Finishing Basement - Open space in load bearing wall

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Old 07-10-18, 10:24 AM
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Finishing Basement - Open space in load bearing wall

The only exterior door in my basement is in a framed area that only makes sense to be an unfinished work room. For that reason, I would like to create an opening in a load bearing wall so that the exterior door would be accessible from the finished part of the basement.
The load bearing wall in the basement is built with 2x6 and is about 9ft high. There are two stories above this. The basement rafters run perpendicular to the load bearing wall.

I have attached a picture detailing what I would like to do.
1. what would be a reasonable size for the opening. I wasn't plan to have a door in the opening. Just opened to the finished space.
2. How big should the space between the finished room and the exterior (i.e. mudroom) door be.
3. What size header would I need? Is there a calculator somewhere?

I will need to build a temporary support wall while i get the new header in place. Are there any tips on the best way to accomplish this?
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Old 07-10-18, 12:51 PM
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1. If going to the trouble of making an opening in the load bearing wall I would make it a rough in size for a 36" door. That way in the future if you want to install a door it will be much easier. So, I'd make the opening 38" wide. If you don't want a door just finish it off like a normal non-door opening and the framing will be there in the future if someone ever wants a door.

2. That's entirely up to you. Keep in mind door swings. Also keep in mind that a mud room is kind of useless if there is no place to store muddy boots or hang wet coats or a bench to sit on.

3. I would use 2x8" or larger for your header. You might get away with 2x6" but it's impossible to say without knowing what loads are on that wall from above and it sounds like you have plenty of height to work with.


As for supporting the area while you work that depends on where the studs fall above. Depending on your opening size and joist spacing above you'll probably have to support at least two joists on each side of the opening. If you aren't going to be cutting into the double top plates a person feeling lucky might even do it without temporary bracing, especially if you had your header and cripples ready to go in quickly. If you start cutting out the studs and your saw blade is getting bound-up or pinched then put in bracing before proceeding.
 
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Old 07-10-18, 01:11 PM
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thanks for the insightful comments. Now that you mention it, the second floor is supported by the outside wall and a post the is above the wall in question but at least 10 ft away from where I plan to make the opening. maybe i dont need to support it.
i have lots of headroom so using 2x10 would work well.
When i do cut the opening, should i beef up the wall as it tees into the exterior wall. As I indicated, no weight feok the second floor is being carried here.
 
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Old 07-10-18, 03:25 PM
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You could beef up the interior wall's connection to the exterior wall. A steel bracket and the proper fasteners could be added. Are you having a problem or is there a reason you want to reinforce that connection?
 
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Old 07-10-18, 03:44 PM
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No obvious problem. Just asking in case. First i have to finish some work in the kitchen . This will probably be the next project. Of course, it is never that easy. Went to start adding outlets to the rooms thar are framed out in the basement but the breaker panel is absolutely full with tandem breaker where the box would allow them. Will probably have to wire up a subpanel. That wont get in the way of framing up the mud room.
 
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