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Old 11-06-2009, 09:42 PM   #1
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Cutting into 2 x 12 on Load Bearing Wall


I have a 9ft opening from the living room to the dining room. My wife wants the doorway arched some. To do this, I would need to cut about 7 inches into two 2 x 12s at the center then slope the cut to the edges. So my question is since this is a load bearing wall should I cut into the 2 x 12s? Or is there another way I can arch the doorway?
Thanks

Mark

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Old 11-06-2009, 09:59 PM   #2
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Cutting into 2 x 12 on Load Bearing Wall


You want to cut 7" out of a 2x12 (11.25" actual) on a load bearing wall?
Seriously? No.

Add wood on either side to make the curved opening
Or cut the ceiling open & redo all of the support to raise the 2x12 support beams up

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Old 11-07-2009, 08:41 AM   #3
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Cutting into 2 x 12 on Load Bearing Wall


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Originally Posted by fxpiper View Post
I have a 9ft opening from the living room to the dining room. My wife wants the doorway arched some. To do this, I would need to cut about 7 inches into two 2 x 12s at the center then slope the cut to the edges. So my question is since this is a load bearing wall should I cut into the 2 x 12s? Or is there another way I can arch the doorway?
Thanks

Mark
Mark,

I know that this is a DIY forum but even a DIY'er has to have common sense. 2x12 is there for a reason. Obviously cutting 7" out of it like you are describing will never work.

You do have options that no one here can help without seeing it. If you cut 7" out of a 2x12, that will leave you with roughly 4-1/4" left over to the bottom of the double top plate.

You can cut the top plates out and that will give you 3" more making the height 7-1/4" with a 9' span. Depending on the load you are carrying above, you can have a 1/2 x 7-1/4" flitch plate sandwiched in between 2-2x8's and that might work for your 9' span. You would have to have an Architect or Engineer figure this out for you.

Another option is to take the header out and cut the joist back on each side of the wall and install the same 2x12 header flush at the top of the joists above with joist hangers.

An Architect or Engineer might tell you that a 1/2 x 7-1/4" flitch plate won't work and you can get away with a 1/2" x 8-1/4" flitch plate will work. You just need 6" instead of the 7" to gain.

You do have options. Cutting the 7" out of the 2x12 isn't one of them.
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Old 11-07-2009, 09:45 AM   #4
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Cutting into 2 x 12 on Load Bearing Wall


wow....

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Old 11-07-2009, 10:02 AM   #5
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Cutting into 2 x 12 on Load Bearing Wall


An alternative is to replace the wooden header with a curved steel header, custom designed and manufactured. She is your wife, so money should be no object, which is good, because the design plus fabrication plus installation will certainly set you back several thousand dollars.
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Old 11-07-2009, 10:05 AM   #6
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Cutting into 2 x 12 on Load Bearing Wall


Just think how many people are doing what the wife wants without asking someone if it makes sense. ! Fxpiper did the right thing.
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Old 11-07-2009, 10:54 AM   #7
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Cutting into 2 x 12 on Load Bearing Wall


Thanks for the replies. Now I have proof that supports what I thought in the beginning...Dont do it. And I'll leave my comment at that so I don't dig a hole for myself when my wife reads this.

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Old 11-07-2009, 02:06 PM   #8
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Cutting into 2 x 12 on Load Bearing Wall


I'm glad you asked. Everyone is glad you asked. The double 2x12's span 9' can safely carry a load of about 4400#, to cut as mentioned would reduce it to less than 800# if rated species and small knots. It probably would have failed, being 5 times over-loaded.

"so I don't dig a hole for myself when my wife reads this." --- I'm glad that the hole not being dug!
Be safe, Gary
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Old 11-07-2009, 02:19 PM   #9
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Cutting into 2 x 12 on Load Bearing Wall


I'd much rather see 10 posts/threads like this asking CAN I

VS 1 thread saying...Hey I just cut this out...does that matter?
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Old 11-07-2009, 03:00 PM   #10
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Cutting into 2 x 12 on Load Bearing Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I'd much rather see 10 posts/threads like this asking CAN I

VS 1 thread saying...Hey I just cut this out...does that matter?
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:49 PM   #11
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Cutting into 2 x 12 on Load Bearing Wall


Well, if the boss reads this I want her to know that raising the header into an attic and creating an arch in it's place is about a days work for a good carpenter. Less the drywall finishing and painting, ect. But the structural work is generally not a big deal at all.

If there is a floor above then the size of the joist will determine how much header is left below the ceiling line. But you werre headed for around 4 inches at the top of the arch anyway so the prospects are good that it might work.

The hidden dream squasher would be a toilet drain running through a joist bay or some other mechanical obstruction to stuffing that header straight up into the floor system.

So you could hire a qualified guy at a reasonable fee if it's over the love of your life's head.
if there is nothing in the way that is
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Old 11-07-2009, 09:15 PM   #12
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Cutting into 2 x 12 on Load Bearing Wall


I think that your wife needs to deterimine how important the arch is to her. If she just likes the look of and arch then just frame the corners down a little to create an arch, but leave the header alone. I know people that just started cutting and ended up with the house laying on the ground. If she is determined to have the header raised then she needs to be prepared to pay a professional to do it. If not you might be looking at your house with a whole different view.
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Old 11-10-2009, 08:22 PM   #13
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Cutting into 2 x 12 on Load Bearing Wall


May be get a new wife that does not want you to do such a dangerous thing.

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