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Old 04-15-2007, 07:29 AM   #1
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Mike Pohl


Trying to determine what size header I'll need to span 12ft on an load bearing interior wall. The house is a single story in so. Calif. with no snow load. In the hall there are two openings, one is 54in the other is 43in with a 36in 2x4 wall between them. Would like to make this one large opening if possible. Any information will be appreciated.
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:21 AM   #2
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Trying to determine what size header I'll need to span 12ft on an load bearing interior wall. The house is a single story in so. Calif. with no snow load. In the hall there are two openings, one is 54in the other is 43in with a 36in 2x4 wall between them. Would like to make this one large opening if possible. Any information will be appreciated.
Hi Mike,

I started to write you an explanation about this....and accidently closed the window. So to abbreviate things: Get this engineered. There are too many factors involved, beyond the 'just spanning a load bearing wall opening'...
Affordable way: Go to the supply company that you plan on purchasing the LVL, versaLam or other beam from. If you have your plans for your home, take those too. Ususally, if you purchase the materials from them, they will gladly help you figure out exactly what you will need to do....at no charge. They will run the calculations for the actual load being supported by that wall.
You see, there is a common misunderstanding about this. You need to 'size' the header or beam for the actual weight load that your wall is supporting in YOUR home's structure...
You will need that information ....when you pull your permit for this job, as such a project most definitely requires a permit.
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Old 04-15-2007, 02:15 PM   #3
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Mike Pohl


You also need to carry the load directly onto the main beam underneath. You can't just rest the vertical supports on the subfloor. You need to install blocking down to the main beam in the basement.
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Old 04-15-2007, 02:26 PM   #4
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Mike Pohl


You are in seismic country, where loads go up, down and sideways - not just down like other places.

Have an enginner look at it to make sure you still have enough lateral strength.
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Old 04-15-2007, 04:26 PM   #5
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You are in seismic country, where loads go up, down and sideways - not just down like other places.
Have an enginner look at it to make sure you still have enough lateral strength.
Good additional point - didn't even notice the location: So. California.... even more so to get an engineer involved......
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:36 PM   #6
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Thanks for the information, didn't realize it was so involved. Will talk with the local lumber supplier and go on from there. Thanks to all who replied!
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