Expanding exterior door opening

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  #1  
Old 06-10-05, 12:54 PM
hswilly
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Expanding exterior door opening

I am expanding the opening where a door exhisted in an exterior wall. The door opened up into a mud/sun room which was an addition at some point in the homes life. The mud/sun room had only a storm door leading outside, so I put in a new exterior door in the storm door location and am removing the existing door between the mud/sun room and the inside of the house. Whew, that all said I am looking to expand the doorway, leading to the inside of the house from the mud/sun room, from 32" rough opening to a 54" opening. I am hoping to be able to stick the a 2x6 header across this opening as cieling height is an issue and the header would sit too low if I had to go with anything larger. Being that this is an exterior wall, will the be a large enough header for the opening dimension? The house is a cape and has a finished second floor, it has all 2x4 construction has a full basement and was constructed around 1940. Any advice is appreciated.
 
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Old 06-12-05, 05:45 PM
L
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Assuming that the wall is single story, use a 4X6, 0r a DOUBLE 2X6 for the header and you'll be fine. But if this was an original exterior wall to the house, be aware that it's a bearing wall!! If the wall is 2 story, you'll need a larger header. Height shouldn't be an issue if you have 8' ceilings and the door is 80" tall -- there's plenty of room in the wall for a 4X12 header if you choose to go that route.
 
  #3  
Old 06-13-05, 08:44 AM
hswilly
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Low ceilings

Thanks lefty - The wall IS an original exterior wall to the house and is definately load bearing. Because the ceiling heght in the house is less than eight feet (90"), the only way I could use something like a 2x10 or 2x12 is if I cut out the double top plate and I don't think one would want to do that - especially in the loadbearing exterior wall. Any suggestions?
 
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Old 06-14-05, 06:28 PM
L
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You certainly don't wan't to cut into the dbl. top plate. A 4X6 (or dbl 2X6) header might be your only solution. Measure carefully -- if a 4X8 (or dbl. 2X8) will work for the header, use that. If you have to rip 1/2" off of the 4X8 (or dbl. 2X8) to make it work, that wouldn't be a bad thing.

A single 2X is not a header. Use a 4X, or dbl. 2X's with a 1/2" fill between them.
 
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