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Old 08-09-2011, 11:29 PM   #1
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Raising header to install standard size door (photos)


The door in our den isn't a standard size - it was custom made for the framing. Went to Lowes tonight to price out a custom sized door and I'm looking at about $355 for a basic steel half moon glass pane door. Steep!

I'd like to install a standard size door if possible. If I remove the section of 2x4 highlighted with the BLUE X in the picture below then the bottom of the 2x6 beam is right about 82 1/2" and will give me what I need. This door doesn't even technically have a header - the "header" is actually just the top plate for the stud wall.

Is there any reason I can't just use the 2x6 as the door header? I won't know if the 2x6 is sistered (it probably isn't but with this house... who knows) until I remove the door and the 2x4. If it isn't and it's only an inch and a half wide can I just sister another section of 2x6 behind it to give me the correct depth?

Any concerns with this I should be aware of?




Last edited by JustADoc; 08-09-2011 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:40 PM   #2
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Raising header to install standard size door (photos)


You may be right that it is not a header but we do not know. As for removing the top plates what would be your plan?

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Old 08-09-2011, 11:51 PM   #3
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Raising header to install standard size door (photos)


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You may be right that it is not a header but we do not know. As for removing the top plates what would be your plan?
It's certainly serving as a header but it's just an 8' 2x4. The original door is basically framed right into the stud wall - no header or cripple studs whatsoever. I would just sawzall the section of the top plate out that the existing door frame is attached to - basically the material shown in blue below.



That would give me about 82 1/2" of height as a rough opening and plenty to install a standard pre-hung door. Width is a little off but I can work with it.

That would make my new rough opening the area shown below.



Still no true header - the 2x6 would serve that purpose. Any reason that won't work?

I actually don't really understand yet, structurally, what purpose that 2x6 serves. It's below ceiling level and it's the only one at that level in the entire room. It's basically wedged between two walls just like a top plate would be. I'm sure it serves some purpose.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:23 AM   #4
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Raising header to install standard size door (photos)


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Originally Posted by JustADoc View Post
It's certainly serving as a header but it's just an 8' 2x4. The original door is basically framed right into the stud wall - no header or cripple studs whatsoever. I would just sawzall the section of the top plate out that the existing door frame is attached to - basically the material shown in blue below.



That would give me about 82 1/2" of height as a rough opening and plenty to install a standard pre-hung door. Width is a little off but I can work with it.

That would make my new rough opening the area shown below.



Still no true header - the 2x6 would serve that purpose. Any reason that won't work?

I actually don't really understand yet, structurally, what purpose that 2x6 serves. It's below ceiling level and it's the only one at that level in the entire room. It's basically wedged between two walls just like a top plate would be. I'm sure it serves some purpose.
Does that 2x6 run the length of the room? And what sits on top of that whole wall?
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:12 AM   #5
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Raising header to install standard size door (photos)


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Does that 2x6 run the length of the room? And what sits on top of that whole wall?
It does run the length of the whole room. This den was an addition to the house before we purchased it and we're not sure what purpose the 2x6 serves quite yet. The other side of this wall is a patio and it has the same ceiling height as the den. This 2x6 is sandwiched in between one wall with sheathing and widing and one wall with sheathing and brick.

There's nothing above that wall but the roof and an antiquated balcony that will be replaced next Summer.

See below:



The wall with the door is the one seen in the photo here highlighted in red. The bottom of the 2x6 is approximately at the bottom of the third brick down from the eve. That's the top level of the door.
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:15 PM   #6
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Raising header to install standard size door (photos)


There are two rows of nails that we can see nailed in from this side of the door in the "header" if it is one, so it must be doubled or some other wood at the nails. From outside the house it doesn't look to be a load bearing wall unless there are legs from the deck resting at the point where the door is as the rafters do not rest on that wall.
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:07 PM   #7
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Raising header to install standard size door (photos)


I'm with Jim. The wall runs parallel to the rafters so it's not supporting the roof. More than likely it is there to disperse the load of the balcony.(I'll assume there is another 4x4 leg on the back side of the roof).I don't see why you can't just cut the 2x4 out, but I wouldn't cut into the 2x6 just in case it is holding the weight of the balcony.

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Old 08-10-2011, 04:40 PM   #8
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Raising header to install standard size door (photos)


Finally got it all torn away. The 2x6 must serve no purpose, it terminates in the corner. See attachments. I think they just intended it to be the header for the wall... I don't really understand why. It isn't actually a continuous span after all is on 3 of 4 walls in the room. I'm gonna leave it as it's more hassle to remove but I'm no longer concerned about removing it.

Also, for a good laugh, I attached a photo of how the electrician many moons ago installed the wiring for an exterior light from the inside. Looks like he just beat a hole through the sheathing with a hammer. No foam filler or anything to insulate.
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:42 PM   #9
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Raising header to install standard size door (photos)


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I'm with Jim. The wall runs parallel to the rafters so it's not supporting the roof. More than likely it is there to disperse the load of the balcony.(I'll assume there is another 4x4 leg on the back side of the roof).I don't see why you can't just cut the 2x4 out, but I wouldn't cut into the 2x6 just in case it is holding the weight of the balcony.
It would make since that it serve that purpose but the second story and balcony were added 30ish years after the home was built. This room also wasn't part of that reno - they didn't alter it in any way. It was built that way when the den was added in roughly the mid 70s. Strange.

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