Header for new basement window?

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Old 11-23-13, 07:54 AM
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Header for new basement window?

Hi everyone one this is my first post. I looked around for similar posts that may answer my question buy mine may be a little specific. I want to install a new window in the basement of my split foyer house. The basement walls are concrete block 3 and a half feet high with wood framing above that. The window will be entirely in the wood framing but I'm not sure if I need a header and if so what size header I will need. The wall is running parallel to the floor joists so is not taking any of the load there. That end of the house is also on the gable end so the roof trusses are not distributing there load there. I was told if you install a window on the upper floor of the gable end you don't need a header but I wasn't sure if I moved down one floor if the same is true. The basement is completely finished so I can't look at other windows to see how they were framed. It will just be a standard size window, probably 35"x35". Any help would be appreciated.
 
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Old 11-23-13, 08:07 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Short answer, yes you will need a header. Gables are self supporting, but a basement not so. Even though the joists are running parallel to your installation, the plate above is holding up your house. You will need a header at least 7" longer than your window rough opening and it should be doubled 2x lumber sandwiched with 1/2" plywood. I don't know the dimensions of your window, so the 2x measurement will be in question. No less than 2x6, and 2x10 if it is a long window. Post a few pictures so we can see what you are seeing. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
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Old 11-23-13, 08:36 AM
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I would think that if height is an issue, and your rim joist is (or could be) doubled, that would be all the header you would need. If you have the height, then by all means do it the way Larry is suggesting. For such a small window (35x35) I would make the header 39" if it is framed below the plate and between king studs... which is just 3" longer than the window RO. If you double the rim joist and put the header above the plate then I would think you'd make it at least 12" longer on each side and then add blocking on each end to the adjacent joist.
 
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Old 11-23-13, 10:49 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I have posted a few pics of the area for clarification.
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Old 11-23-13, 11:01 AM
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As Brant said, it will largely depend on the elevation of the window. Are there other windows on this same wall? One thing you will need to address is the RG6 cable on the left. You can stud just to the right of it and carry over into the 3rd bay for your RO. You'll also need to address your trim on the left, leaving at least 3" for trim so it doesn't interfere with the panel.
 
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Old 11-23-13, 11:24 AM
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Yeah I would wonder what's behind the plastic up above the double top plate, if you intend to keep the window as high as possible.
 
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Old 11-23-13, 11:33 AM
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Right now that area is in a closet. I will be removing the door and will be putting in a small bi-fold door to conceal the panel. The grade outside is a few inches below the block wall so I was going to center the window between the panel/right wall and bottom plate/top plate leaving enough room all around for trim. I will reroute the coax cable after I install the bi-fold door in it's place. Will this plan work or do I need to alter it? Will the 2x6 double top plate be enough or do I need to install a header in this area?
 
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Old 11-23-13, 08:47 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

That closet appears narrower than 36" deep..... Chapter 34 - General Requirements

The same is true; no header- other than a flat 2x at the window head- is required for exterior non-bearing wall; Chapter 6 - Wall Construction

Gary
 
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Old 11-23-13, 09:14 PM
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That's a load bearing wall since it's part of the foundation --- regardless if it's on the same end of the house the gable is.
Personally, I would suggest you either talk with the municipal building department ( AHJ ) as to what they would like to see or have an engineer give you his appraisal to submit for your permit.
 
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Old 11-24-13, 09:05 AM
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Thanks for the help! I will put in a header just to be safe. I think I will have the header as high as possible so the top plate is resting on it.
 
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Old 11-24-13, 04:09 PM
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Good you got it done. Permits are always nice.... especially if you removed part of a braced panel with the hole, or have a point load above such as a ridge beam post or a stairwell hole header joist landing there. You would see signs of this with solid blocking in the rim joist bay, directly below the point load.

