Remove exterior wall

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  #1  
Old 11-20-04, 05:23 PM
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Remove exterior wall

I am remodeling a truss roof house and have enclosed the back patio. Now I want to remove the rest of the wall where the 9ft sliding door was. There is a 4x12 header above the door supporting the trusses, but the opening could be 20ft if I can remove the wall. My question is how far can this beam span with 2, 2x12s and a plywood sandwich? Or should I use something else? Please help. Thanks, Phil
 
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Old 11-20-04, 07:50 PM
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Of course you'd have to replace those 2x12s with 20 footers--not splice them. Since you know that load works, you could also open three 6' spans with the same type headers and posts (could disguise them as columns). Of course you know you'll have to jack and brace before you do any of this.

Could you span the 20'? Yes. With longer 2x12s? I doubt it. But the distance you can span doesn't just depend on the lumber, it depends on the load--second floor (if any) roof and don't forget snow load--which depends on where you live.

My advice is to call in a structural engineer to give you an opinion. Probably you'll need a laminated wood beam or even steel to span that distance, but I could be wrong.

But if I were you, I'd hate to bet the house on it (get it? Har!)
 
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Old 11-21-04, 05:01 PM
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Thanks for the reply, it's only a single story and in Phoenix, AZ so we don't see much snow here Ha Ha. So it only holds up the roof truss.
 
  #4  
Old 11-22-04, 07:42 AM
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Lucky You! Still 20' is a fer piece for regular dimensional lumber and the load would need to be calculated. For example it would probably make a big difference which direction your roof trusses run--just one on the whole span of this wall or are the ends of 10 or so trusses resting there?

The fact that a 2x12 header was used makes me think probably there's a big load on there--but it's also possible that 2x12s were not needed for the load but were simply convenient to make up the distance from the top of the door frame to the ceiling height.

Here's a website that offers a primer on spans and loads of lumber: http://www.awc.org/technical/spantables/tutorial.htm

If that looks too complicated to you (as it does to me!), I'd call an engineer.
 
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