Header Framing Techniques

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  #1  
Old 09-29-05, 09:52 AM
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Question Header Framing Techniques

Hi,

I'll be installing a doorway into an existing load-bearing wall. I've discussed the load requirements with the local Trusjoist Engineer, and we calculated that a 7 1/4" LVL Header will fit the need comfortably. The span is 3'.

The challenge I have is available height for the rough opening.

My question is this: from a framing standpoint, can I cut-out one or both of the double top plates and place the Header directly below the rim joists? The ceiling joists run paralell to the wall that the doorway will be in.

I could probably get-by cutting-out the just the lower of the double top plates, but the extra 1 1/2" that the upper top plate uses would really be helpful, because the doorway leads into the basement.

Thanks in advance.

Regards,

H
 
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  #2  
Old 09-29-05, 10:35 AM
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it should have at least

one top plate. If you can get by with leaving the top one then do so.
 
  #3  
Old 09-30-05, 10:12 AM
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As stated, leave one top plate it tact. Unless you already purchased the LVL, I would use a double 2x6. Since 2x6's are only 5.5" you would save another 1 3/4'. Unless there are other structural issues, a double 2x6 should be plenty. If you think that a double 2x6 is borderline, you can sandwich 1/2" plywood in between and still fit into a 2x4 wall. Of course I can't be sure without seeing the structure, but usually (not always) the walls running paralell to the CJ's don't carry as much of the load as the walls running perpendicular.
 
  #4  
Old 10-01-05, 10:54 AM
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Thanks for the feedback.

I had hoped to use a 'shorter' header, such as 2x6 to save a couple of inches, but based on the structure we decided that a 2x10 header would be needed - this wall has two stories and a roof above it, although the roof load is transferred to the two walls (front and back of house) perpendicular to this wall. Based on the load, a 7 1/4" LVL Header works better than a 2x10 lumber header.

Obviously, the structural integrity of the building is the #1 concern. I'd like to squeeze every inch of height I can, but only as long as the solution is structurally sound.

The span we envisage is 3', which will be for a 2'6" door (31" RO), plus a few jack studs to support the header.

Is there any way I could 'beef-up' the jack studs or add any other vertical supports, so that I could use a shorter Header? Steel Header (if such a thing exists) or steel jack studs perhaps?

The wall studs are 2x6 16" OC.

Thanks again.

H
 
  #5  
Old 10-08-05, 05:49 PM
Andrew R.
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You can cut both plates out, Use a steel plate between 2x6, for 30 inch door, really a 4x6 should work but I need a picture
 
  #6  
Old 10-08-05, 08:49 PM
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I've removed my provocative comments, since they were not called for.
 

Last edited by XSleeper; 10-10-05 at 04:48 PM.
  #7  
Old 10-08-05, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Henrydunne
Thanks for the feedback.

I had hoped to use a 'shorter' header, such as 2x6 to save a couple of inches, but based on the structure we decided that a 2x10 header would be needed - this wall has two stories and a roof above it, although the roof load is transferred to the two walls (front and back of house) perpendicular to this wall. Based on the load, a 7 1/4" LVL Header works better than a 2x10 lumber header.

Obviously, the structural integrity of the building is the #1 concern. I'd like to squeeze every inch of height I can, but only as long as the solution is structurally sound.

The span we envisage is 3', which will be for a 2'6" door (31" RO), plus a few jack studs to support the header.

Is there any way I could 'beef-up' the jack studs or add any other vertical supports, so that I could use a shorter Header? Steel Header (if such a thing exists) or steel jack studs perhaps?

The wall studs are 2x6 16" OC.

Thanks again.

H

Henry,

Where I'm from you can cut out both top plates. We do it all the time with no problems. You said that you have a 2'6" door with a (31" RO). That's not the right RO for that door. The RO is the door size + 2" so your 30" door + 2" would give you a 32" RO.

Joe Carola
 
  #8  
Old 10-09-05, 09:59 AM
Andrew R.
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Joe,
He just said that because he advised someone to modify a 6 foot opening on a patio door by replacing the trimmers to 1x4. He is repeating my comment to him. Sleeper, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, what if the header collapsed on a house because of this? xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  #9  
Old 10-09-05, 03:46 PM
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LOL, just trying to get a rise out of ya xxxx. Take a xxxx-xxxx. xxxxxxxxxxxxx.

However, I do have a question for you.

If you cut out both top plates, what gives the wall lateral strength above the doorway? The nails in the sides of the header? The drywall? Help me understand.

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  #10  
Old 10-09-05, 05:34 PM
Andrew R.
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Originally Posted by Henrydunne
Thanks for the feedback.

