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Old 02-22-2014, 12:21 PM   #1
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Header not touching beam above


I am new here. I hope I am posting this in the right section. I have a very small pantry in the kitchen that I want to add storage to above the door. The pantry on the inside is the same height as the ceiling so it seemed the perfect place to add storage. Upon opening the wall above the door it seems that the wall is load bearing. The header that is in my way is not touching the stud above it. How is this header supporting any weight if there is almost a 1/4 inch gap between it and the stud running right above it? You can see in the picture where I stuck the crowbar to show the gap. Sorry the pic is sideways. I don't know how to rotate it.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:26 PM   #2
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Header not touching beam above


Another pic
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:29 PM   #3
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Header not touching beam above


Here you can see the gap better.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:52 PM   #4
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Header not touching beam above


That is some bad framing. 4 studs and no jack stud. It doesnt look like who framed this knew what they were doing. It doesn't look like there is any weight on the header but that doesnt mean you dont need one. Its a short span so there isnt alot of weight on it and the double 2x4 is probably taking the weight for now. I would add shims in the grab. and add large nailing plates to top plate header and king studs since there is not jack stud. Dont take out the header without a professional visiting property
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:34 PM   #5
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Header not touching beam above


Hi! Thank you so much for your reply! It's crazy that its not touching! There are jack studs though. I guess you just can't see them in the picture because the trim is covering them. Since the weight is being held up by the 2x4's above the header, could I not take out the what seems to be useless header and continue the jack studs to those 2 2x4's above? I can see straight through to the drywall on the other side of the header. This house was built in 95' and there's been no issue thus far. I guess if I never opened it today it would probably have never been discovered. You mentioned having a professional come to check it out. Who would I need to look at it and how much does a visit like that cost?
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:02 PM   #6
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Header not touching beam above


Houses are generally overbuild so that any one problem does cause a major problem.
I still would not take it out. a smaller header would probably work. a doubled 2x6.
It is possible the framer though it was easier to put in a 2x12 instead of small 2x4 studs for the drywall. But I never seen it done.
You would call a building consultant. I dont know how much they would charge. They also may need to make holes in ceiling to look at 2nd floor structure.
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:38 PM   #7
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Header not touching beam above


Your terminology is a little unusual, so it may be confusing things. A stud is a vertical post, usually a 2x4 or a 2x6. The doubled 2x4's running horizontally above your header are called a top plate (a doubled top plate in this case since there are two of them). The framing is actually pretty common. My guess is they did not use a jack stud on the left (a jack stud is a stud that does not go all the way from the floor to the top plate) because the opening was so small they did not think it was necessary. I am guessing that the doubled top plate is the support element here, and there may be a non load bearing "header" below it supported by some very short studs called cripples, which would be hidden behind the wooden face plate. If you remove the face plate, you will likely see the cripples, and how they are attached.
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Old 02-22-2014, 05:16 PM   #8
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Header not touching beam above


Ah that makes sense! I apologize for calling things by anything other than what they are really called! Thank goodness for the pictures making it clear! From what you are saying about the double top plate being the supporting element, does that mean that you think it's ok to remove the non load bearing header?
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:34 PM   #9
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Header not touching beam above


We really can't see the loads on the header from the picture. Apparently there are some loads as they used a solid /built-up header rather than just the single flat 2x4 (if there were no loads) that is sitting on the two jack studs under the door jamb trim/casing -- you can see if look closely. As you mentioned earlier in #5. Slip the tip of the bar in the ceiling/wall joint above the header, maybe a joist with another 16-24" from each other...

Gary

Tell/show us what is above the door opening- floor joists- or a point load?
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:01 PM   #10
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Header not touching beam above


That wall may not be carrying a large load and the span over a small window is not that great. When it was built, there may not have been a gap between what you call a header and double plate, but wood does shrink a lot (especially transverse) through time as it dries.

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Old 02-23-2014, 06:58 AM   #11
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Header not touching beam above


Thank you all for your replies! I am going to do what JustinK suggested and reinforce it. I was hoping with the gap that is there that it had no significance and it could be removed but looks like I will be putting up new drywall today. I appreciate the advice from all of you!
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:18 AM   #12
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Header not touching beam above


I hope this will do! I added shims and these plates before adding new drywall. I ended up building in half shelves higher in the closet to still make use of the space higher in the pantry. Thanks again for the advice and help!!!
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:23 AM   #13
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Header not touching beam above


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Old 03-02-2014, 11:27 AM   #14
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Header not touching beam above


From My perspective, it looks as if that "header" is nothing more than a filler piece.

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