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Old 10-08-2012, 03:40 PM   #1
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Sagging Beam over 8' Slider


Hi Everyone,

We are in the midst of a major remodel. We purchased a house a few months ago and it seems everything we touch needs some work. Anyways, the new "fun" thing we noticed was a sagging beam. Actually our window sales rep noticed it when he measured the opening for the new slider.

We took off the drywall around the slider to see what was going on. My husband took his level out and figured it is sagging in the middle by 3/8 to 1/4". From the outside it looks like it has a small smile. My question is should we be worried about it? It is normal settling? If we need to replace it we will but we don't want to if not necessary as we have other things we need to get done...lots of them! The wood around it and the beam itself seem like they are in good condition.

The beam is 11" high, 4" thick and is 8'6.5" in length. The slider is 8'.

Any insight would be most welcomed. Thank you!!!

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Old 10-08-2012, 03:46 PM   #2
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Sagging Beam over 8' Slider


is the header touching the frame of the door? do you have issues opening the slider, does it stick? is there a floor above? does the roof support on the wall that the slider is in?

a few photos may aid in getting intelligent responses

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Old 10-08-2012, 04:03 PM   #3
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Sagging Beam over 8' Slider


Hi, The slider didn't open all the way and my husband did something to fix it. It's really old and doesn't lock but we can open it now. It will be replaced by months end.

There is a bedroom above it but it cantilevers out about 3 feet. No the framing does not touch the slider. Please see the pictures.

On the picture that is beam4 the pen mark is where it is out of level.

Thanks!

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Sagging Beam over 8' Slider-beam2.jpg   Sagging Beam over 8' Slider-beam1.jpg   Sagging Beam over 8' Slider-beam4.jpg   Sagging Beam over 8' Slider-beam3.jpg  
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:36 PM   #4
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Sagging Beam over 8' Slider


You say your husband measured the maximum sag (presumably in the middle) as no more than 3/8 inch. You say the beam is about 8-1/2 feet long. This would make the L/D (ratio of length of beam to sag) at somewhere around 270, which is acceptable for a header. It would be possible to analyze the strength of the header if we knew the load, the material the species of wood the header was made of, and the exact dimensions of the header, but based on the measured sag, there is no evidence of any structural problem. If there is insufficient space between the header and the door, then of course the door will not open, but that is not a problem due to sag, that is a framing problem.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:46 PM   #5
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Sagging Beam over 8' Slider


the header may have been installed crown down also
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:04 PM   #6
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Sagging Beam over 8' Slider


Did hubby put the level an the slider or the beam itself?

I see the smile on the slider but not the cantilever.

Im thinking the top of the slider isnt nailed off. You have at least an inch gap there, those aluminum sliders (and windows) only had an 1 1/8 of flange to nail to.

In the late 80s in California we were still installing aluminum windows/patio sliders and it was about that time when the do not nail head stickers started to appear on windows.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:09 PM   #7
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Sagging Beam over 8' Slider


Header Sag is normal and is typically anticipated at the framing stage. The rough opening for the door should have included 1/2" for header sag. It is not a problem unless the header is transferring a load onto the door frame. If this is the case then the framer did not allow enough for header sag. When you remove the existing door and prior to installing the new door you can remove a minimal amount of the header (the sag) without compromising the strength of the header. Holzman is dead on with his evaluation. If any opinions in this forum do not make sense then go with common sense and get in a design professional, e.g. architect or engineer, for a determination because we all could be missing something without being there to look at it. Good luck with the project.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:48 PM   #8
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Sagging Beam over 8' Slider


My opinion from the information provided...


...don't fret any more about it. This is a very normal thing to happen and it is not causing you any problems. Just install the new door, don't shave anything off the header or adjust it in any way.

You look to be good to go.

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Old 10-08-2012, 09:50 PM   #9
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Sagging Beam over 8' Slider


Hi, thank you all for your comments. We were hoping it was a normal sag. Hubby did put the level/straight edge end to end and right in the middle it was 3/8 - 1/4" sag. There is a lot of room between the frame and the header so I think we are good to go.

Thank you again!!!! I'm sure I'll be back
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:23 AM   #10
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Sagging Beam over 8' Slider


Quote:
Originally Posted by woodworkbykirk View Post
the header may have been installed crown down also
what does this mean? there is a certain direction for a header?
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:50 AM   #11
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Sagging Beam over 8' Slider


Quote:
Originally Posted by federer View Post
what does this mean? there is a certain direction for a header?
Explained here: http://www.renovation-headquarters.com/board-crown.html
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:21 AM   #12
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Sagging Beam over 8' Slider


All lumber should have crown up (arch of the board) as all, most. lumber is not perfectly straight. DO this when installed horizontal or even angled (joists, beams, rafters, etc.)

Studs in walls should all have crowns one way, we always have the crown so it faces out on exterior walls, Inside walls you just pick which way but have them all going the same way. If you have crowns going two ways then if each has 1/4" crown it gets doubled and they are 1/2" off. Fun for the drywallers.

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