I have a concern and a question about the same structural studs. If it matters, I am in Ontario, Canada.

Firstly, as you can see in the picture, the three 2x4 studs are holding up the four 2x8 beam above. Right below in the basement, there is a metal I-Beam running parallel to the beam you see in the picture. Above the drywall cut, there is a vent pipe running straight through these studs, removing a good chuck of these studs. When I pressed on the studs near the vent pipe, the studs would bend but then relax back to its normal state. Also the vent pipe is not being compressed as far as I can see. They did put some metal plates to prevent drilling through the vent pipe and I would assume to add strength, but these plates are not really attached that well as they are loose. I am making the assumption that there is not that much of a load on these studs. Is this structurally safe?

Secondly, I am redesigning the kitchen and have to move the stove to the left. The new exhaust vent for the range hood unfortunately lines up right in the middle of those 3 structural studs. Is there anyway to cut the hole in that spot and still keep the structural integrity. For example, adding a quad joist hanger to the beam, plus adding double 2x6 header just below the double top plate and redistribute the load around the vent hole?

Any help would be appreciated.

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  • How much of the stud depth(4 of the 2x4) are removed for the pipe(should be 1/3 or less)?
    – crip659
    Mar 25, 2022 at 21:57
  • Its a 2 inch pipe I believe, minimum 1.5 inch. so its a more than 50% cut. Also just three 2x4 studs. Mar 25, 2022 at 23:07
  • 1
    Will let the builders on here answer, but it does seem concerning. Three studs should be enough if not notched that much.
    – crip659
    Mar 25, 2022 at 23:26
  • Hoping I can get a solution to my Exhaust vent problem as well! Mar 25, 2022 at 23:33
  • Is thickening the wall a potential solution?
    – isherwood
    Mar 26, 2022 at 1:52

1 Answer 1


Yeah, this is a potential problem (at least from a code/inspection standpoint). It's the reason 2x6 walls are built in situations like this. You need to retain a larger portion of the stud, and ideally you don't notch, you bore, which leaves much more rigidity in the remaining stud.

The reason you haven't seen serious sag is because there are so many studs concentrated in that area, sharing the load. The exact fix somewhat depends on what the beam carries, along with other factors. I'd get a local expert in to have a look at the entire area and offer advice.

By the way, those plates add nothing as far as strength. The plumber was only concerned with his or her pipes.

  • @StephanJohn Anyway to re-route the vent pipe, maybe go down below the floor and then across. Bottom and top plates usually more forgiving of having large holes in them, than studs.
    – crip659
    Mar 26, 2022 at 12:34
  • Asked the plumber, would be very difficult. The pipe going horizontal seems to be a vent pipe for the basement bathroom on the opposite side of the house. Secondly directly below the main vent stack, is drywalled off in a finished basement. Thirdly, to the right of that stack, below the 3 studs, is the metal I-beam which would be in the way of the vent if rerouted. Big mess right now. Mar 28, 2022 at 14:52

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