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Old 08-19-2010, 12:52 PM   #1
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Another Header Question...


I'm remodeling a small cottage and took out a door and bar opening section of a load bearing wall. It's a low pitch hip roof and the ceiling joists run perpendicular across and overlap at this wall.
The existing framing had a 3' door opening and a 5' "bar" opening with no header (only double top plate).
I want to take the center 2x4 support out and increase the span to 8'.
IBC dictates using 2-2x12's for an 8' span, which is only a problem since the ceiling height is so low.
Seems way overkill to me since the existing framing had a 5' span without any header.
No loads above (only roof joists) and on slab.
Common sense tells me 2-2x4s would be more than adequate.
What do the experts think?

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Old 08-20-2010, 07:30 PM   #2
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Another Header Question...


Do it right and put in the header. I hear "It lasted that way for years" from people all the time. Just because it had no header and the roof hasn't caved yet doesn't mean it never will, especially when enlarging an unsupported span.

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Old 08-20-2010, 07:31 PM   #3
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Another Header Question...


And if you go to an lvl or microlam header, you can probably shrink the header depth (from a 2 by 12 to a 9 1/4" lam).
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:52 PM   #4
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Another Header Question...


Or install the header in the attic. Bring bearing down through the floor space with solid blocking to a beam and a pier pad, post or under-slab footing for the new point loads. The roof loads can multiply, especially from ice and snow. On a low slope hip, Code has changed from years ago to designing the hips as beams, not rafters, due to the problems found. Under rafters and ceiling joists: Supports for <3:12 slope designed as beams not rafters.[802.3] {2320.12.1} From: http://www.codecheck.com/cc/pg05_06building.html
You may have some supports on the hips that are critical, and bearing on this wall section, check in the attic. What is the span of the ceiling joists, plaster and lath?

Be safe, Gary
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