Header Size

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Old 02-02-2006, 08:11 AM   #1
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Header Size

I posted this in the construction site also but it's really a framing question.

Is there a formula for sizing a header?
I have a wall i want to remove and make about a 15 foot opening.
The wall is a support wall so i want to make sure i size the header right.

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Old 02-02-2006, 10:26 PM   #2
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Re: Header Size

Waaay to many factors to get the right answer blind like this.

a hip rule of thumb is 2" of header for every 1' opening width-so a 6' opening is roughly a 2x12. overkill in many situations and not enough in others and LVL's or other beams may be needed.

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Old 02-02-2006, 10:40 PM   #3
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Re: Header Size

What is bearing on the wall, floor another wall roof, shed roof? LVL is probably the way to go but whether 11 7/8 or 14 or eve 18 is the big question. Give us some more info
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Old 02-02-2006, 10:42 PM   #4
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Re: Header Size

Single story or is there more overhead? IMHO, I'd call in an engineer to CYA.
You can't solve you're problems with the same level of thinking that created the problems.

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Old 02-02-2006, 11:02 PM   #5
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Re: Header Size

There's tables that lay it all out for you in the IRC. Factors such as number of stories, interior bearing or exterior bearing wall, design snow load, width dimensions of building, etc. all play a role in picking the header size off the table.

That said, a 15 foot opening is off the charts of the IRC, and will need an engineer sealed plan to pass inspection. I can tell you from past experiences, an opening this wide in an exterior bearing wall will normally require some steel. Either a plain steel beam or a field build wood/steel fletch beam, depending on the space available for the header.
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Old 02-03-2006, 07:52 AM   #6
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Re: Header Size

Thanks for the input.
Sorry for lack of info.
It's an interior wall basic ranch style house.
Sounds like the engineer is the best way to go.

Thanks again
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Old 02-06-2006, 08:48 AM   #7
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Re: Header Size

Draw a diagram showing the dimensions of all floors and roofs supported by the wall you wish to remove. Assume the worst case if you are not sure of framing direction. Take it to a lumber yard and ask them to size an LVL beam. Ask for a drawing or certification statement with an engineer's stamp. Be sure to pay attention to the manufacturer's requirements for bearing at the ends and to nail the pieces together as recommended. Make sure the new beam supports are adequate and that they have solid support all the way to the foundation. Secure the beam to the structure above.
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Old 03-23-2006, 03:59 PM   #8
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Re: Header Size

I had a 16' opening in acustom home last year with a point load at 12 feet. I just called my truss MFR and they sent me a feild engineer who did the figures.......ended up being a triple 18" laminate beam...what a monster! with an opening that size your better off to get an engineer on site.
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Old 04-01-2006, 01:44 AM   #9
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Re: Header Size

dont forget to put triple jacks at least on dressed lumber. Hope I'm not too late.
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Old 04-01-2006, 07:18 AM   #10
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Re: Header Size

Originally Posted by Framer33884
dont forget to put triple jacks at least on dressed lumber. Hope I'm not too late.
This will probably require double or triple LVL's. 12" depth or less will require double jacks and 14" or greater will require triple jacks.

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