"That's a load bearing wall since it's part of the foundation --- regardless if it's on the same end of the house the gable is."----------------- Not in MN or the U.S. under the IRC or IBC, maybe in Canada. The rim joist (if one piece from bearing to bearing) takes the load and places it on the bearing points, Fig.6, a-c; https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...RMyCq7zQ737mAg

As the OP is under the IRC; Minnesota's Residential Code - Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry

Under that code a wall running with the joists is non-bearing, even exterior;
"R602.2 Grade. Studs shall be a minimum No. 3, standard or stud grade lumber.

Exception: Bearing studs not supporting floors and nonbearing studs may be utility grade lumber, provided the studs are spaced in accordance with Table R602.3(5)." From; Chapter 6 - Wall Construction

Those side walls are non-bearing and do not require solid headers; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...ure-of-framing As long as the framing is "prescriptive" and to code minimum; rafters full length- not pieced together on a gable, floor joists full-length on the wall from bearing to bearing.

Here is a discussion where some learned about non-bearing walls without headers; ICC Bulletin Board: Economy Framing

BTW, that wall is part of the (basement) story framing, not the foundation--- it stops after the mudsill unless a wood foundation--- and it doesn't appear to be all pressure treated wood to me; Chapter 4 - Foundations

Local AHJ would list the local amendments, as you said.

Gary
 
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Old 11-24-13, 05:10 PM
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Gary your premise is good, if and only if the bearing member is "one piece", and I doubt the rim is in one piece. From this point the argument about the wall being load bearing is moot. It bears the load along that wall.
 
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Old 11-24-13, 07:14 PM
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Gary --- I guess my comment should have been worded * in my opinion *.

In my interpretation of buidings codes the perimeter foundation -- A foundation system that is located under the exterior walls of a building.

This is one definition of common construction terms that many jurisdictions use in defining aspects of the building codes. From what I see even the City of Seattle follows this and apparently so does the State of Minnesota.

Also is there any particular information that you have which directly points to saying a * foundation* is only that portion below grade and stops a grade level ?

In cases like this the concrete portion of the foundation *system* is done for a variety of reasons --- such as cost savings. Whereby concrete which is generally more expensive material and labour is only used to the depth to meet code requirements for frost lines. The remainder of the foundation *system* is extended from grade upward the support the exterior walls --- floor structure as well but that's another consideration.

The key word is *system*.

We have similar situations as this and this is where interpretation comes into play when things are engineered outside what is commonly done.
Does that portion of the wood structure that begins and extends above grade need to meet requirements for that below grade?

This is an example where the engineered design is submitted for review and approval and it's up to those folks to come up with an answer.

Below is an exerpt from that Minnesota Building Code link you provided.

Subp. 13. Alternative materials, design, and methods of construction and equipment.
The code is not intended to prevent the installation of any material or to prohibit any design or method of construction not specifically prescribed by the code, provided that any alternative has been approved. An alternative material, design, or method of construction shall be approved where the building official finds that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the intent of the code, and that the material, method, or work offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in the code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability, and safety. The details of any action granting approval of an alternate shall be recorded and entered in the files of the Department of Building Safety.



The above is a very common verbage used in many jurisditions when it comes to code. In other words what you have provided with links to the IBC and other codes is not set in stone --- it's only a minimum standard that materials , design and methods are referenced to .



Anyway --- I apologize if this thread has gotten side tracked.
 
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Old 11-27-13, 06:22 PM
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Yes, that got carried away........ As XSleeper touched on in the 3rd post, the rim (if 1-2x8) alone and a 4' span will carry 3285# total or 821# per sq.ft.; but- as it shares the square footage with the next joist at 16" away- it only carries 8" of floor (or 1232# per lin.ft.) minus the wall load (50# framing, drywall, ins., floor load- incl. cement siding) still leaves you with 1182# per lin.ft. If the rim is cut in that span, cantilevered figures come into play....lol.

BTW, ryu2078, the gable truss has to be a structural gable to pull the weight away- many times the builder used a studded only gable end truss for less cost- ; STRUCTUREmag - Structural Engineering Magazine, Tradeshow: Wood Truss Gable End Frames though in your case the rim joist should handle it. For others, be sure to insulate the empty header cavity; http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...,d.cGE&cad=rja

Gary
 
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