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Need advice bracing ceiling


JamesNJ's Avatar
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09-25-09, 08:22 PM   #1  
Need advice bracing ceiling

Hello!
I need to put a fire door into the main load bearing wall of my house (in garage of bi-level) -- it needs to be located close to the rear corner of the garage as possible. I have to cut the next 2 full studs from the corner in order to position the rough door frame for a 30" pre-hung door. So, the left jack stud will go right up against the corner. I don't know for sure, but it looks like the corner of the garage is constructed of 2 or more 2x4s in a post as a main support (I won't be removing any of this corner support).

Anyway, I need to remove the 2 studs and leave the hole (approx 48" wide) in the wall for about 1 week so that I can remove and replace an old boiler.

I have a 6' 4x4 I put against the ceiling with 2 house jacks as close to the corner I can and about 6" off the load bearing wall. The floor joists above are standard 16" on center, probably 2x8s.

Will this be enough to hold things up while I work? How hard should I torque these jacks up to properly hold the load? I never put a door frame up; any suggestions? I'm trying to use as much of the old/dry original wood I can, and kiln dried doug fir for the header and the same for one of the replacement king studs to minimize shrinkage.

Thanks!

 
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chandler's Avatar
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09-26-09, 06:02 AM   #2  
I would move the door away from the corner by about 4" so you can get trim in on your framing. Other than that, you can brace the opening until the boiler is gone. Do you intend to replace the boiler with the same size boiler? What is your contingency for a future replacement? What size door will you be installing? I would use the 6x6 solid top to bottom with shims rather than the jacks, for stability and especially if they are hydraulic, as they will leak down over time.
With the added information we can advise further on the header. It may be that installing a header to cover the entire 4' span would be best, to allow for future use as egress for the boiler without the headache you are going through now.

 
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09-27-09, 11:19 AM   #3  
Thanks much for the help!

This is sort of a very difficult and tight situation for me. Trim and appearance are not all that important here. Door is 30" wide metal fire rated door, 20 min burn, wood pre-hung frame.

My situation is that my boiler failed, and the location of the current boiler is not allowed by current fire code. However after discussing the whole thing with my local inspector and pulling permits, the easiest way to correct my issue is to install a fire door with 20 min burn rate right next to where the boiler is. The door makes things legal by removing combustables (the wall, studs, etc.) from the minimum manufacturer required clearances.

So basically, this door will never be used unless something needs to be maintained on the boiler -- and 99% of everything can already be accessed from the front of the boiler. Once I replace this boiler, I'll probably never do it again unless I can convert to natural gas or something like that, but it isn't realy a concern right now.

The jacks are screw-type - you adjust to rough height with bolts, then torque up the last few inches with a 3/4" wrench.

I'm only concerned with properly bracing and framing things out .... as I said, the door will never really be used for anything. It makes it easy for me to pull out and replace the boiler and satisfies fire codes, and is basically in a place where it couldn't possibly serve any other function. I only need to worry about the bracing for as long as it takes me to get all my correct measurements and put up the rough frame/header.

Thanks for the help! I'm concerned about the wood I'm using for this header. Looks like green doug fir is very popular around here so I'm trying to locate kiln-dried doug fir. I'm concerned about this door frame/header shrinking over time. I'm re-using as much of the old dried original wood as I can. Would any other type of wood be OK? (maybe KD spruce pine)

Thanks for any other info you can provide!

 
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09-27-09, 12:33 PM   #4  
Use your posts for the long term outage. Once you go to put your header in, you won't have a problem installing it and your door framing for that narrow a distance. Don't worry about the wood shrinking. If you use kiln dried wood it will be fine. Here in the South, we don't have much choice. It is either SYP or SPF (southern yellow pine or Spruce, Pine, Fir). Make sure you get a good fit and support it properly.

 
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10-01-09, 08:39 AM   #5  
Thanks, I have the brace up and it seems to be doing quite well. I've also found some nice dry KD doug fir. A few questions:

This door is to be a 30" pre-hung. I'm looking at the original wall and see that the top plate is 2 stacked horizontal 2x4s.

1) Can I put a double 2x6 header right up against this top plate, or should that be removed? I'm more in favor of removing as few things as possible.

2) Can you tell me what the rough opening should be for a 30" pre-hung door? I don't have my door yet, but would like to frame it out soon.

Thanks!

 
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10-01-09, 01:40 PM   #6  
Your door RO would be 34" plus or minus wide and 82" tall. This will give you a little wiggle and plumbing room, just to make sure the door frame is plumb and square to the earth, not the opening. Not sure how high the double plate is from the floor, so your header should be from the 82" mark to the top plate, or 9 1/2" anyway. If you can make the header of 2- 2x10's with a 1/2" piece of plywood sandwiched between, and make it extend past your door opening width and sit on the jack studs. That measurement should be about 37".

 
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10-02-09, 07:39 AM   #7  
Thanks. I don't quite think that I have room for a 2x10. I'll post more exact measurements tonight, but I think my ceiling down there is around 7.5' high. Doing a rough measure the other night, I think placing a 2x6 header right up against the top-plate leaves me about 83" from floor to bottom of header for the rough opening. But I'll post more accurate data tonight.

Is a 2x6 header a problem? I'm sure bigger is better, but I'm looking at constrained space. If it makes any difference, I've taken out 2 of the 2x4 studs. The king stud on the left will be an existing stud. The king stud on the right will be new, and it will probably be about 8" or so from the next nearest stud.

 
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10-02-09, 02:53 PM   #8  
You'll be fine since that is all the space you have to work with. 83" is sufficient height. You may even want to plate the bottom of the header with a 1x4 to take up an additional 3/4" bringing you closer to the 82" (although not necessary). What is necessary is the header is supported on both sides by your jack studs.

 
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10-03-09, 07:49 PM   #9  
Thanks so much, we got it done today. There was just enough space for the 2x6 header. Jack studs were KD doug fir, however my friend messed up the first header, and we needed to do a 2nd in green, but at least it is complete. I also got my fire door today, but will wait to put that in to give a little more space for the boiler project.

 
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