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Old 04-26-2010, 03:58 PM   #1
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How do I build a header?


I have a 72" wide entryway between my livingroom & kitchen, across which the plaster ceiling is sagging and cracking. A contractor told me it looks like someone just cut out part of the load-bearing wall to widen the opening, & that I need a header across the opening to support the ceiling. How would I go about building that, & what size lumber would I need to use?

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Old 04-26-2010, 04:45 PM   #2
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How do I build a header?


This could be tricky.

You need to know the distributed load in pounds per inch that this 72" header will see along its length. Then the header can be sized.

One way would be to prop up the ceiling until it's level and measure the force it takes to do this.
You can do this with a 4x4 used as lever, some 2x4s and your own body weight. The lever dimensions and the known weight at the end allows you to calculate the force.
It might take 400# to lift this section.

But once you slowly prop it up, I wouldn't let it down again. Use one of those jacks
http://www.northerntool.com/images/p.../144380_lg.jpg
to keep it in place until you install the header.
You may have fasteners above your ceiling that are on the verge of pulling out.

I hope the floor below can stand this downward force.


Last edited by Yoyizit; 04-26-2010 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:47 PM   #3
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How do I build a header?


Need to know the load above for proper sizing
Do floor joists attach to this area, or run parallel to this wall ?
Are the ceilings open right now ?
Usually (2) 2x12's with plywood between is fine for 6'
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Old 04-26-2010, 05:03 PM   #4
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How do I build a header?


My guess without any facts--2- 2x12s with a slice of 1/2 inch plywood sandwiched in between--also figure on using two 2x4 cripples on the right and left side of the opening.

You will also need to add a temporary 'jack' wall to lift the sagging ceiling.

A 'jack' wall is placed as close to the new header as possible (and still leave an inch or two to work)

screw or nail a 2x6 top plate to the sagging ceiling--lay another 2x6 on the floor below the top one--

cut studs long enough to lift the ceiling back to rights. nail the studs into the top plate and then start driving them straight with a BIG hammer----Mike---
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Old 04-26-2010, 05:56 PM   #5
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How do I build a header?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Need to know the load above for proper sizing
Do floor joists attach to this area, or run parallel to this wall ?
Are the ceilings open right now ?
Quote:
Usually (2) 2x12's with plywood between is fine for 6
'
Plus 2
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Old 04-26-2010, 06:09 PM   #6
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How do I build a header?


use 1/2" XPS foam and not plywood for some insulation value. You will have too much thermal bridging if you use plywood. This is the old out of date energy wasting method.
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Old 04-26-2010, 06:28 PM   #7
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How do I build a header?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
use 1/2" XPS foam and not plywood for some insulation value. You will have too much thermal bridging if you use plywood. This is the old out of date energy wasting method.
i think this is interior header yes?
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Old 04-26-2010, 06:51 PM   #8
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How do I build a header?


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Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
use 1/2" XPS foam and not plywood for some insulation value. You will have too much thermal bridging if you use plywood. This is the old out of date energy wasting method.
Its between the kitchen & living room, so insulation not needed
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:14 PM   #9
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How do I build a header?


http://ftp.resource.org/bsc.ca.gov/t...2_page0376.pdf

Be safe, Gary

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