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Garage Header Installation


jsabia85's Avatar
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01-03-15, 09:17 PM   #1  
Garage Header Installation

I need to install a header in my garage because the ceiling is very unstable, you can move the ceiling with your hand and when you crawl up above the joist move a good amount. Above the garage is just a crawl space type attic where I am going to put down plywood for storage.

My brother in law works for a contractor on the side who will be installing the header. He has recommended that I go with 2x 1 3/4 x 9 1/4 LVL beams sandwiched between 2 2x10's for the header.

My question is, does this seam a bit overkill if all that will be up above is storage? I am not going to be storing anything heavy, just plastic containers with household items. The header will not be supporting a second story where there will be any major traffic.

 
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01-03-15, 09:28 PM   #2  
Post a few pictures of this garage and the attic. If this is a fairly recently constructed building (last twenty years or so) I suspect the roof is of truss construction and the spacing is likely 24 inches apart. That construction does NOT really allow for adding storage above the ceiling for several reasons and a single "header" won't make a lot of difference.

 
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01-03-15, 09:33 PM   #3  
I believe you are correct with the spacing, the joists are 24" apart. I have pictures of what I did today to cut out part of the ceiling.

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01-03-15, 10:18 PM   #4  
I need some pictures of the attic space itself. It does appear that you have rafter construction rather than trusses but if the span of the ceiling joists is as great as it appears with that limited view I think that adding any more weight would be a serious mistake.

I'll have more to add after I see more pictures. And one hint, use a double space between pictures so they don't run into each other. Also add a few pictures of the roof from the outside.

 
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01-04-15, 03:33 AM   #5  
That sure looks like a girder above that ceiling, not a header. A header would be over a window or door.
How long a span are those joist and are they even attached to that girder above?
I would have used hurricane ties to stop the joist from sagging, just toe nailing them is not going to hold.
If you do add another girder below the old one you have now you need to have the support post sitting on real footers not just sitting on top of the slab.

 
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01-04-15, 04:24 AM   #6  
It is a little confusing, now, with the first pictures. A header will be on an exterior wall over a door or a window. What you have is a girder, and plan on adding a beam under it??

I am not going to be storing anything heavy
Everyone says that, so that is why you have to build it to handle a tank. Christmas decorations will graduate to clothing. That will graduate to car parts, even engine blocks. Believe me. I have seen it.

I do think the 4 ply sandwich is overkill. I would go with just the double LVL, but we do need to know the total span.

 
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01-04-15, 06:52 AM   #7  
I need some pictures of the attic space itself. It does appear that you have rafter construction rather than trusses but if the span of the ceiling joists is as great as it appears with that limited view I think that adding any more weight would be a serious mistake.

I'll have more to add after I see more pictures. And one hint, use a double space between pictures so they don't run into each other. Also add a few pictures of the roof from the outside.
The span of the joists are 23 feet. I will not be adding ANY weight until the header is installed. We will be cutting the joists exactly in half and adding that LVL Header to split the load.


That sure looks like a girder above that ceiling, not a header. A header would be over a window or door.
How long a span are those joist and are they even attached to that girder above?
I would have used hurricane ties to stop the joist from sagging, just toe nailing them is not going to hold.
If you do add another girder below the old one you have now you need to have the support post sitting on real footers not just sitting on top of the slab.
It is a girder up above, we are going to build temporary wally to support each side of the joists then cut out 7.5 inches out of each just to slip in the sandwiched LVL header and connect the joists to the header with joist hangers. I opened up the side walls so we can support the LVL header.



chandler
It is a little confusing, now, with the first pictures. A header will be on an exterior wall over a door or a window. What you have is a girder, and plan on adding a beam under it??

I am not going to be storing anything heavy
Everyone says that, so that is why you have to build it to handle a tank. Christmas decorations will graduate to clothing. That will graduate to car parts, even engine blocks. Believe me. I have seen it.

I do think the 4 ply sandwich is overkill. I would go with just the double LVL, but we do need to know the total span.
No work has been done yet, I have only cut out the ceiling and walls to prepare for the header installation. Maybe I do not have the terminology correct but we are cutting the joists in half and slipping in a double LVL header perpendicular to the joists. Each joist will connect to the header with joist hangers.

Total span is 23 feet


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01-04-15, 06:59 AM   #8  
More pictures! Thanks. The first picture looked as if you had a girder already installed, but it turns out to be 2x lumber across the span for spacing. That's cool. What you plan is spot on. A double LVL would be adequate for the 23' spacing.

 
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01-04-15, 07:11 AM   #9  
Be sure to use joist hangers and not just toenail the joists into the LVL.


