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Old 03-26-2008, 05:57 AM   #1
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Header size

I live in an old balloon framed house. We are thinking of expanding our kitchen to take up about 5 feet of the back porch. The problem is that this will require a 13' 8" header. I would like to understand what this is all about before I put out bids. The wall is balloon framed and has the 2 x 6 joists sitting on 1 x 8 boards notched into the 2 x 4"s. Above that is a 7' wall and the rafters sit on that. If this description is bad I could take a picture. I was told that 2, 14" micro-lam beams would do it. How do I know before they tear it apart, and find more expense involved.


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Old 03-26-2008, 06:35 AM   #2
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Sizing a header is tricky from just a description. The building department will want to see the engineering report before they will write up the permit.

Just from your description a double 14" LVL header sounds undersized.
Is this a 2 story house and you're opening up the 1st level?
1 Floor Load. Is the space above the header livable? What's the tributary?
2 Wall Load.
3 Roof Load.
4 Another roof on the porch side?


I tear things down and build them up.
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Old 03-26-2008, 06:52 AM   #3
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I have been looking at the specs for figuring this out and I have decided to get an engineer to look at it. Even at 56 lbs per linear foot they want 5.5" by 14" micro-lam. It looks like 3, 14' by 2 5/8" will do the job but I am going to bring the plans to an engineer, with pictures.
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