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Header Bearing

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Old 12-30-2016, 11:41 AM   #1
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Header Bearing

I have been searching on wall design/anatomy for a while now without any clear answers.

How much bearing does a header need in a structural timber frame? The carpenters I am working with at the moment use:
- Window: 1 king stud, two trimmers providing 90mm bearing roughly
- Door: - 1 king stud, 3 trimmers providing 135mm bearing roughly

To me this seems a bit backward as often a window opening is larger than a doorway opening.

I am pretty sure that for concrete lintels, a minimum of 100mm bearing is needed and 150mm for steel lintels, but I cant find anything on timber lintel/header bearing.

Last edited by Tinstaafl; 12-30-2016 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 12-30-2016, 07:35 PM   #2
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Re: Header Bearing

Timber framing is a world of its own. In light wood frame construction, there is no need for more than one king stud and one jack stud in most cases. For windows, trimmers are frequently kept on layout to give some support and to have something to attach sheathing and drywall to.


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Old 12-30-2016, 08:38 PM   #3
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Re: Header Bearing

Originally Posted by SBS Building View Post

How much bearing does a header need in a structural timber frame?

What do the plans call for? Structural timber frame requires engineering to get a permit around here, should have a detail
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Old 12-30-2016, 09:10 PM   #4
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Re: Header Bearing

The Engineer of Record on the Project should have done a Finite Element Analysis of the frame as designed and made changes to suit the on-site and regional requirements with respect to loads on the Frame. His drawings will answer your question. Where I live, there is no "Building Code" once an Engineer stamps the drawing. What he says is required is the right answer.

As usual, the Header or Beam bearing is determined by the forces acting upon it. Often in a Timber Frame, the typical standards of "1 1/2 inches of bearing" for joists and min 3" for beams goes out the door because the TF stuff is typically wider and provides more bearing surface than stick framing.
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