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Old 09-30-2007, 07:11 PM   #1
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Help determining header size


I'm installing a pocket door to replace a standard bathroom door in a tight hallway.
The studs are all exposed and I'm clear of any mechanical issues with electrical etc.
The wall is a short internal bearing wall, less than 7 feet total length.
I'm all set with shoring before I get started with the final removal and new framing.
The pre fab pocket frame requires a rough opening of 66" x 84".
Immediately upstairs is the center of the floor of a 3/4 bath (stool, sink, shower). The wall supports the floor of the upstairs bath.
What is required in terms of header width - do I need 2 (2 x 6, 8, 10, 12)?
What about Jacks - should I have two on each end?
What are the keys to keep in mind for fastening/nailing?

I'm not having much luck deciphering the IRC with respect to span tables and load bearing info.

Thanks in advance, any "constructive" input would be very much appreciated!

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Old 09-30-2007, 08:18 PM   #2
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Help determining header size


on an opening that wide, with the extra load above I would use a triple beam. either 2X10 or 2X12. Single jacks are okay. fasten it with a standard nailing pattern.

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Old 09-30-2007, 08:42 PM   #3
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on an opening that wide, with the extra load above I would use a triple beam. either 2X10 or 2X12. Single jacks are okay. fasten it with a standard nailing pattern.
Yikes, you mean triple as in 3 sistered 2x10 or 2x12? For a 66" wide RO?

The current load is supported only by a two kings and a 3rd stud in the middle of the wall (a fourth is just "floating" supporting nothing). There's no jacks and no real header, just two 2x4 stacked and turned flat like a plate that sit directly on top of the current door frame with two crips nailed into them.

Thanks for your speedy reply; I'm working on getting this puzzle solved this week!
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Old 09-30-2007, 09:14 PM   #4
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Help determining header size


You could overkill it with a double 9.5" LVL with double jack studs on each end.
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Old 09-30-2007, 09:30 PM   #5
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Help determining header size


I'd like to improve on the original 1922 structure, but I don't see the need for overkill. What is 'good' really? What is it that the span tables really say?

Given the way everything is currently just kind of resting on just the door frame and the kings, putting in a double 2x10 (or even 8 or 6) on single jacks (or double if there's room enough) would seem like a big improvement.

That throw up any red flags for any of you?

Thanks again - this is a fantastic resource!
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Old 09-30-2007, 10:08 PM   #6
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Help determining header size


I would just size the header to fill in the space above with laminated material so you don't have to worry about any little pieces above the header not to mention overbuild is better than minimum and one jack on each side is plenty.
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Old 09-30-2007, 10:46 PM   #7
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Help determining header size


Where you put the jack and king studs, make sure they are resting on the beam below and not just the subfloor.
With the weight of a 1922 bath installation, I would go minimum, 2x8 LVL. The difference in cost is mimimal compared to the regular dimensional lumber.
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Old 10-01-2007, 03:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
Where you put the jack and king studs, make sure they are resting on the beam below and not just the subfloor.
......Ron
Good point. For the header to even work, it has to be part of the whole "Stacked up" arrangement of the structural framing. "Solid" on top of "Solid" framing.
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Old 10-01-2007, 06:25 AM   #9
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Help determining header size


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Originally Posted by Griffith.N View Post
I'd like to improve on the original 1922 structure, but I don't see the need for overkill. What is 'good' really? What is it that the span tables really say?
My LLY (Local Lumber Yard) speced out the header that I just installed. Give them a ring and see if they have the software and somebody competetant to use it. They know all the right questions to get it sized properly. Size of foundation,
My 90" opening on a 1st floor/2 story exterior load wall was speced for double 9 1/2" LVL with 2 jack studs on each end.
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:08 PM   #10
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Help determining header size


Really good catch on the "stacking" over the joists below, not just the subfloor. There's not much in the way of support currently, but looking at it all again, the two kings actually are positioned right over the joists below.

So, I'll have to make sure I can get that configured in, and will call the Lumber Yard guys and see what they can offer with the specs.
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Old 10-02-2007, 09:56 PM   #11
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Then double up the joists so that the jacks are siting on something. You are talking about some serious weight.
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:11 AM   #12
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Help determining header size


"So, I'll have to make sure I can get that configured in, and will call the Lumber Yard guys and see what they can offer with the specs."

There's two ways that I've used. Put blocking under the area of the load of the jack studs or if I can't access that area from below, I just cut out the subfloor and rest the jack studs directly on the beam.
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:28 AM   #13
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Help determining header size


Isn't it possible that this is just a partition wall, since it runs under the middle of the bathroom upstairs? Aren't the bearing walls likely to be under the bathroom walls?

I'm certainly no builder, but that was my first thought about this layout.
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Old 10-03-2007, 02:35 PM   #14
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Help determining header size


OK, so you guys have me a little wigged out about whether the underlying structure can support the head span as it needs to.

Floor joists of the floor above overlap on this wall, so it is supporting the ends of the joists for the spans on either side. If I removed the wall with no support, nothing wood support these 2nd floor wall joists.
If the spacing works on this simple representation, it's like this.

Seen from above:
W
------W--end
end--W------------
W

On the floor side, I'm concerned. I can place the jack on one end directly on an underlying joist, so that seems good to go. On the other end, however, the jack falls exactly between two joists.
From the side:

Jck
fffffffffff-Jst-fffffffffffff- jst-fffffff

What do you suggest? I'm not familiar with the "boxing" between the joists referred to - does that provided support to the joists on either side? What is the basic structure?

Thanks in advance - you have already been a tremendous help!
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:54 PM   #15
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Help determining header size


Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffith.N View Post
OK, so you guys have me a little wigged out about whether the underlying structure can support the head span as it needs to.

Floor joists of the floor above overlap on this wall, so it is supporting the ends of the joists for the spans on either side.
Well then, scratch my question. That makes it pretty clear!

Blocking can be a bunch of 2x4s stacked under the sub floor where the jack stud rests, and filling the space completely between that floor and the beam or foundation wall or something below. Is there something supporting the joists directly below this pocket door?

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