Until the late 20th Century homes were usually built with small rooms connected by hallways. People now want more open space, and the entire first floors of homes are often built without doorways between downstairs areas.

This Williamstown, MA garrison built in the late 60’s has a stairway straight ahead as you enter the front door, and had a door on the right side separating the entry and living room from the dining room. I opened up the passageway and enhanced the stairs with turned baluster ends. Since the walls were non-supporting, there was no need to add supporting beams, as shown in the photo.

We also removed the walls between the dining room and kitchen (not shown), and between the living room and the “music room”, creating an open floor space  with only a short hall to the downstairs bath and basement. Those walls ran down the middle of the house and supported the ceiling/2nd floor joists and upstairs walls.  Instead of installing a beam below the ceiling line, we temporarily supported the joists and recessed a beam between the ceiling and 2nd floor.