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Old 01-20-2010, 11:34 AM   #1
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Raise header of house wall plus add more header


Hi There,

this is slightly related to my other post concerning the hip roof:
adding skylights to vaulted ceiling
however it's only related in that the roof happeneds to attach to the wall I will be speaking of.


The width of the header is about 13'-14'. This is where the exterior wall of the first floor used to be well before my time of living in this home. It is not load-bearing however as you can see from the below image, there is onle a single 2x4 that stretches accross the 13' span, holding up the second story wall plus the weight the top part of the rafters of the roof behind it.

image of header:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1491001/header_before.jpg

image of rafter 'tie-in', header, and exterior wall:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1491001/top_rafter.jpg

You cannot see it, but said header is lower to the ground than the 2x6s that hold up the floor of the rest of the house...I would say by 4 to 6 inches?

What I would love is to double or triple the header, I worry about it's strength since it's all by it's lonesome - but I would really love to raise said header so that I do not have to drywall around it.

Here is a photo of what I want to do, red lines indicate either existing 2x4 posts that would need to be modified or new 2x4 header beams I would like to add.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1491001/header_after.JPG



how can I raise this header? Is this even possible?

I imagine I would have to remove the header and cut each 2x4 post so that there is enough room to add new 2x4 headers and raise the height of said headers - but how do i support said posts while doing so that the wall continues to be support while getting worked on?

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Old 01-20-2010, 11:46 AM   #2
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Raise header of house wall plus add more header


Without cutting anything out, could you just add your header to the wall, jack up the existing header slightly, and then bolt the old and new together? Jacking the old header before you bolt them together, then releasing the jack will preload the new header.(Rather than waiting for the existing framing to settle for any weight to be put on the new header.) Then fur out the rest of the wall to the thickness of the new header.

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Old 01-20-2010, 11:47 AM   #3
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Raise header of house wall plus add more header


That's not a header
That's what is probably left of the top plates after the prior owner took the wall down
It is load bearing as there is a roof that lands on it
For a 13-14' span at a bare Min you need (2) 2x12's
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:23 PM   #4
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Raise header of house wall plus add more header


My first impression of the pics was that there isnt a header there, But I was assuming there is one, just not visible. ......scary
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:51 PM   #5
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Raise header of house wall plus add more header


Quote:
That's not a header
That's what is probably left of the top plates after the prior owner took the wall down
It is load bearing as there is a roof that lands on it
For a 13-14' span at a bare Min you need (2) 2x12's
right, so it is load bearing considering the roof in the front of the house ties into it. however the main roof is not supported by this wall, which is what i meant by not being load-bearing; my mistake in wording.

So, whether it be 2x12 or something else, the question still remains. How can I put those into place while keeping the wall this top plate is holding up from falling down?

also - I really could not add headers downward to the floor - where would my head go when walking around the room? I'd have to install the headers upward.
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:56 PM   #6
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Raise header of house wall plus add more header


i think i need to say i misspoke - this 'header' or 'top plate' is actually a 4x4
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:21 PM   #7
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Raise header of house wall plus add more header


If it didn't fall down with a 4x4 in place its not going to
A 4x4 still isn't a header for that span
2nd floor joists do not land on this from the other room as I recall
I'd cut out the studs high enough to fit the 2x12 header in

You could run long 2x's at an angle up to the ledger board for support
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:47 PM   #8
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Raise header of house wall plus add more header


Quote:
2nd floor joists do not land on this from the other room as I recall
Not sure what you mean by this. In our house the floor joists run parellel to this beam.


Quote:
If it didn't fall down with a 4x4 in place its not going to
great to here

Quote:
A 4x4 still isn't a header for that span
I'd cut out the studs high enough to fit the 2x12 header in
Agreed, i'd imagine I would need 2-2x12s to make up for the 4x and so that the floor joists on the second floor sit fully.

Quote:
You could run long 2x's at an angle up to the ledger board for support
I am not picturing what you mean by this. What would be the ledger board? you are saying to support the roof in the front while adding in the 2x12? What about the 2x4s for the wall up above? how do i support those?
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:16 PM   #9
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Raise header of house wall plus add more header


1. That is a bottom plate of the stud wall above. 2x4. I am amazed this has not sagged or fallen in.

2. Need a picture of the roof from the side (end) outside, including the roof/gable above from 20-30' away.

Be safe, Gary
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:03 PM   #10
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Raise header of house wall plus add more header


How can this not be structural?
Isn't the wall that the hip roof runs into an exterior wall?

definitely needs something besides a 4x4 to span that.
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:05 PM   #11
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Raise header of house wall plus add more header


Quote:
Originally Posted by CustomBuild View Post
Without cutting anything out, could you just add your header to the wall, jack up the existing header slightly, and then bolt the old and new together? Jacking the old header before you bolt them together, then releasing the jack will preload the new header.(Rather than waiting for the existing framing to settle for any weight to be put on the new header.) Then fur out the rest of the wall to the thickness of the new header.
I don't think sideloading the header in that fashion would be a good idea, but I'm not an Engineer.
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:00 PM   #12
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Raise header of house wall plus add more header


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Originally Posted by jlhaslip View Post
I don't think sideloading the header in that fashion would be a good idea, but I'm not an Engineer.
You are right.. good catch
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:17 PM   #13
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Raise header of house wall plus add more header


I'll get photos of the outside tomorrow when it is light outside. In the meantime here are some photos of where the beam meets the walls for your pleasure:
untouched photo:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1491001/beam.jpg
photo with comments:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1491001/beam_drawing.jpg


Yes, i agree that because of the hip roof, it's structural, it has not sagged or fallen yet and the beam, once again i was wrong, it's an 2-1/4" x 4"

given that we all agree this beam needs to be replaced, I have about 2' from this current beam up to the ledger of the hip roof at the top. I am all about executing installing a 2x12x13. The current beam rests on 6x6s on either side.

Again, I would like the new beam to be higher by 3" so that it is at the same height as the rest of the 2x6 joists throughout, where I will be installing the drywall. I imagine this would mean I would add a bit to the 6x6 for the new 'header' to rest on.

However, i'm still unclear as to how I can install a 2x12 while supporting this entire wall

That said I will need to cut 15" from each 2x4 that rests on this 2-1/4"x4" beam.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:38 PM   #14
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Raise header of house wall plus add more header


i should note that the joists which support the second floor are 2x6, same goes for the first floor.
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:25 PM   #15
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Raise header of house wall plus add more header


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Originally Posted by capslock View Post


I imagine I would have to remove the header and cut each 2x4 post so that there is enough room to add new 2x4 headers and raise the height of said headers - but how do i support said posts while doing so that the wall continues to be support while getting worked on?
The ledger board is the 2x that the rafters "land" on in this pic above the red lines - on the right side
I would angle 2x's as support up to that ledger board

A 2x12 is 11 1/4 high plus 1/2" sheetrock means you need 11 3/4" cut out so that the bottom of the 2x12 headers are even with the bottom of the other rooms studs
That way sheetrock will come from that ceiling even & level

11 3/4 height needed - 3 1/2" for the 4x4 = 8 1/4" approx cut out from the 2x's above the 4x4
Take out as much extra as needed to have the bottom of the header even with the ceiling joists in the other room

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