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Old 07-25-2007, 06:55 AM   #1
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I love this site and the info it provide's!!!

I am going to be installing a few window's in an exterior wall that currentely has none. They will either be awning or transom so I want to get them as high up as possible.

So, my question is what is the smallest header I can put in? Can I go 2x10 or 2x8 or does it need to be 2x12?

This will be on the first floor of a 2 story house.

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Old 07-25-2007, 07:43 AM   #2
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Also, I forgot this info.

We are going to chose either 2 - 30" wide window's OR 1 - 36" wide. So, I need some advise for both as I know the header size related to the length of the opening.

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Old 07-25-2007, 12:02 PM   #3
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im not gonna guess at the size (ok, my guess, and its only a guess... 12", but i have no basis to go off of, aside from the first floor of a second story house)


if people are comfortable offering up up this type of advice, they will probably want to know other things such as type of roof, and if this wall is a gable end or not..

the only tid bit i can offer up, from my diy knowledge...

assuming you have a 2x4 stud wall, i assume when you say 2x, you mean you will double up your 2x lumber.. if that is the case, you may want to sandwich the pieces with some 1/2 plywood so the depth of the header (1.5 + 1.5 +.5 = 3.5) is equal to the depth of the 2x4 studs (3.5")

if you have 2x6's, then thats a different story, perhaps tripling the sandwich to equal the depth..

i dont do this stuff for a living, just offering up a tid bit.. dont think the plywood offers much in terms of bearing, but mainly acts as a spacer so your drywall/siding will sit flush against the header..
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Old 07-25-2007, 12:10 PM   #4
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oh yeah... the 'sandwich' would be glued and nailed together...

like i said, 12" is just a guess.. i dont know the load calcs needed in your situation, but erroring on the side of caution doesn't hurt..
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Old 07-25-2007, 03:16 PM   #5
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What's the size of the rough opening?
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:09 PM   #6
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2'8" x 1'1"

They are small window's! It will sapn accross two existing stud's in the current wall, so I need to cut two down.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:19 PM   #7
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You should be able to get away with a 4x6 header for openings upto 4'.
4x8 up to 5', 4x10 up to 6'.
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Last edited by Clutchcargo; 07-26-2007 at 10:13 AM. Reason: mis-information
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Old 07-26-2007, 06:45 AM   #8
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Are these two 30" windows going to be side by side? A 5 foot opening will require a larger header then a 36" opening. Larger headers go on load bearing walls. Up to 36" on a load bearing wall I would go with a double 2x10 w 1/2" ply. If 60 " ,a double 12" lvl beam. No ply needed as it's 1 3/4" thick. My recommendation might change if I actually saw the conditions of the site. Over building can't hurt.
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:05 AM   #9
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it is two individual window's. Each window will need a rough opening of 2'8" x 1'1".

The wall is 8' high, 12' long. It is an exterior wall with nothing in it (no electric, hvac, etc....). It is a side wall of a standard colonian house with 2x4 stud's 16" on center.

I was hoping I could use 2x10's with 1/2 ply in between as the header. 2x12's will drop the window's down further then I wanted.
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:03 AM   #10
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Even if were load bearing, 2x10's for 2'8" opening will be fine.
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
Even if were load bearing, 2x10's for 2'8" opening will be fine.
Ron
You might even be able to get away with 2x8's depending on loading but if you can make the 2x10's sit directly against the top sill it will save you from making the pidely spacers between the lintel and top plate.

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Old 07-26-2007, 12:24 PM   #12
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IF I can go 2x10's (and it does sound like that will be Ok) and go right against the top plate, that will be fine.

the 2" loss if I went 2x12 just dropped the window's a bit to low.

I really appreciate all the info.
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:26 PM   #13
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One more question....

I was looking at photo's of a window install and noticed that under the 2x10 header there was a 2x4 running horizontal that sit on the jack stud's.

I also saw some other diagram's where the jack stud's go right under the header.

What is the best way to do this? Is that horizontal 2x4 under the header needed or not?
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Old 07-26-2007, 05:24 PM   #14
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It's an option you can do. It provides a flat continous surface to nail any extension jambs into. Alot of times when you sandwich three pieces of wood together they don't exactly line up. Hence the term "rough" framing. Since you want the window as high as you can get it. Take the time to line up the wood and thus eliminating the 2x4.
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Old 07-27-2007, 12:43 PM   #15
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It's an option you can do. It provides a flat continous surface to nail any extension jambs into. Alot of times when you sandwich three pieces of wood together they don't exactly line up. Hence the term "rough" framing. Since you want the window as high as you can get it. Take the time to line up the wood and thus eliminating the 2x4.
Ron
yeah truely spoken.If U dont see to it U might end up with problems

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