I will only put them at the plate line if I am uncertain of the final height. A structural header should be placed as low as possible to make the jacks shorter. Shorter jacks have more bearing capacity than longer jacks. I also feel that framing below a header on a very wide opening is not as strong side to side. This can be alleviated somewhat by doubling the sill plate.
bottom of header at top of window opening supported by jack studs. fill in above header with cripples.
this method can be a pita if you end up with a very short piece to toe nail between header and top plate. if I end up with a cripple less than 8'' I will frame header tight to top plate and frame down the opening.
I think it looks more professional with the header directly at the top of the window opening. really depends on the situation
I don't think I've ever seen headers high with cripples running from opening to the bottom of the header.
I like the bottom of the header at RO height, resting on the jacks. If the opening is around a window or something where curtains will be installed, I'll add a extra king on each side to ensure hitting something solid when they're installed.
Couple building inspectors here require it up to plates. We drop the garage door headers that's it. Precut all the jacks the same and away we go. Most windows are kept tight up or within a couple inches so we just pack them down with scrap lumber to Size and then add a sill
I prefer to put them up to the plate. Doesn't always fit the situation, but that is what I prefer. If a double joist or girder or whatever lands there ,I don't have to add anything. On inside walls also. There is usually plenty of short stuff leftover to drop the openings when you go back and put your trimmers in.
Most people I know put them at the plate line, mainly because if you have to change the header height later, it's a lot easier when the header is up high. People that put them down low at the window height always argue, don't make a mistake and it won't be a problem. People that put them up high figure it's an unnecessary risk putting them down low. Whatever your religion is, that's what you ought to do. Or ask your boss if you have one.
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