I'm working on a typical 1950's home with exposed ceiling rafters and a center beam that breaks at about 16' into the home and is supported there by a brick wall and a couple 4x4's. I'd like to pull out the beam, cut the sister beam that continues at this point into the rest of the house, back into the hallway and push a new longer beam through the living space and into the wall, with the goal of knocking out the brick divider/4x4s and opening up the living/dining/kitchen. My question is this: the span is approximately 25 feet from the front wall to the next support within the wall, what size beam should be used in order to ensure proper support of the ceiling, understanding that the beam will be supported at the ends (one end will run out the front house for an overhang and the other will be enclosed into the wall)? I've attached a picture of the home, the beam I'm referring to is at center.
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