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Railz 12-15-2008 08:50 AM

headers for basement doorways
Hi, I am new to this site and looking for a little advice. I am working on finishing my basement. It is a split level home with engineered floor trusses that require no load bearing walls in the basement. As I started to frame in walls for bedrooms, I began to wonder if I need to put any headers over the doorways or if the cripples would be enough as there should not be any weight resting over these walls. Any thoughts?

ncgrogan 12-15-2008 10:09 AM

It really depends on if you partition walls are touching the floor joists. If they are, some of the floor load from above will transfer into the wall even though it doesn't have to by design.

Railz 12-15-2008 10:43 AM

thanks for the info. ncgrogan, that makes sense. I will put some headers in for the doorways that run perpendicular to the floor joists.

AllanJ 12-15-2008 10:47 AM

The main purpose of the header is to transfer load from the structure above to the jack studs given that there is no stud on 16 inch centers in the middle of the doorway.

Since your structure above is a truss system that did/does not require support from below, the header is no longer necessary. I would omit a header rather than cut down the doorway height and sacrifice headroom. But adequate framing is needed at ceiling height to prevent warping of the door frame or throwing the door out of alignment due to any movement or give up there. With no header you might consider not shimming the middle of the top jamb.

On one of my projects I used a header of 2x4's and shims for cripples, for a doorway in a non-load-bearing wall; no more space.

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