Catching up on the blog: We put new windows into the living room about 3 weekends ago. This involved pulling out out the old 8' wide windows, removing the short wall between the two windows, adding in posts, and filling in the left-side corner. Unfortunately the old windows had broken seals and frames, and were only fit to go to the landfill.
The first picture is "before" and the second is "after"...
While the original layout was OK, I think the entire wall of windows is better. It brings the full view of the outdoors into living room, except for two posts.
I cut back the two existing headers, put posts in, and added a third header in the center. The posts are made of three 2x4's glued and nailed together - two jack studs and one king stud. These are sandwiched on the inside and outside with 1/2 plywood that is glued and nailed as well. This makes very strong posts that shouldn't have any problem holding up the headers, trusses and roof.
The sheetrock is back in place, taped, mudded and textured. Once my DW does the painting, I'll re-trim everything out and call it done.