Hello, I've got an existing 7' 8" header on a partial load bearing wall made from 2x6. I know this is not enough for a true load bearing wall. I am renovating that room and putting in a proper ceiling and more trusses so the wall will truely become load bearing and I'd like to fix the header while I've got it all ripped up. Unfortunately, I really don't want to lose too much head room. Right now the 2x6 header has two 2x4 plates on top of it.
The smallest MultiLam beam I can get is 9". That will be quite a bit lower than my current 8.5".
1) Using standard premium lumber, what is the appropriate size for the 7.5' header (load bearing wall, ceiling and roof only, decent snow load for northern Ontario, but metal roof)? --> I saw in one place saying 2x6 was OK with no floors above... but I didn't believe it.
2) Do I need to put a plate above the header for the ceiling joists to nail into, or can I use alternate fastening methods? (to save vertical height)?
3) Are there any shorter (less height) alternatives?