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Old 02-27-2009, 12:54 PM   #1
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Header size question


Hey guys,

Looking to add two windows in the bathroom.

8' ceiling
double top plate
no room above, joists run parallel
2x6 framing

Covering a span of 78" with a single header but will have full studs in the middle. Looking at the span tables, I only need a 2x8 header, but also reading that if I oversize I can eliminate the use of cripples. Can I use a 2"x10" double (or tripple if needed) header derectly under the top plate?

Thanks!

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Old 02-27-2009, 01:01 PM   #2
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Header size question


That's really the best way.

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Old 02-27-2009, 01:17 PM   #3
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Header size question


This is what I mean. Blue line is the vent stack, so I can't actually do a solid tripple. so, 2x10 with blocking/plywood/rigid foam to get to the right wall thickness. Or do I need a 2x12? Also, can windows go directly under the header?
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Old 02-27-2009, 01:44 PM   #4
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Header size question


eliminate the cripples ?? you mean the jacks ? no. that is what carries the load from the header to the floor.
now you said the joist runs parralel, that rim joist is going to act as a header and carry some of the load.
the windows should not be tight up against the header. you need 1/4 inch space. wood can shrink and settle, this could damage your windows, i have seen them break before due to being shoved up tight to the header, especially viynal ones
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Old 02-27-2009, 01:56 PM   #5
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Header size question


You don't need the middle cripples if that is what you mean
So long as the beam is sized to carry the full width of the opening

I did read somewhere that if the rim joist is doubled above (and sized correctly), then that can act as the header? Must be engineered/sized properly
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Old 02-27-2009, 02:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SNC View Post
eliminate the cripples ?? you mean the jacks ? no. that is what carries the load from the header to the floor.
now you said the joist runs parralel, that rim joist is going to act as a header and carry some of the load.
the windows should not be tight up against the header. you need 1/4 inch space. wood can shrink and settle, this could damage your windows, i have seen them break before due to being shoved up tight to the header, especially viynal ones
I meant whatever goes between the bottom of the top plate and the top of the header. I thought those were called the cripples and the ones below were called the jacks or trimmers?.

I meant right against the header vs having a 2x6 horizontally below the header between it and the window.

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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
You don't need the middle cripples if that is what you mean
So long as the beam is sized to carry the full width of the opening

I did read somewhere that if the rim joist is doubled above (and sized correctly), then that can act as the header? Must be engineered/sized properly
The book I have with me right now is a bit confusing since it lists header spans relative to building width. Not sure how that applies here, but a 2x10 header supporting roof and ceiling can span 8'5" for building width of 20' and 6'6" for 36'.

My house is probably around 36' wide for that wall, with a load bearing wall in the middle. Does that mean my building width is 18'?
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Old 02-27-2009, 02:36 PM   #7
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Header size question


There are two good reasons to put in a header that fills all the space from the top of your window to the underside of the top plates.

One of course, you have a header that will undoubtedly support more than a smaller one with cripples thrown in.

Two, it's heck of a lot faster to build... you don't have to mess with cutting any correctly sized cripples... they don't exist.

They cost a little more. But that is far offset by the labor factor.
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Old 02-27-2009, 02:40 PM   #8
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In my case, the main driving force is ability to put a tall window on that wall and have it match the other windows in size and style.
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Old 02-27-2009, 02:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerRacer View Post
I meant whatever goes between the bottom of the top plate and the top of the header. I thought those were called the cripples and the ones below were called the jacks or trimmers?.

I meant right against the header vs having a 2x6 horizontally below the header between it and the window.



The book I have with me right now is a bit confusing since it lists header spans relative to building width. Not sure how that applies here, but a 2x10 header supporting roof and ceiling can span 8'5" for building width of 20' and 6'6" for 36'.

My house is probably around 36' wide for that wall, with a load bearing wall in the middle. Does that mean my building width is 18'?
Different parts of the country often call things by different names. Here in the South, your terminology is perfectly understood.... "jacks" are the doublers on the sides of doors and windows, and "cripples" are the little stubbies that fill in the space above the header... and also below the window. (Although those window lowers are often called by other names, too)

Who knows why! Probably just another of the many insecurity-based attempts all trades and professions resort to to sound more impressive and exclusive.
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Old 02-27-2009, 02:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerRacer View Post
This is what I mean. Blue line is the vent stack, so I can't actually do a solid tripple. so, 2x10 with blocking/plywood/rigid foam to get to the right wall thickness. Or do I need a 2x12? Also, can windows go directly under the header?
Not really the best construction practice because you are depending upon only some toe-nails up into the header to maintain the integrity and squareness of the window opening. The top window piece is nailed down into the jacks and you have a lateral shear connection that is much more stable than the toe-nails. It's also harder wood, and gets aggravating to install windows and to trim out.
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Old 02-27-2009, 03:12 PM   #11
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Header size question


Have to make sure everyone is using the same terminology

78" = 6' 6"
I have spanned that with triple 2x12 for a large window
Not my pic - this shows little cripple studs at the top - A PIA to cut & put in



The full studs to top plate I have always called King studs
I've always called the "trimmer studs" in this diagram "jacking studs

What they call jack studs I call cripple studs

I usually frame this way with a 2x10 or 2x12 header
The window is installed under the header - with proper clearance
NOT tight!!




Another diagram.
This shows the cripple studs at the top
I use full size headers & eliminate these
Again the window is installed under the header - but not tight
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Old 02-27-2009, 06:35 PM   #12
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Header size question


Last weekend I replaced a 8' sliding door and a 8' wide window with new windows - was glad to find a 2x10 header above them already. Added a single entry door - and put a 2x10 header above it as well. As others have said, the better way to go is a 2x10 header and skip any cripples.
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by BimmerRacer View Post



The book I have with me right now is a bit confusing since it lists header spans relative to building width. Not sure how that applies here, but a 2x10 header supporting roof and ceiling can span 8'5" for building width of 20' and 6'6" for 36'.

My house is probably around 36' wide for that wall, with a load bearing wall in the middle. Does that mean my building width is 18'?
this is irrelevent in your case. the reason is the book is refering to when the joists will sit above the header, the greater the span (wider the building) the greater the load the header has to carry. but your floor load is being carried on other walls. get what im saying ?
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by SNC View Post
this is irrelevent in your case. the reason is the book is refering to when the joists will sit above the header, the greater the span (wider the building) the greater the load the header has to carry. but your floor load is being carried on other walls. get what im saying ?
Sorta....I mean I get what you are saying, but the book gives the building width option for roof/ceiling load only case still.

Either way, the header is done and will go in tomorrow. I'll post a pic once it's done. Thanks for all who responded.
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Old 02-28-2009, 05:21 PM   #15
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