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01-04-15, 07:15 AM   #10  
Concerned that cutting the ceiling joist (acting as collar ties) will change the load characteristics on the exterior walls. There will not be anything to prevent the weight of the roof from pushing the exterior walls out. Particularly with a snow load on the roof. Joist hangers will not provide sufficient lateral holding power.

 
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01-04-15, 07:34 AM   #11  
How would you attach the joists to the LVL? Toenail? Or would he need to add some lateral bracing to the rafters?


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01-04-15, 09:04 AM   #12  
I think there's a little confusion here, or I'm the only one confused. Chandler asked what the span was, OP said 23 feet. Is 23 feet the joist span, or the length of the beam you plan to install perpendicular to the joists?

Also, Czizzi stated he doesn't like the idea of cutting the joists. I don't either. I see no need except for headroom below.


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01-04-15, 09:11 AM   #13  
23 ft is the length of the joists, the header will be 21ft

 
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01-04-15, 05:41 PM   #14  
I think the proper term here would be beam, not header. If I am understanding correctly you want to place this beam in the center of and perpendicular to the existing joists, effectively cutting that 23 foot span in half.

IF this is the plan then I, too am against cutting the joists but would place the beam under the joists with enough tension to cause the beam to be the bearing point for the inboard ends of the joists.

 
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01-04-15, 06:19 PM   #15  
I think the proper term here would be beam, not header. If I am understanding correctly you want to place this beam in the center of and perpendicular to the existing joists, effectively cutting that 23 foot span in half.

IF this is the plan then I, too am against cutting the joists but would place the beam under the joists with enough tension to cause the beam to be the bearing point for the inboard ends of the joists
Correct, we want to put the beam perpendicular to the joists. What would be the issue with cutting the joists and slipping in the beam and tying them in with joist hangers?

 
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01-04-15, 06:28 PM   #16  
Your ceiling joists are holding your outer walls from being pushed out by the weight of the roof. Cutting and adding joist "hangers" will not anchor the joists from being pushed "out". You change the characteristics of your house design.

 
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01-04-15, 06:58 PM   #17  
That makes perfect sense Czizzi, and I understand that now and see why the hanger idea was not that great. But I'm going to play devil's advocate because, if I was doing this project, I would also want the beam up in the attic of the garage just because I'm tall.

Could he add some horizontal 2x's bracing, nailing them to the rafters to create a type of truss, basically running it parallel to the existing joists? He could also get fancy and make it so they would rest on top of the beam in the middle.

Again, this is not my expertise, and I am just trying to learn a bit on jsabia85's dime.


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01-05-15, 07:51 AM   #18  
I'll be the first to admit, that I am not a structural engineer. Observations come from on site observations of building much smaller structures with cathedral type ceilings. One was a 12' by 20' Man cave built in a backyard. Had craftsman style dormers with awning type windows. Main framing was 6x6 posts on Simpson connectors anchored in cement and a triple 2x8 top plate beam that ran the perimeter secured to the tops of the 6x6's with metal plates. The sides of the dormers were engineered to act as collar ties to prevent lateral movement. Pitch was 8:12 on gable ends with 4:12 at the dormers centered on each side. We installed the roof framing and used ratchet tie downs to square up the centers of the outer walls. The roof dimensional lumber only (no shingles, no sheathing, no siding, just timber) had pushed the side walls out by 3 inches. We hooked ratchets (as a come along) and cranked everything plumb and kept it under tension till we could finish the roof system. We worked off of plans that were drawn up to meet local codes.

The garage in this post much larger and much wider. Looks to be a 4:12 pitch. I don't know that adding collar ties will do much considering the amount of unsupported roof that would be on either side of the collar ties. A structural beam set under the ridge that carries the total loads to the gable ends would help. But again I would defer to a structural engineer given the propensity for snow to fall in the area of the OP.

If you have the need to have your head spin, give this thread a quick read and see if you can follow. It is basically a discussion of how to handle/calculate the loads on a similar structure without collar ties. How to calculate rafter thrust? -Help! - Structural engineering other technical topics - Eng-Tips

 
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01-05-15, 08:12 AM   #19  
I don't think you need to be a structural engineer to figure this is a bad idea. You need to be one to figure out how to do it safely.
Just like Czzizi, if you see and build enough structures, you will see what the engineers call for. So even though Czzizi is not an engineer, I'm pretty sure he can spot what's wrong and needs corrected. This is true of most experienced carpenters.
The plan of cutting joists mid-point and connecting them to a beam would be OK IMO if these were floor joists, but they're not floor joists. Also, Joecaption pointed out above that any posts supporting this beam will need footings under post. A lot of work for storage.


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