We are considering removing our bay windows to create a larger kitchen in the adjacent sunroom (we do plan to add insulation throughout the floor, walls, and roof). Through some online research, we are seeing most bay windows are constructed with an overhead beam spanning the entire width of the bay window, rather than including any studs between the individual bays. Is that standard construction or is there a possibility of load bearing studs between the bays? We plan to fill in the door with standard framing so if the end king stud is in fact located between the door and bay window, that will remain.

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2 Answers 2


Your pic shows what is obviously a header spanning over the door to the left and continuing over the bay windows. The bay would be on an outside wall so that the header would be supporting the roof or floor above (the major load).

Since you want to remove the bay windows, do an exploratory removal of the drywall over the center window. That opening will tell you if there is any other structural support, or if there is just the normal framing for the windows. (most likely). You will probably find some studs tied into floor joists or roof rafter tails, depending on whether you have a second story above the bay.

Most likely the windows can be removed. Bay window framing does not have good loadbearing properties for much anything other that a light load such as some plywood and shingles over the bay.


The "overhead beam spanning the entire width of the bay window" is called a "header" and yes, you'll have one over the window bay opening, over the door opening and over every other window and door in the house.

It looks like the floor is cantilevered out to fill the bay and that there's no ledge underneath the windows. In that case, yes, there will also be some load bearing studs between the individual windows in the bay. They'll be carrying the (relatively small) load of whatever kind of roof there is over the top of the bay down to either the foundation/footing under the bay, or to the floor joists that cantilever over the foundation to support the bottom of the bay.

AIUI, you're looking to make the bay a large opening into an existing sun room on the other side of the glass. My assumption is that this sun room was an earlier addition to the house because one doesn't normally have a bay window on an interior wall. Even with those assumptions, the statements above still stand, because this is how the house would have been build prior to the sun room addition.


Yes, this is standard construction, and yes, it's likely that there are some sort of load bearing studs between the windows, but they can, most likely be removed.


Your best bet when modifying load bearing walls in an existing structure is to get your plan reviewed by a licensed Structural Engineer. It might be required by your locale to get a building permit (though this would probably fall under "renovation" and may not need a permit). Your insurance company would probably love you if you don't get your plans reviewed, because they could use that as an excuse to deny a claim should something ever go wrong.

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