Header contsruction questioins


Old 08-28-16, 02:18 PM
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Exclamation Header contsruction questioins


Replacing sub-floors and walls and now rebuilding an entire interior load-bearing wall that has a header spanning a 4-foot wide hallway. The old header was simply two 2x12's on one jack stud each end. One end is in an exterior wall.

Other headers I've replaced have been duplicates of what was there, two 2x10's (typically) with a 2x4 (bottom plate?) on the bottom. This 2x12 had no 2x4 bottom plate.


For each header, I exactly replicated what was, just the 2x[whatever] siamesed together, centered over the 2x4 bottom plate, but now I see that it's common to put 1/2 plywood between to build them out flush to the 2x4. It wasn't that way, is that necessary?

I want to be sure I'm to code. From what I read (??) of the ICC code to determine header span material sizes, Codes and Standards | ICC publicACCESS it says "building width is measured perpendicular to the ridge." The ridge is parallel to the front and back of the house. For my 2x12 header, the load bearing wall containing it is perpendicular, so am I going by the width of the two rooms that rest on the wall?

BTW - can't ask the inspector - he's not happy we're past the permit expiration, so I don't want to rock the boat.

Waiting to cut lumber...

Thanks guys.

Last edited by syakoban; 08-28-16 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 08-29-16, 04:24 AM
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I can't answer about the code but 1/2" plywood is often sandwiched in the header to bring the overall width to 3.5" so it matches a 2x4's width. [instead of just 3"]
Old 08-29-16, 06:20 AM
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Post a picture so we can see what your seeing please.
Old 08-29-16, 04:05 PM
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Name:  header.jpg
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Don't know why it rotated here, but the 2x4 is at bottom.

This is how the house was built in the 60's so I replicated it, but read now the sandwich is done with 1/2 plywood in between.
Old 09-18-16, 08:36 PM
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I can't answer the 'to code' question but I've always glued the plywood inbetween the 2 by's. If you think about when you go to screw the drywall on, you'd want the flat surface.

It's been a few days though so what did you end up doing?
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