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mercy 01-18-2010 02:10 PM

Cripple studs below a header
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We want to increase the height of a closet door so we can utilize the space at the top of the closet. When we opened up the drywall on the inside of the closet, we realized the closet framing consists of: 1) a 2X9" header just below the ceiling framing, and 2) 4 cripple studs below the header. The cripple studs fill the space below the header to make the closet opening smaller so that a standard 80" door would fit. The 2x9 header sits on the jack studs, while the cripple studs are nailed into the header and jack studs (see photo). The blueprints for our building show that this is not a load bearing wall, however with the 2x9 header, we had to stop and ask. At this point, we are thinking of leaving the header where it is and just removing the cripple studs to increase the opening height of the closet. We don't think the cripples are bearing any load, since they are attached below the header, but we wanted to put it out there and see if anyone thinks otherwise.

Gary in WA 01-18-2010 02:23 PM

Yes, framed for a load bearing wall, everything between jacks (to 2x10) can be removed (horizontals and short cripple studs).

Be safe, Gary

CustomBuild 01-20-2010 12:32 PM

Some builders use "box beam headers"(that is what type of header you have) over every door and window, regardless of location. The only way to tell for sure is to figure out if anything is resting on top of that wall.

Gary in WA 01-20-2010 03:20 PM

We call them solid wood headers with a frame down. I would leave the 2x10 alone or check before removing as C.B. said.
Be safe, Gary

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