The 36" wide closets for each of these rooms extend up to the wall of the opposing room. This results in a not very useful 42" deep closet.
The steel beam runs under the 2 closets thus the load bearing walls are either the walls leading up to and away from each closet or shared between the two.
My goal is to widen the 36" closets on either side creating a 72" x 47" hole between the rooms in which I can slide a couple of opposing, prefab wardrobes.
Anyone know roughly how wide the header beams need to be to span 72"? Considering I will be doing it on both sides of the main beam I assume the headers will be relatively small.
I mainly want to get an idea if this is reasonable before hiring a structural guy to calculate exactly what I need.
Another option is to properly frame the wall between the two rooms and save myself the header headache. But by doing that I would incur 4" loss in depth. Limiting my closets to 43"/2 which is a bit to small to fit the prefab wardrobes(23"). Each one would stick out by 1.5".
Perhaps not drywalling and instead using the wooden backing of the wardrobe would get me closer but not sure if that is even allowable.
Any thoughts or suggestions? The diagram shows the before and after ideas.