so i’ve finished removing everything from the door opening except for the single stud that cuts midway through the opening of the door. i’m not going to cut it until i run to the hardware store and get the pieces for my header. the header, in case you’re curious, will abut against the bottom edge of the middle stud (which will be cut to create an unobstructed door opening). since i’m only removing one stud, it’ll be a pretty small header. in bigger projects, you’d use two 2”x12” boards. in my case, i’m going to use 2”x8” boards. you cut a piece of plywood the same size as the boards, and sandwich it between the 2”x8” to give you proper thickness, then it spans the distance between the two studs that will now frame the door.
it won’t just be floating there, though; directly alongside the outer studs, there will be an additional stud, each of appropriate height to hold the header up so it pushes up on the portion of the stud i cut off for the doorway—so the ceiling will be supported a similar distribution to the original structure (especially important so we don’t get new unintended cracks in the plaster nearby). in larger projects, it is best to add a few more small stud pieces above the header (this is called a “cripple wall”) and i actually might do that since cutting the studs that will hold up the header will give me pieces that i will otherwise have no use for. it’ll be the teensiest cripple wall over the teensiest doorway.
oh yeah, that’s the other thing. in order not to take away valuable interior wall real estate in the closet and also to avoid chopping into two studs, the opening (due to a built-in in the hallway which bisects the right-hand side of the middle stud) will be a mere 20” wide, and that’s the widest it can be. this relies on me using really nice 2”x6”s as my header support studs, and sanding the heck out of them until the surface has a finished quality to it, so i can attach my face trim right onto that.
yeah, it looks like i’ve gotten a lot done, and i have, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. the most precarious step is the one i do next: adding the header support studs and the header itself!
here’s the basic anatomy of the doorway when i’m done:
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