New Kitchen Archway: Part 1

The original kitchen door in our house is framed the same as all the other doors in the house: 7′ x 3′.  The house is very compartmentalized, as it typically was back then, and we have been toying with the idea of trying to open up the kitchen a bit more to the rest of the house without disrupting the architectural flow too much.   Below are some photos of the door frame and the hallway it sits in pre-renovation (kitchen door is on the left):

Boy I really don’t miss those laminate floors!  You can see in the above photo on the right that there is a Tudor archway towards the end of the hall.  There is also another Tudor archway with more intricate detailing at the beginning of the hallway that we opened up as part of the restoration not too long ago (before/after photo below):

We also have a large Tudor archway in our dining room (pre-reno photo below):

Since we didn’t plan on having a door to the kitchen, and we also wanted to open things up as much as we could while still keeping with the original design, we thought that it might be a neat idea to create a new 8 1/2′ x 3 1/2′ Tudor archway as the entrance to the kitchen.  Since the doorway to the kitchen sits in a load-bearing wall this presented a few more challenges, but nothing that couldn’t be overcome with some careful planning and proper framing.

The first step was to take the load off of where the new archway would go.  For this we used a 2 1/2″ x 4″ stud that we had pulled from another part of the house for a brace post, a new 2×10″ to span 3 joists in the ceiling, and a bottle jack.  Photos from both sides below:

After taking the load off we removed the original rough opening and started framing in the new archway.  Some of the studs that we pulled out for the new master bedroom closet were cut to become jack studs for the new arch, and we simply reused the original king studs from the doorway.  For the load-bearing header we used new 2×10 lumber with 2x 1/2″ plywood sandwiched in-between so that we could get the full 4″ we needed to match the original full-dimension lumber.  Below is a photo of the original rough opening after we removed it (on the left), and Papa Pope with the new beam (on the right).

When all was said and done we had a brand new 8 1/2′ x 3 1/2′ archway leading to the kitchen that really opens things up and should let a lot more light into the hallway.  We’ll finish it similar to the archway leading into the hallway.  Below is a photo from inside the kitchen (on the left), and from inside the hall (on the right).  In the photo on the right you can see the original archway in the hall with the new archway to the kitchen on the left.  Both will get rounded at their ends during the finishing stages to make them true Tudor arches.


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