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General Rules For Building Headers...

 
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Old 08-08-2019, 02:24 PM   #1
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General Rules For Building Headers...


I'm going to be removing part of a supporting wall, so needless to say I'll be putting in a header.

It's spanning about 8 feet, and I've always heard/read that a good, easy to remember rule is that a header built with 2 by Xs, will support X feet of span. So 2x6, 6 feet....2x8, 8 feet, and so on. Does that seem about right? I don't want to underbuild by any means, but I don't necessarily want to WAY overbuild either.

Thoughts....
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Old 08-08-2019, 02:29 PM   #2
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Re: General Rules For Building Headers...


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Old 08-08-2019, 02:47 PM   #3
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Re: General Rules For Building Headers...


never heard of such a rule.

depends on the load it is carrying.

don't forget footings.
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Old 08-08-2019, 04:32 PM   #4
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Re: General Rules For Building Headers...


Like others said, there is no such rule...Each header is calculated based on the load it will support.
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Old 08-08-2019, 04:39 PM   #5
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Re: General Rules For Building Headers...


You want to overbuild a header. The more overbuilt, the less everything else it's carrying bounces. But as others have already stated, there is no "rule of thumb" for this. A lot of times it's pretty easy to figure out and you can do so with span tables for LVL manufactures. Other times you'll have to have it engineered which could be as simple as giving the span of the joists it's carrying, how many floors above, roof loads, point loads, etc and having someone run beam calc software.
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Old 08-08-2019, 05:41 PM   #6
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Re: General Rules For Building Headers...


Thank you guys. It didn't sound right to me, but...I mean, it was on the internet right? SO......ya know.

Anyhow, thanks a lot. I'll do some more thorough calcs and see what I come up with.
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Old 08-08-2019, 06:07 PM   #7
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Re: General Rules For Building Headers...


Up in your neck of the woods, old rule of thumb was dbl doug fir#2 or better 2x6 or 4x4 was good to 3-4' exterior. 2x8 dbl 4-6', 2x10 8-12' and 2x12 12-16'. Generally carried for bearing walls on interiors. HOWEVER, those rules don't hold or may not apply anymore. Have to check load and span tables across species or type of engineered lumber such as LVL.
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:35 PM   #8
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Re: General Rules For Building Headers...


I've actually heard the same thing, but it doesn't match up with reality. Maybe for non-loadbearing.just to prevent sagging from the material's weight.
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:12 PM   #9
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Re: General Rules For Building Headers...


Quote:
Originally Posted by hdavis View Post
I've actually heard the same thing, but it doesn't match up with reality. Maybe for non-loadbearing.just to prevent sagging from the material's weight.
Maybe I misunderstood when I read that. Thanks for that info.
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:41 PM   #10
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Re: General Rules For Building Headers...


Quote:
Originally Posted by jproffer View Post
Maybe I misunderstood when I read that. Thanks for that info.
There is no telling what it really was. I still see some shed's roofs framed on the flat with 2X4 with 8' span. We have decent snow loads. People used to do some crazy stuff, some still do.

Last edited by hdavis; 08-08-2019 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:48 PM   #11
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Re: General Rules For Building Headers...


IRC code book has header tables based on house width, number of floors and snow load, If I remember correctly. Last time I read it was 2009. Now everything is called out by my architect on the plans, so I don't have to know anything.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:28 PM   #12
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Re: General Rules For Building Headers...


I've heard that rule but it was with solid 4x material. It's been probably 25 years since I've heard that thrown around. 4x4 4' 4x6 6' etc. But it doesn't make since because there is no set weight. Every building is different and the loads are different. So it needs to be calced.


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Old 08-08-2019, 10:30 PM   #13
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Re: General Rules For Building Headers...


We can't use built headers anymore. They either need to be solid or engineered.


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Old 08-08-2019, 10:39 PM   #14
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Re: General Rules For Building Headers...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Calidecks View Post
We can't use built headers anymore. They either need to be solid or engineered.


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We always use 4X material also. I've never seen 2x built headers.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:42 PM   #15
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Re: General Rules For Building Headers...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Calidecks View Post
We can't use built headers anymore. They either need to be solid or engineered.


Mike.
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Who can't?

Cali, or your area?
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:44 PM   #16
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Re: General Rules For Building Headers...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtywhiteboy View Post
We always use 4X material also. I've never seen 2x built headers.
What are you doing for 2x6 walls?

4x Furred out?
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:59 PM   #17
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Re: General Rules For Building Headers...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Seven-Delta-FortyOne View Post
Who can't?



Cali, or your area?


Not sure because I've only framed in my area. But we haven't been able to use built headers in years.


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Old 08-08-2019, 11:00 PM   #18
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Re: General Rules For Building Headers...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Seven-Delta-FortyOne View Post
What are you doing for 2x6 walls?



4x Furred out?


Yep. Add a2x6 to the bottom of the header, flat.


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Old 08-08-2019, 11:01 PM   #19
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Re: General Rules For Building Headers...


Or engineered.


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Old 08-08-2019, 11:23 PM   #20
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Re: General Rules For Building Headers...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Seven-Delta-FortyOne View Post
What are you doing for 2x6 walls?

4x Furred out?
Yes ,, what mike said 2x6 on the bottom or fur the bottom of the header and a lot of times the plans call for a 6x header.

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