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Old 09-14-2010, 08:58 AM   #1
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Garage Header


The supporting 2x4s and part of my garage door header was destroyed by termites.

The header was a 13.5" wide x 17' header that was a solid 3" piece of wood. It was supported by (3) 2x4s on each end. As you can see in the photo on the right side I replaced the damaged 2x4s with new ones, but the header is only 9.5" on that side now (the bottom 4" of the header on the right side was damaged). Being the 2x4s were completely destroyed, I wonder what was holding up the roof.

Also on the photo I show the left side which still has the full header. Unfortuneately as you can see in the photo over the garage is not the Gable end, so the header supports the roof truss which are 24" OC.

Should I replace the header and if I have to replace the header would you recommend using microlams or other option? What size and how many?

Another thought I had is just adding an additional beam for support, which would be a lot easier than replacing the old header. I could replace the supporting 2x4s with 2x6s. The 2x4s sit on a concrete footer and there is just enough space to expand it to a 2x6. Would this be O.K.. I would hav the existing header plus another beam attached to it. What would you recommend I use for the additional beam.

Also I would have to build a support wall to remove the existing beam. There is sheetrock in the garage ceiling. Do I have to remove the sheetrock or can I push the wall tight against the sheetrock in order to provide support long enough to replace the header.

Thanks in advance,
Robert"
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:05 AM   #2
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Garage Header


Well you could sister the header; replace it with a new one same size as before or you could use a steel beam W8X21 and depending on your area the code might be for the steel beam to rest on steel columns.

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Old 09-14-2010, 10:19 AM   #3
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Difficult to sister the hearer. No space on the outside. But can add a beam to the inside. That way I would have the original header which is still good for 9.5" and the new beam.
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:37 AM   #4
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what you have is fine. the bending loads on the header are fairly small at the ends and peak in the middle. basically all the narrow part of the header is suporting are the shear loads. Those are minimal compared to the bending loads in a situation like that.

I'd be much more worried about the termites returning than the header failing as it is now.

if you are really woried about it, turn that dinky decoratice 1x angle brace into an actual functioning brace.
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:48 AM   #5
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This is the part I was not sure about. If you lose 4" of wood on the end how it effects the rest of the header. I remember reading once if you have a 12" wide joist and cut out from the bottom 2" you weakened the whole joist to the point that you really only have a 10" joist. I was not sure if the was the case with the end being damaged on my header or not.

You mentioned turning the angle trim into a real brace. How would you suggest I do that. Would that add much support. Currently there is a 2x6 running up that side wall than has a 45 degree cut that hits the angle 2x6.

I bought the house this way. It was treated for termites. But I am not sure how they got in and what will stops them. The sill is PT and it sits on a concrete footer about one foot in the air. The side trim was down to the concrete and rotted. maybe that was their path.
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:04 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by rwbil View Post
This is the part I was not sure about. If you lose 4" of wood on the end how it effects the rest of the header. I remember reading once if you have a 12" wide joist and cut out from the bottom 2" you weakened the whole joist to the point that you really only have a 10" joist. I was not sure if the was the case with the end being damaged on my header or not.

acutally, if it was in the middle, it would be worse than a 10" because a notch sensativity, but at the ends, the the full height of the wood is just there because it easier to work with, and the way wood grains work. What you read is in reguard to the wood splitting along the grain, but I don't think that will be a problem. the extra thickness isnt really even needed untill probably 8' or so. that uneeded extra 6' of full thickness should keep the beam from splitting.

You mentioned turning the angle trim into a real brace. How would you suggest I do that. Would that add much support. Currently there is a 2x6 running up that side wall than has a 45 degree cut that hits the angle 2x6.

just screwing another 2x6 inside would help some, but like I said, it doesn't need to be done. you could also throw up some plywood and sheet the inside of the whole area

I bought the house this way. It was treated for termites. But I am not sure how they got in and what will stops them. The sill is PT and it sits on a concrete footer about one foot in the air. The side trim was down to the concrete and rotted. maybe that was their path.

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Old 09-14-2010, 11:53 AM   #7
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Your original builder used the smallest header he could at the time to pass code (think minimum).
When notching a joist or solid wood beam, there are rules, D/4 or 3-3/8” maximum notch right at the bearing: http://arch.umd.edu/Tech/Structural_..._Guide_A11.pdf

Yours is worse because the “notch” isn’t true (with radius corners), but longer that could lead to splitting of more of the wood below that is under tension while loaded. Add to that the length – a double car door with possible snow loads? Pp.#2- small circled diagram: http://www.finehomebuilding.com/PDF/Free/021184090.pdf

I suggest calling a Structural Engineer on this rather than anyone on a forum for the liability involved. I don’t want to be blood-guilty by having it all crash down on you. Your H.O.Insurance carrier could reject a claim because of an insufficient fix and this paper trail now.

An angled brace may work, designed by a S.E., probably with bolts or Titan screws.
Another header would cause your garage door problems. Not closing tight at the top, whole door recessed into garage-the wall thickness, jack studs in the weather, etc.
With 30-32’? trusses/rafters on top, there is a good amount of weight present. Hence the 3 jack studs on each side, minimum.
Hire a S.E. and DIY or hire it out.

Gary
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:12 AM   #8
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GBR,

That link was exactly what I was looking for. It says I can have a notch at the end no more than .25% or in my case 3.375". I am a little bit over that, but I was thinking about adding another LVL beam that would be 1 3/4" thich x 14" tall x 17' long. Between that new beam and original beam, it seems to me that should be more than enough support.

One person suggested adding a 16" X 1 3/4" LVL beam to the existing beam pushing it all the way up to the ceiling to support the truss and then face nail one 2X4 under each end with the 2X4 laying flat to the existing studs.

But currently there are 3 studs supporting the beam not one. The nice thing about that idea is I would not have to remove and replace the 2x4 jack studs with 2x6s. But replacing them on the right side would be easy and there is a little bit of termite damage on the left side, so replacing them might also be a good idea.

I am cofused to why you think it would effect my garage door. I plan to turn the 2x4 wall into a 2x6 wall and move the garage door out. The wall is less than 2' on each side of the opening so no big deal expanding it out. Am I missing something?

I think adding this beam would provide more than enough support and I think it would be cheaper than hiring a structural enginner.

Give me your thoughts.

Last edited by rwbil; 09-15-2010 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:24 PM   #9
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One person suggested adding a 16" X 1 3/4" LVL beam to the existing beam pushing it all the way up to the ceiling to support the truss and then face nail one 2X4 under each end with the 2X4 laying flat to the existing studs.
consider that the 2 x 4 supporting this new 'header' lvl needs to be bearing onto the footer of the garage, not the garage floor slab.
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:50 AM   #10
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There is enough space on the footer for the 2x4, but I am curious why couldn't one use the garage floor slab?
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:51 AM   #11
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I realize I forgot an important point. I live in Florda, so floating slab from frost is not really an issue
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Old 09-16-2010, 12:50 PM   #12
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"One person suggested adding a 16" X 1 3/4" LVL beam to the existing beam pushing it all the way up to the ceiling to support the truss and then face nail one 2X4 under each end with the 2X4 laying flat to the existing studs." ---- the connection between the two beams may require a S.E. I've done beam sisters before using Timbr-Loc screws and others using 1/2" galv. lags, all of which the S.E. called out the spacing and placement. Yours isn't taking the full weight so it would be a different scenario. With this approach there would be be room for the garage door to radius the right angle and still close properly at the top. (My original concern)

Gary

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