Load Bearing Wall - Header Installation Advice


Old 05-27-16, 09:33 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4
Load Bearing Wall - Header Installation Advice


We recently hired a licensed contractor to remodel the enclosed patio in our house. We hired him to install a header in an opening that is about 16' across. At completion of the project, there were a few things that we discovered that gave us cause for worry and wanted to get your advice on his header installation. I initially questioned his installation but was told that it wasn't any cause for concern but now I'm worried given some other things we discovered. Rather than installing one long header piece, he had them in two pieces. See attached. Do I have cause for alarm?

Name:  Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 9.32.52 PM.jpg
Views: 833
Size:  44.8 KB
Sponsored Links
Old 05-28-16, 03:15 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 17,763
Do you have a picture where we can see the header? What is your header made of; dimensional lumber, LVL, steel? What are the dimensions of your header? What is supporting each end of your header?
Old 05-28-16, 03:31 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 43,809
The 2x framing above the sliding doors is not the header. The header appears to be above it. Was that opening there prior to the door installation? It isn't uncommon for a header to be made out of 2 pieces to get the needed length, actually it would be 4 as the 2xs would be doubled up, the joints would be staggered.
Old 05-28-16, 04:07 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Fill us in on what other things you discovered. As Dane said, we need to see the header up a little closer. Is it LVL, dimension lumber? How are the ends supported? The blue outline describes your header. The part below are just cripples filling the gap between the door and header.

Name:  header.jpg
Views: 247
Size:  39.8 KB
Old 05-28-16, 06:17 AM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 20,518
I am guessing he did it properly... that the header (Larry's post in blue) is continuous from bearing to bearing as it should be and the homeowners concern is the cripples underneath. (2 pieces = header and cripples) If so, nothing wrong with doing it that way.

You would have to be a real idiot to make a header out of lumber that doesn't span the length of the opening.
Old 05-28-16, 11:02 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4

The outlined blue part was there previously. Multiple single pane windows used to occupy that space (see attached). As we we were getting quotes, a few contractors mentioned that they needed to install an additional header to reinforce the space. We questioned the method he used as it wasn't what I understood a header to be but being that I'm not an expert in this what so ever, I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

He also gave me more pause for concern when he asked me if I knew how to install our 4 panel sliding door and handed me the instructions (for the record I do not). He eventually installed it but we had to bring someone else in to fix it because the locks wouldn't engage unless we forced it (he told me it was normal, it's not).

I'm sorry, I know this doesn't qualify as DIY. Thank you for your help.

Name:  Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 11.03.35 AM.jpg
Views: 600
Size:  25.0 KB

Name:  Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 11.03.24 AM.jpg
Views: 776
Size:  41.3 KB

Name:  Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 11.03.14 AM.jpg
Views: 854
Size:  26.7 KB

Last edited by Lindie; 05-28-16 at 11:05 AM. Reason: adding images
Old 05-28-16, 11:21 AM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 20,518
Sounds a little odd, that's for sure. Without knowing anything about the construction of your preexisting structure, it's impossible for us to say whether it was sufficient for the span or not. It kind of looks like it was originally constructed like a porch roof box beam (acceptable 50 yrs ago but not today) but it's hard to say with any certainty. Generally windows are never load bearing and need a header above them... so you would kind of expect there to have been a header up there originally. But without seeing or knowing how those window frames were constructed, that's also something that's impossible for us to say. Its possible that the vertical window supports were load bearing if that is indeed a box beam up there.
Old 05-28-16, 04:17 PM
Handyone's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: U.S.
Posts: 5,451
This all looks proper and professional to me. I can't see the height (size) of the header, but I can see the guys know what they are doing.
For some contractors, making openings like this is pretty routine. I looks like you have all the proper post to beam connections and properly sized posts.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes