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I just raised a door frame, by removing the drywall over the door opening.

On each side, I found studs that are just the right distance in. I'll be able to patch that just well. (Beginner, it will be a hack job, but that's ok)

On the top, though, there seems to be a non-load-bearing piece of wood (stud? joist?). Seems to be a 2x4, so it protrudes over the ceiling drywall. Is there any easy way, tricks, to remove this with minimal destruction? I'd like to be able to finish the ceiling drywall and sides with new drywall pieces and compound+paper.

The overall opening: enter image description here

The top right corner, showing the sides, just right in, and the ceiling piece I'd like to remove: enter image description here

The top left side, zoomed-in, showing by how much the extra piece protrudes: enter image description here

Lastly, I guess I need to be careful not to weaken the sides. The top part is the part that continues, on the left and right of the door frame.

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That's the top wall plate, and it's certainly structural. (Maybe you meant "load-bearing", which it apparently isn't.) You can simply cut it flush with the stud faces and fill in the drywall, adding floating backing over the ceiling where needed. I'd use a reciprocating saw, but a small hand saw will work. You could also drill a series of holes against the stud to cut the plate off, then use a sharp chisel to trim off any protruding wood. A 1/2" or 3/4" spade bit would work well.

Interior walls (except in basements) usually have doubled top plates, but this closet may have been added later. It looks like there's just the one.

I suggest a little study into basic framing techniques before you proceed. Hopefully you haven't removed a bearing header.

enter image description here

image source

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  • Much helpful! Holes and chisel it will be, I'm sure it was not bearing. It was way too flimsy. Per the diagram, of the kind studs and trimmer studs, there is a single one on each side. And the header held with just two mails on each side.
    – Jeffrey
    Jun 27 at 16:30

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