There are three types of door widening. Your door will be located either on a load bearing wall, a non load bearing wall, or an exterior wall which is also load bearing. The difference between the types of doors is purely structural.
An interior non load bearing wall will be found on any wall that is not located directly above foundation structure, i.e. the main beam and the foundation walls. This means that the wall that the door is located in is not directly holding the weight of the house. So we do not need a solid header, which refers to the space above the door opening. An interior load bearing is located on a wall that is directly above the foundation structure. These walls hold the weight of the house. A load bearing door frame needs to have a solid header to span the gap in the structural wall. This distributes the weight of the house properly. The difference between an interior and an exterior load bearing walls is that the exterior wall must be insulated and sealed to prevent the elements from penetrating into your house.
When widening a door there are a couple things to take in to account. First, for a simple door widening, we must remove the door, door casing, and the drywall from our work space. It is best to attempt to reconfigure the structure of the door frame from one side of the wall with minimal damage to the drywall on the opposite side of the wall. Any door that leads into another room most likely has light switch on the wall. Depending on how close the switch is to the door it might be necessary to have an electrician move the switch to a different accessible location. There will be a piece of flooring missing after reconfiguring the door frame. If the home owner has extra flooring we can level out any kind of flooring. If there is no extra flooring then we can either try to find a match, install a transition strip, or replace the flooring all together, this depends on the desired finish quality. For the best finish quality we seamlessly install new drywall; paint match the surrounding wall or paint all the walls a new color if desired; stain match the door casing, trim, and door; and install a lever style door handle with matching hardware. Any door that is more narrow than thirty two inches should be considered for widening.
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