garage door header size


Old 05-27-05, 09:53 PM
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garage door header size

i'm building a 3 car garage, and it now looks like i'll have to have 1 9' door and 1 16' door (instead of 3 9' doors). my question is: what size/type header do i need for the 16' opening. due i need a solid engineered beam, or can i sandwich 2 lvl's or microlams together? 2x4 walls. i'm re-doing my plans for resubmittal, so i'm asking what the irc requires in this case.
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Old 05-28-05, 06:36 AM
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Garage Door Headers

You can use 2 - 2 x 12 glue lams nailed together, or 2 - 2 x 12's sandwiched with a 1/2" osb nailed together. These are the two most common, and unless you have some real funny type zoning, these are usually accepted by code. There is one thing however that you did not mention, that they will require. They will require double jack studs under each end of the beam for them to rest on. So for a 16' wide door, your beam will have to be 16' 6" long. Now here is a twist. It also depends on which way your trusses run. If you are having your trusses run at right angles to the doors (usually the side of the garage) you may bery likely need 3 lam beams on the 16' door, and they may require you have 2 x 6's for your jack studs. This is due to the expanse of the door opening, and it will have trusses resting on the top of the glue lams. You will probably get 10 different answers to your question, but these are the basic's and they always work. Good Luck ps. The same for the smaller door, just in a scalled down size.
Old 05-28-05, 07:30 AM
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Up until about 3 years ago 2x12's were the norm for upto 18' OHD spans, since I have seitched over to using LVL's. They save alot of time when constructing typical 7' tall OHD openings which most of my garages are sold with, homies with 2 Honda accords cant justify the added expensise for a now more standard 8' tall door.

Anyways, for typical 16x7 and smaller openings the LVL's are 1 3/4" thick already so if using 2x4 walls it's just a matter of nailing the 2 LVL's together and it elminates the needed for the 1/2" spacer commonly used in traditional 2x headers. Secondly for a "typical" garage wall it also elminates the need for cripples above the header since the new LVL's are tall enough you can set them on your jacks and the top plate gets nailed directly to the LVL's, so you dont need to cut small lengths of 2x4's to fill that gap with traditional wall framing.

They're realtively new so long term durability is yet to be seen, 2x12 headers and 16' spans have been around for years, and when built right are just as stright now as the day they were built while others I have seen/redone are getting the smiley face or sag in the center of the opening. Regardless, it costs a wee bit more for Glue lams/LVL's but the time your saving messing around with small cripples and the fact they're supposed to be engineered stronger makes the intial upfront added cost reap benefits at time of build and long term durability.

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