander off the posts. Maybe overkill, but better than workerkill... – FreeMan Oct 9 '20 at 15:54
  • To expand on Freeman's comment. Use the jacks to raise and support the beam and then cut temporary posts to fit snugly in order to safely support the beam while work is being done. You do not want to kick or bump a jacked post and have it come off the jack. Like using jack stands under you car instead of just relying the jack. – Alaska Man Oct 9 '20 at 19:35
  • I have updated pictures to not be awful, thanks to all the advice so far, not sure if this will change opinions of the best solution. – Kyle Oct 10 '20 at 4:24

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