Header Size

 
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Old 10-13-2005, 06:27 PM   #1
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Header Size


I am reframing to replace a 6' basement door with an 8' door so I need to rebuild the double 6"x 6' header with a new 8' 3 1/2" long 2x6 header. MA code says 2 - 2x6's can only span tops 6'. does anyone know if that span changes if 3- 2x6's are used and 1/2 ply glued and nailed in between... changes to say 8' 3 1/2"??

2x6 then 1/2" ply then 2x6 then 1/2" ply then 2x6...
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Old 10-13-2005, 06:45 PM   #2
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Re: Header Size


You didn't mention how many floors above or the building witdth, but the MA code seems to be much more generous than the IRC with respect to its header span tables. Neither code has (3)2x6's in it's tables of header spans, so an engineer seal on the header design would be required to do anything that's not on the tables. Seems like an engineered beam or possibly a fletch beam type header might be in the works with such a shallow header depth.

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Old 10-13-2005, 10:45 PM   #3
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Re: Header Size


3-2x6's spanning 8'-3.5" does not have an equivalent strength/stiffness to 2-2x6's spanning 6'-0". This does not necessarily mean that 3-2x6's will not span 8'-3.5"; it depends on the loads (however, I would tend to doubt it). Your best bet is to have an engineer evaluate the loads and tell you what size of header you need. If you are limited to a 5.5" header depth, you could possibly try engineered lumber (LVL's or LSL's - Trusjoist). And if that doesn't work, you will need some sort of steel; a fletch beam as mdshunk suggested would probably be the easiest.

Hope that helps.
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Old 10-13-2005, 11:25 PM   #4
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Re: Header Size


Your 2x6's might have done a couple of centuries ago and even 3 2x12's would not be able to carry much on that span. Here are some sizing charts for microllams and lvl's. http://www.trusjoist.com/PDFFiles/2020.pdf
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Old 10-13-2005, 11:41 PM   #5
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Re: Header Size


There is the possibility of glu-lams or PSL's. There is also the possiblility of placing the beam in to the joists and hangering them. Of course it would be a larger beam than a x6.
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Old 10-14-2005, 10:00 AM   #6
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Re: Header Size


If the original header met the header table in the MA code, then it can only support a roof (if that is not the case you have another problem) and the code assumes a tributary loading span of 10 feet (If the span to an unsupported roof ridge is greater than 10 ft you have yet another problem) Assuming the original header was OK, there are three ways to increase it to the larger span.

1) Use a shorter door (if this was a normal slider there are "replacement " sliders that are 2 or more inches shorter) and install three 2x8's since the span exceeds the 8-0 allowed by the code for double 2x8's.

2) Get permission from the building inspector to remove the lower top plate (assuming the upper one is continuous the required distance beyond the jambs) and install three 2x8's if they will fit. The inspector might allow you to trim 1/2" since you are using three members.

3) Use three LVL's cut down to 5 5/8" (or even better 6") if they will fit. Use ones with 2850 psi fiber strength and 2,000,000 psi mod. of elast.(2.0 E) and verify the grade in the field. The manufacturer might provide a stamped design through the supplier if you give them all the relevant loading information. If using their product cut down is an issue for them, you will have to get an independent engineer to stamp it.

Deflection is the issue here. Assuming good lumber, the original two 2x6's just met a deflection limit of L/360 although this is a pretty low standard in my opinion so the original header should have been three 2x6's or two 2x8's.
For the larger span the use of three 2x6's would exceed the L/360 standard by 100%. Two 2x8's barely make it so three 2x8's should be used.
Three 5 5/8" LVL's will meet the L/360 standard but three 6" LVL's would be better.

In what town is the project located?
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Old 10-14-2005, 07:19 PM   #7
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Re: Header Size


If you are limited to the 2x6 sizing you might consider a flitch beam.
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Old 10-14-2005, 08:45 PM   #8
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Re: Header Size


Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimNJ
flitch beam.
I havn't heard flitch plate or flitch beam since i left NJ. I'm certain they are not used in the western states. It probably would beef up those 2x6's
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Old 10-14-2005, 09:18 PM   #9
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Re: Header Size


I have never heard of a flitch what the are they?
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Old 10-14-2005, 10:23 PM   #10
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Re: Header Size


Quote:
Originally Posted by JustaFramer
I have never heard of a flitch what the are they?
It's a steel plate that gets sandwiched in between two or three beams. They can be 1/4" 1/2" 3/4" by any height.

There's a company that I've used a couple times that makes them up for you. They even make up I-beams already packed out for you.

The company is called "Better Header".

http://www.betterheader.com/

Joe Carola
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Old 10-14-2005, 11:05 PM   #11
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Re: Header Size


Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Carola
It's a steel plate that gets sandwiched in between two or three beams. They can be 1/4" 1/2" 3/4" by any height.

There's a company that I've used a couple times that makes them up for you. They even make up I-beams already packed out for you.

The company is called "Better Header".

http://www.betterheader.com/

Joe Carola
Joe, nice beams. Do you know of any advantage over a microllam or an lvl?
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Old 10-14-2005, 11:27 PM   #12
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Re: Header Size


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob 53
Joe, nice beams. Do you know of any advantage over a microllam or an lvl?
The advantage on the one job I used it on for the span was that we were able to use (3) 1-3/4" x 11-7/8 microlams with (2) 1/2" flitch plates in bewteen instead of a much taller micolam like an 18" high one which would've dropped the ceiling height to low.

Same thing with the other one we used but this one was (2) 1-3/4" x 9-1/2" microlams with 3/8" flitch plate in between that was a flush header. Without the flitch plate we might have had to use a 12" or 14" microlam header.

Where were you from in NJ?

Joe Carola
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Old 10-14-2005, 11:44 PM   #13
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Re: Header Size


Totowa, Pretty close to Tony Soprano. I see they got some water. The Nat news makes it look like the whole place is under water. Looks like the same places that flooded every 5 years when i was a kid. The same people buying the less expensive house in the flood plain and then wanting the river fixed so it won't flood. Maybe the corps could do some levees. >We had another drought year here. Send some H2O if you have som extra.
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Old 10-15-2005, 06:06 AM   #14
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Re: Header Size


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob 53
Totowa, Pretty close to Tony Soprano. I see they got some water. The Nat news makes it look like the whole place is under water. Looks like the same places that flooded every 5 years when i was a kid. The same people buying the less expensive house in the flood plain and then wanting the river fixed so it won't flood. Maybe the corps could do some levees. >We had another drought year here. Send some H2O if you have som extra.
Rob,

I got you beat. I'm in Caldwel and they film The Soprano's about 2 miles from my house

There's a lot of water over there and in Wayne. Looks like today might be the first nice day in a week. Stay dry.

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