Is Gable Wall Supporting


Old 05-21-07, 11:26 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 66
Question Is Gable Wall Supporting

For a one story stick built home (no trusses) with ballon framing, are the gable walls considered to be supporting walls. More specifically, do I need full sized door and window headers in the gable walls, or can I treat them like interior non-loadbearing walls and disregard the headers?

I'm installing a 6' window and there's minimal room for a header. If it's a non-loadbearing wall, a double 2x6 header should be plenty. If it's load bearing, I'll need a larger header and will have to put it in the attic. With just wall sheathing extending from the top plate to the roof, I'm can't see much for a header to support.

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Old 05-22-07, 11:52 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 66

The gable above the header is a half wall, weight wise. I believe the header carries the dead load of that wall (90 / 2 = 45 plf), and a 6 ft tributary area of the ceiling live (20 psf) and dead (10 psf) load. So 225 plf total.

SYP span tables show a 2 ply 2x6 over a 6' span is rated at 340 plf (total and live loads with L360). So a double 2x6 header is fine. Even a 2 ply 2x4 might suffice.

If I'm looking at this correctly, roof loads are transfered to the outer (non-gable) walls, collar ties and to an interior cross wall through purlins and braces. The house would stand with no sheathing on the gable wall. So there is no roof load.

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