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Thread: Header Size and Recommendations

  1. #1

    Default Header Size and Recommendations

    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?

    Thanks,

    George

  2. #2

    Default

    Remeber you did not tell me width of building or if center bearing. This is also sizes for an interior header not an exterior wall header.

    interior header per International Residential Code rules;

    20 foot wide building

    double 2x12 or triple 2x10

    28 foot wide building

    triple 2x12 or quad 2x10

    36 foot wide building

    triple 2x12 or quad 2x10

    Considering a 50 pound snow load for Canada and header carrying one ceiling and roof only, no floors, the following sizes would apply. Remeber you did not tell me width of building or if center bearing. This is also sizes for an exterior wall header.

    exterior header per International Residential Code rules;

    20 foot wide building

    double 2x12 or triple 2x10

    28 foot wide building

    triple 2x10

    36 foot wide building

    triple 2x10


    Joists may be supported off header by using metal UL listed joist hangers in a balloon framing pattern.


    Alternative is using a steel I beam. You would need that steel I beam sized by a local engineer to be safe. Steal I beam should be allowed smaller in size but then you would have to wrap it with wood for finished product.

    Hope this helps

    Wg

  3. #3

    Default

    Yup, definately helps.

    It is INterior wall, 20 ft width, close to centre... (11.5 ft).

    It looks like I might just go with the multiLam and joist hangers...

    Thanks,

    George

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