I had hoped to use a 'shorter' header, such as 2x6 to save a couple of inches, but based on the structure we decided that a 2x10 header would be needed - this wall has two stories and a roof above it, although the roof load is transferred to the two walls (front and back of house) perpendicular to this wall.
According to what is described there is not a lateral pull. Minor blocking may be needed,,,,,but didn't my reply ask for a pic. Plates are cut out by many "proffessionals" who know what else to do.
 
  #11  
Old 10-09-05, 07:44 PM
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Its not a question of whether or not lateral pull is stated. Slamming a solid core door causes lateral pull. Kids playing "Spiderman" against a wall would cause lateral pull. The headboard of your bed might cause lateral pull. High winds, tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes could cause lateral pull. If you're so concerned about how things are engineered, and how a 1x4 trimmer does not equal a 2x4 trimmer on a 72" wide opening, then please explain how cutting out both top plates does not weaken the wall's lateral stability? Plumbers are professionals, and during my years as a remodeller, I've seen plenty of those professionals cut floor joists and top plates and their actions, although well intended, have not always been helpful. I'm not trying to fight, but since this is apparently an EXTERIOR wall, which will be facing wind loads, and has no other walls to brace it and keep it from bowing in or out, like to know the answer to that question, if you or anyone else can explain.
 
  #12  
Old 10-09-05, 10:24 PM
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I will interject my thoughts on this issue.

First off, Henrydunne is saying that “I've discussed the load requirements with the local Trusjoist Engineer, and we calculated that a 7 1/4" LVL Header will fit the need comfortably.” Fine – It’s good but not necessary. Reason – The first floor - floor joists are running perpendicular. Opening is only 3’-0”.

No one mentioned or asked what is the existing wall height or how tall a door is that is being put in. Since this is a load bearing wall – Basement application – there are ways to do this but with modifications.

Assumption – The basement is a walkout
Assumption – Exterior is siding

Fact - The ceiling joists run parallel to the wall that the doorway will be in.
Fact – There is not that much load on this since floor joists are running parallel not perpendicular.
Fact – We need only a 32” Rough Opening.
Fact – The wall studs are 2x6 -16" OC.
Fact - Lateral pull is not a primary issue for a door installation within a 2x6 wall that is on the lowest level with 2 floors above it with only a 30” wide opening. There is a point of exaggeration here in what was mentioned. If you are removing 32” and there is nothing there, where is the lateral force you are referring to. The door installation is being installed in a new opening that has 2x6 walls. We are not cutting out the existing rim which is already anchored into the existing top plates with exterior wall sheathing which assists with shear issues. With a properly installed door, the lateral force issue is pointless.

The fact that we are dealing with a door installation in a basement that has 2x6 exterior walls, assuming 2x10 floor joists that run parallel to the wall in question means that we do not need the 2 top plates as mentioned IF we do the following;

The rough opening should be made to accommodate the 32” Rough Opening. I would suggest 2 Jacks on each side of this opening. Measure this out.

I suggest installing 2 additional 2x10’s – 5 feet long to be placed against the existing rim. You will need to add a filler equal to 1 Ό” to make it flush to the inside for finish work. Center the new beam above your door opening. Nail one first to existing rim, then with filler, and then nail the other. You will now have 3 – 1 ½” x 9 ½” beam that incorporates your existing rim joist.

I would then cut 2x10 solid blocking and place these 16” O.C. between the new beam and the next floor joist that is parallel to your exterior wall. Install the blocking the entire length of the new beam.

Cut both top plates out to the distance of 38”. Install 1 King and 2 Jacks on each side of the Rough Opening. Done

I also would like to point out that the comments made by Andrew R. and XSleeper are not very helpful to you. I would think that a professional like Andrew R. would provide more factual commentary than ridiculing another member for the advice given, regardless of the reason for doing so. XSleeper comments were not very helpful as well. With my experience in construction of 35 years plus in hands-on, being a General Contractor and 10 years doing design and drafting, the issue is not how many years of experience you have but what have you learned through all the years? I would hope in the future that you 2 gentlemen would adhere to the Forum Policies as it would be most appreciated. Knowing how things go together and how to take them apart is critical. Knowing Codes is also very important. If this was an opening over 3 feet wide, we would not be entertaining this issue here.

What I described above is fine for this application only. I know as I have done them before. I’ve designed them, had my drawings approved and received the REQUIRED Building Permit. IT DOES NOT APPLY TO EVERYTHING.

One last note, Henrydunne, with this installation, why hasn’t a Building Permit been obtained? If it was, you would not be asking the question here.

Hope this helps!
 
  #13  
Old 10-10-05, 04:25 PM
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Thanks for clearing that up, Doug. I think I understand now.
 
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