Enlarging an interior doorway can make it easier to move furniture and other large objects between the rooms of your home. It can also improve the aesthetics of your interior space by giving your living area a more open feel. Enlarging a doorway is an extensive process that may take two or three weekends to complete. However, as long as the wall does not support the weight of the home's structure, you can complete this task using common carpentry supplies and tools. Does this Spark an idea?
Check the position of the wall to determine whether it runs perpendicular to the floor joists -- if it does, the wall may be load-bearing. Contact a building inspector or contractor if you are not sure whether the wall is load-bearing. Enlarging a doorway in a load-bearing wall may compromise the home's structure.
Mark the measurements of the enlarged doorway on both sides of the existing doorway using a measuring tape and a pencil. Snap a vertical chalk line at these marks to create the new doorway outline. Check both sides of the doorway to ensure that the project does not involve moving wires, light switches or electrical outlets.
Locate the studs on both sides of the existing doorway with a stud finder. If there is a stud behind one of the marks, you need to move the mark so that you do not cut through the stud while removing the drywall.
Cut the drywall along both lines on both sides of the wall with a drywall saw, starting about 2 inches from the top and ending about 2 inches from the bottom. Break the drywall on both sides of the existing doorway with a sledgehammer and remove the drywall with a pry bar.
Cut the soleplate of the wall frame along the expanded wall outline on each side using a reciprocating saw. Cut through the nails that attach the studs to the top plate. Remove the studs from the doorway with a pry bar.
Measure the interior distance between the top plate and the soleplate. Cut two sections of 2-by-4-inch lumber to this measurement to form the door studs. Stand one stud on each side of the doorway, so the exposed side of the stud is flush with the drywall cutout. Drive 4-inch wood screws through the studs and into the plates at 45-degree angles using a drill outfitted with a screwdriver bit.
Cut a section of 2-by-4-inch lumber to the distance between the new door studs to form the door header. Place this section horizontally between the studs, at least 84 inches from the floor. Attach the header to the studs with 4-inch wood screws driven at 45-degree angles.
Measure the interior distance between the header and the top plate. Cut one section of 2-by-4-inch lumber to this measurement for each 16 inches of door width. Stand these sections between the top plate and the header at 16-inch intervals. Drive 4-inch wood screws through these sections into the header and top plate at 45-degree angles.
Cut two sections of drywall to the height and width of the exposed area above the doorway, one for each side of the wall, using a drywall saw. Cut additional sections to fit the sides and top of the doorway. Attach these sections to the studs with 2-inch drywall screws at 4-inch intervals.
Apply drywall compound over the corners, seams and screw heads with a 4-inch putty knife. Cover the seams and corners with drywall tape. Allow the compound to dry overnight. Sand the compound and tape edges with a palm sander and paint the wall as desired.