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Creating a Pass Through


In our raised ranch home, and in many bi-level homes, when you walk up the stairs from the main entrance, in front of you is usually the kitchen along with dining room, family room and hallway to other bedrooms.

If you remember, we are trying to customize our raised ranch as much as possible so it doesn’t look so cookie cutter.

For example, we replaced the ordinary railing for a beautiful built in, which you might have already read about.

The next thing we wanted to accomplish is to bring more light into our kitchen. As of right now and will be changing soon…the cabinets are a honey oak, and the counter tops are a brown tile. Which isn’t reflecting much light.

There is also a window above the sink, but it looks out into our sunroom so not a ton of light is coming in.

In our family room we have a large bay window and over the front door we have a window as well. These bring in a lot of light but we needed to let that light into our kitchen.

When you come to the top of the stairs there is a wall that divides the kitchen and the family room. We knew we had to open that up.


For now we didn’t want to do MAJOR construction like taking the wall down and adding a header etc. So we opted for an opening to let the light flow into the kitchen.

Here is how we did it…

First, we found the studs, we needed to leave enough support on the sides since it is a load bearing wall. We then marked, leveled and measured where we wanted the opening to be. Notice my trusty “figure outer” my mom, also known as Retired Grammie.


Second, we cut the sheet rock and teared it down. Here is what it looks like from the living room side..


And the kitchen side…notice the light pouring in!

during kitchen side

We cut the studs inside the hole, and put our frame boards in place. We used pine, cut to size and screwed them into the remaining studs, framed the outside with a little trim, caulked the holes and gaps, primed and painted!

I love the way it turned out and how much light it brings into the kitchen!

Bonus…now I have another place to decorate for holidays since we don’t have a mantel!

What do you think?

I’m so ready to tackle those cabinets….

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Rita Willis

Tuesday 5th of September 2017

Your pass through is the exact one I was needing help on how to do .Great instruction. Crystal clear. I am also a Retired Grammie. Thank you.


Friday 27th of January 2017

Nice job, the renovation looks great!

Just a word of caution when working on a load bearing wall for anybody else that might be thinking about doing this. You have to be very careful. If you open too big a hole, you will not leave enough support to hold up your house. You have to at least use a header.


Wednesday 7th of September 2016

We knocked the whole upper wall out and now have a really nice island, we also had enough room in the dining room side to put in patio doors to our bi-level deck. I love your front entrance that's our next project.


Saturday 12th of March 2016

We are thinking about doing this in our kitchen/living room. How much did this cost you? It looks great and really opens up the space!


Sunday 13th of March 2016

Thanks! Since we did it ourselves the only things we purchased is the wood and trim. So I would say under $40

Jodie Jacobs

Thursday 10th of December 2015

I love the paint color! What color is it?


Saturday 12th of December 2015

Thanks! It's Perfect Greige by Sherwin Williams.