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Old 09-24-2009, 06:32 PM   #1
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Installing header for kitchen pass through


So I have a approx. 19 1/2 ft wall dividing my living room and kitchen. One end has a 6ft opening already. This is a load bearing wall with a basement below but no second floor. I would like to cut a hole to make a kitchen pass through and would like this hole to be approx. 9-10 ft long . So in the end the wall would look like this: 6 ft opening- then a post at the end of new pass through-then 9-10ft opening- then approx 3ft wall. Now I know I need to put up temp walls on both sides but I have found conflicting answers on what size header i would need would a two 2x10 sadwiching a 1/2 plywood be enough or need bigger? maybe 2x12? Also will two 2x4 on each end be ok for jack studs?

one last question is should I just scratch that idea and go with an overhead header in the attic ? Is this a much easier process? as I understand it I will need an approx 12ft header and all I do is attach them to the ceiling joist with ceiling hangers above the existing wall. Then I can just cut out the hole? Thanks for all the help in advance .sorry its so long

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Old 09-24-2009, 06:40 PM   #2
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Installing header for kitchen pass through


I Installed a very similar header in my kitchen, the span was approximately 11 feet. I used a steel beam for the header, not as deep as would have been required if I used wood. I used triple 2x4's on either end, overkill but I did not mind the cost of two extra 2x4's.

Sizing of the beam must be done by a registered engineer in most states, I would not offer, not do I recommend that you accept, advice on sizing a structural element such as the header you describe, over the Internet. You should check with your local code official about allowable types of headers, in some areas you may be restricted as to the type of header you can use.

As for hanging the header off of rafters (you used the term joist, I am not sure you have joists up there), you would have a similar issue of needing professional structural advice. You are going to be putting a relatively large load on the hangers, and it may not be reasonable to attach it to the rafters.

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Old 09-24-2009, 06:46 PM   #3
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Installing header for kitchen pass through


Yup, you can't guess at this - beam needed must be sized for each installation

I opened up ~12' 6", (3) 2x4's at each end for support
My beams were sized at 14" LVL's
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:41 PM   #4
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Installing header for kitchen pass through


Is this under a trussed roof? What makes you think its a "load bearing wall"?
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:27 PM   #5
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Installing header for kitchen pass through


cause it is directly into the middle of the house and aligned with the roof peak. perpendicular with the roof trusses, and directly underneath the wall in the basement are 3 or 4 support beams . thanks for all the answers so far.

can anyone give me a ballpark figure of what im looking at for a lvl beam or steel i beam, and this would be a ballpark figure of course
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:31 PM   #6
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Installing header for kitchen pass through


Ball park figure for the 14" LVL was under $7 a foot as I recall
So 10', 2 beams required = $140, or they might go with (3) 12" LVL's - slightly more...or (2) 12" LVL's

My lumber company sized the beams for free for me & had an engineer review the sizing & stamp the paperwork
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:37 PM   #7
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Installing header for kitchen pass through


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cause it is directly into the middle of the house and aligned with the roof peak. perpendicular with the roof trusses, and directly underneath the wall in the basement are 3 or 4 support beams .
dear sir...if the roof is trusses spanning the entire width of the house..that wall probably is NOT load bearing..perpendicular to the trusses does NOT mean it is load bearing. The fact that walls in the basement bearing the weight of the floor is irrelevent to the question.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:21 PM   #8
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Installing header for kitchen pass through


hmmm you do bring up a good point, I thank you. Does anyone else agree? Just inquiring with others , but I will eventually be calling a stuctural eng. Thanks again
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:03 PM   #9
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Installing header for kitchen pass through


Is there a header over the exsisting 6' opening?
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:15 PM   #10
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Installing header for kitchen pass through


Go to the attic space, locate the subject wall. If the trusses span the 40' width of the house they probably arent even bearing on the top plate and there might even be a space under the bottom cord of the truss at the wall plate. Typicall trusses are not supposed to bear on interior walls at all and arent fastened to the top plates.If they are touching the top plate that's ok..that still doesnt mean they are load bearing. Also you will see that blocks or clips are fastened to the top plates that allow the truss to move up and down with expansion. If the roof structure is trusses you'll notice metal plates at all the connections of the truss parts. SOMETIMES trusses are engineered to bear on interior walls but not often.
Conversely..if your roof structure is stick framed and not trusses, the wall is most likely load bearing.
I don't know if you know the difference between stick framing and trusses so don't be offended by the over-explaining.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:19 PM   #11
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Installing header for kitchen pass through


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Originally Posted by bpchevyguy View Post
hmmm you do bring up a good point, I thank you. Does anyone else agree? Just inquiring with others , but I will eventually be calling a stuctural eng. Thanks again
Are they trusses? or stick framed?
Without pics or actually seeing how things are put together everything is just a guess

Floor load alone could mean you need a beam

A bathtub on that wall could make it load bearing
I know one bathroom my old man did there was so much tile he had to add extra support
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:33 PM   #12
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Installing header for kitchen pass through


huh???? its a wall separating his kitchen from his living room with the roof above.

oh you meant in the basement...never mind
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Old 09-25-2009, 12:35 AM   #13
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Installing header for kitchen pass through


Take a picture over the wall in the attic, and one below the wall in the basement.

Be safe, Gary
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Old 09-25-2009, 04:36 PM   #14
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Installing header for kitchen pass through


Sorry it took so long had to work , but I have to exuse myself cause i was mistaken I do not have trusses.(just recently bought the house) but here are the pictures and still thinking its load bearing.

The first three pics are of the attic

the second pic are supports sitting right on top of the wall there is one more support across about 10 ft away

the third pic just shows that the joist are split right above the wall all the way down

the forth pic is from the basement and shows that all the joist underneath the wall are doubled up
Attached Thumbnails
Installing header for kitchen pass through-p1020836.jpg   Installing header for kitchen pass through-p1020840.jpg   Installing header for kitchen pass through-p1020843.jpg   Installing header for kitchen pass through-p1020849.jpg  
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Old 09-25-2009, 04:38 PM   #15
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Installing header for kitchen pass through


heres some more of the attic and basement
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Installing header for kitchen pass through-p1020841.jpg   Installing header for kitchen pass through-p1020842.jpg   Installing header for kitchen pass through-p1020845.jpg  

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