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Old 06-15-2010, 05:04 PM   #1
cai
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How to frame door under hvac duct


Hi all,

This is my first post in this forum. I've been planning to finish my basement and have been reading this forum for the last 2-3 months. And I have to say it's been a BIG source of information and learning for me.

Now that I've actually started the work, I have a question:

(sorry, no pictures nor drawing... I hope my description is clear enough)

I am in the process of framing a storage area. One of the wall runs about 8ft. It crosses perpendicularly a couple of hvac ducts next to each other, with a combined width of about 4ft. Now, since I want to maximize the headroom I want to frame my wall all the way up the the ducts and box the ducts around the wall (instead of boxing the ducts and then frame my wall onto the box).

So, my wall framing will be attached to the ceiling joist on either side of the ducts. However, under the ducts, it will be freestanding. Just a lonely header/top-plate. By itself, that should not be an issue. But... I need to put a door right under that duct and beam!

Would a 4ft span of freestanding header (although nailed on either side to studs which are nailed to the joists/floor) be solid enough to hold a hinged door? How do I solidify the door header (if needed)? I was thinking of laminating a hard metal strip to the header so it won't flex. Should I sacrifice headroom and box in the duct first so I can solidly attach the door frame into?

Thanks all.


Last edited by cai; 06-15-2010 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:52 PM   #2
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How to frame door under hvac duct


Cai,
If I follow what you described right, your header is holding up nothing. If you have it attached on both ends to your studs that are secured to the floor and ceiling joist above, you should be fine. If you are lucky, you'll be able to squeeze a piece of casing in there on top, if not, I have used a couple of pieces of 1x, stepped and routed to look like a miniature piece of crown with the upright casings butting into it.
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:54 PM   #3
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How to frame door under hvac duct


The whole point of a header above a door/window is to support the weight of the load above, if any.

In your case, as you describe it your header is supporting nothing and it’s only propose really would be a place to nail trim to.

Your header has little to do whether or not your framing on either side will carry a hinge.

A pre-hung door would be the way to go if you have the clearance.
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:57 PM   #4
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Sorry Mike, isn’t this when someone is suppose to say Jinxes.
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:05 PM   #5
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How to frame door under hvac duct


Thanks for the quick responses. The header is indeed holding up nothing at all. And I am planning on using custom (because it's only 75" high) pre-hung doors. I wasn't concerned about load bearing as much as I was worried about the door getting slammed over time and shaking the whole door frame up and potentially causing problems. Problems like shaking the header and the drywall and potentially cracking the drywall or something similar. But from what you said here it doesn't appear to be an issue. So I will carry out my plans.

thx.
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:05 PM   #6
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How to frame door under hvac duct


Quote:
Originally Posted by kwikfishron View Post
Sorry Mike, isnít this when someone is suppose to say Jinxes.
Owe me a coke!
Mike Hawkins
I 've had that happen to me too.

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