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Old 01-23-2011, 12:37 AM   #1
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Door header


This is a picture of our bathroom door header. The door is only 24" with 7'8" ceilings. Why do you think this header is so tall, it's a 4 x 8?
I want to rip 3" so I can fit a pocket door. Minimum height for the door is 84.5" from sub floor and I only have 81"

Another thought and much easier would be to shave 3" off the bottom of the door.
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:26 AM   #2
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Door header


Perhaps the builder did full height headers everywhere for simplicity's sake. Do you know if your other rough openings are framed likewise?

That appears to be a built-up header with a single jack stud. As I read R502.5 of the IRC 2006 NJ edition, any load that would require a built-up double 2x12 header (I believe that's what I see in your picture) would also require at least two jack studs on either side.

The ground snow load where I live is 30 psf, so if that header is bearing the weight of the ceiling and roof alone in a 20-ft wide structure, a double 2x12 header will span 9'9". My hunch is that your header is there to avoid putting in cripples.

I wouldn't rip the existing header. If you (or the building inspector) determine that the header was oversized, I would build up a new header. I'm not sure how ripping the bottom would impact the integrity of the lumber.

*Please disregard the reference to the span of a built-up 2x12 header. As a I reread your I post, I see that you have a 8" header. I suppose if I'd paid attention to your ceiling height, I could have concluded as much. *


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Old 01-23-2011, 05:56 AM   #3
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Door header


Quote:
Originally Posted by Subcooled View Post
This is a picture of our bathroom door header. The door is only 24" with 7'8" ceilings. Why do you think this header is so tall, it's a 4 x 8?
I want to rip 3" so I can fit a pocket door. Minimum height for the door is 84.5" from sub floor and I only have 81"

Another thought and much easier would be to shave 3" off the bottom of the door.
Is this a bearing wall? The header has to come out anyway because of the pocket door. The rough opening has to be around 49" for the pocket door. If it is you have to find out what size header you need. With the height of your wall and that rough opening you're going to have to either rip the top plates out or have a flitch plate put in or flush header. You have several options as far as headers are concerned but you need to have them sized by an architect or engineer.
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:34 AM   #4
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Door header


It's a very challenging project for the inexperienced, so make sure you line up all your ducks. The electrical needs to be relocated, and as mentioned above the header needs to extend twice the length + of the actual door width. (the pocket-door hardware instructions will give you the required rough openings)

Have the header/wall evaluated by someone qualified and go the distance, do it right and don't cut the door.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:12 AM   #5
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Door header


What is above the ceiling? Is it a floor or attic space? If it is an attic space, have a look at what the wall is supporting. If the wall is supporting ceiling joists, what is the span of the ceiling joist on both sides of the wall? If the ceiling joist run parallel to the wall the header supports nothing.
The quick rule of thumb for a header in a bearing wall is for each foot of opening provide one inch of header depth. Keep in mind that a wall is not considered to be a bearing wall until the imposed load exceeds 100lbs. per linear foot of wall.
Ripping dimensional lumber affects the grading of the lumber. You may end up with knots too close to the edge etc. but in this case, ripping the header isn't an option.
It all comes down to what the wall supports. If it is non-bearing, have at it, no header required for a pocket door. While you are at it, make the door wider than 24".
If the wall is supporting floor joists you need more help than is available here.

You may wonder why a builder would install a 4"x8" header if no header is called for. It could be as simple as convience for the builder or perhaps the builder liked a solid opening around doors.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:29 AM   #6
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Door header


If you put in a pocket door the header will need to be longer and wider. Pocket door kits are not easily modified.
Why a pocket door?
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:17 AM   #7
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Door header


Thanks for the replies.

The house is 73 ranch style 28' wide. attic space above. Gable roof with ceiling joist running parallel to the wall in question. Cut and stack. There is only single jack studs.

I was in the crawl on does not appear to have any bearing load support.

Electrical is easy to move and I have room to install the door in the rest of the wall.

I was concerned of the 4 x 8. Have't had any other DW off, so I don't know if this was just a standard procedure for the builder.

The reason for the pocket door; This is a very small bathroom and the door takes up precious space and when open blocks the light from the window.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:33 AM   #8
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Door header


If it were a standard procedure(as opposed to a structural requirement), the window header would be the same size.
Is it?
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:13 PM   #9
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Looking at the insulated outside wall that is perpendicular to the wall the OP wants to remove and the OP saying the joists run parallel to the wall, I would guess this is not a load bearing wall. Sometimes the framers will make up a bunch of headers and use them in openings, load bearing or not. If I were the OP and not totally sure of the status of the wall, I would pay a professional to evaluate the load bearing status.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:40 AM   #10
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Had a pro look at it and this wall is not load bearing.
As some of you mentioned the framer made all the headers the same.
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:34 PM   #11
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If this isn't a bearing wall, you won't need a header for your ~49" opening. You may want one just to provide a nailing surface for drywall, but you don't have to worry about maintaining the size.
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:47 PM   #12
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Door header


But it will be easier to install a new header at the correct height to attach the pocket door track and allow for proper door height

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