Cutting stud in load bearing wall to create vent opening for cooktop hood


We are installing a wall mounted cooktop hood over a gas cooktop as part of our renos.

We have centered the cooktop along the kitchen wall but unfortunately that places the center line right in front of a stud (labeled #2 in the pictures) that is holding up an exterior wall. Shifting the cooktop position by 4-5 inches is problematic as it throws the cabinet configurations out of whack. We checked with the manufacturer of the hood and they advised that the vent should be 6" and of rigid material by code for gas cooktops. There is wiring running through the lower portion of these studs which also limits what we can do.

Please refer to the first picture below which shows the stud locations and the wiring.

We are considering an option where we cut the top part of the middle stud to allow us to create the vent opening for the hood. We then want to add framing members to provide support. This option is sketched in the second picture and shows the following:

  • cut top portion of the middle stud #2 above the wiring
  • insert 2x4s of same length as remainder of stud #2 but turned on their side behind and in front of wires on either side of stud #2. These are #7 and #8.
    NOTE: there will be a bit of space between the front and back studs so the studs should not press against the wiring. We can also create a small notch in the stud around the wiring if the space in between the studs is limited
  • install a new 2×4 stud #4 horizontally to sit on top of the turned studs #7, 8 and stud #2 and nailed to stud #1 and stud #3
  • install new 2×4 studs #5, 6 that sit on stud #4 and support the top plate where the top part of stud #2 was cut
  • ideally studs #5, 6 are positioned such that the hood can hang directly off these two studs.

We would like feedback from the forum experts. We are located in Toronto, Canada. Is this an adequate way of providing support once the top portion of the middle stud is cut? If not is there an alternate approach you can suggest?

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Best Answer

The correct way is to frame the opening with a header, jack studs(aka trimmers) and king studs in the same manner that window and door openings are framed. See image below for reference.

The header is typically made of two pieces of 2x lumber face nailed together, sometimes with a piece of 1/2” plywood between the two to make the depth of the header match the depth of the studs. You can probably use 2x6’s for such a short span.

You can locate the trimmers and king studs to hang the vent hood on, while the cripples below the sill of the opening should be located 16” on center (or whatever the existing stud spacing currently is) in relation to all other studs in the wall.

Of course, all of that wiring makes doing it the correct way difficult... What you are suggesting will work, but it is technically incorrect.

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