How to Install a Load-Bearing Beam
Whether you are creating a new opening in a load-bearing wall or just widening an existing opening, your work will require the addition of a header or beam. These structural members–which can be solid wood, engineered building components such as an LVL, or even steel–are designed to transfer the weight right above the opening down the two sides, and onto another properly sized component. Without this intentional route for the weight to be transferred, known as a load path, the structure above the opening will not be adequately supported, and in minor cases can sag, or in serious cases, can collapse. Here’s how to temporarily support the overhead load and add in a new structural beam to replace the current load-bearing wall.