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Old 11-06-2012, 12:06 AM   #1
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Top plate & header clearance


I'm considering adding a door out to deck on the back of my house. However, the deck is just under 12” above the top of the slab where I'd like to put an 80” door & the bottom of the double top-plate is 94” from the slab. The wall this door would be in is on the 1st floor of a 20' wide, center-supported 2 story building, currently used for storage.


So my question is this:
Can I cut the top plate, insert a header in it's place, and then tie the two side of the top plate together through the header with metal strapping?


I found another post doing something similar, but it was for an interior wall Questions on tying 6x8 exposed header to top plate


Any thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks


Last edited by shadetree; 11-06-2012 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:46 AM   #2
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Top plate & header clearance


if I understand you have 94" to fit the door and header. A double 2x8 should fit no problem. way more then what is needed for a 36" or 32" door

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Old 11-06-2012, 12:11 PM   #3
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Top plate & header clearance


if I understand your post correctly the deck is about 12" above the interior slab (floor). you could install a landing (minimum 36"x36") on the exterior side with 1 tread which would give you approximately 2 - 6" risers. have your door swing inward.

I agree with mae-ling you should have enough height for 2x8 header. use enough plies and plywood filler to match width of wall.

Good luck!
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:28 PM   #4
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Top plate & header clearance


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Originally Posted by mae-ling View Post
if I understand you have 94" to fit the door and header. A double 2x8 should fit no problem. way more then what is needed for a 36" or 32" door
This is 94" total, however on one side of the door, there is a 12" obstruction giving me 82" to work with without altering the top plate

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Originally Posted by GBrackins View Post
if I understand your post correctly the deck is about 12" above the interior slab (floor). you could install a landing (minimum 36"x36") on the exterior side with 1 tread which would give you approximately 2 - 6" risers. have your door swing inward.

I agree with mae-ling you should have enough height for 2x8 header. use enough plies and plywood filler to match width of wall.

Good luck!
I considered just cutting out the deck instead, however the way that it's built (hovering over a septic tank) and it's small size (about 100sft) would mean a tricky rebuild as well as losing about 10% of the deck area. There would also be a conflict with another inward swinging door within the house
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:34 PM   #5
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Top plate & header clearance


even with altering top plate you won't have enough room it seems.
And you would need a landing and steps inside as well.
Around here we need to leave one top plate, so you could have 83.5" max.

Any way of having a pad outside then steps up to the deck? kinda weird maybe. But sometimes you got to do what you got to do.

Pics would be a great help.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:36 PM   #6
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Top plate & header clearance


either that, or remove the deck and make a patio .... just a thought, not saying good one
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:38 PM   #7
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Top plate & header clearance


Patio with bench cover thingy built over septic tank only?
Is septic above ground level? Or just need access to it?
If just need access then a patio with a movable bench/planet/whatever may be the ticket.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:46 PM   #8
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Top plate & header clearance


There wouldn't be any issue with a landing inside. The room this door will be in was intended to be a small (5x7) closest. It will instead be turned into a small mudroom with removable sections in the floor to bottle condition home-brew beer for several months to years. That's part of the reason I'm so keen on getting clearance inside instead of reworking things outside.

A patio would not be a good option here. I'd worry too much to ever use a patio placed over a 40-year old cement tank with no reinforcement. I think the deck was installed in the first place was to keep excess weight off the tank when the area is used

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Old 11-06-2012, 04:54 PM   #9
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Top plate & header clearance


you would need a landing on the exterior .... the floor would be the landing on the interior

trying to raise the door in the way does not provide sufficient height it sounds to provide a header over the door. the size of the header depends on the depth of the roof (from front to rear) and the floor load of the 2nd floor, together with the width of the opening for the door.

you could place a reinforced concrete slab over the septic tank with risers with frame and covers to the top of slab. this would provide access for pumping and provide strength so you do not have to worry about the top of the tank collapsing.

just some thoughts ....
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:10 PM   #10
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Top plate & header clearance


You can also put the header above the top plate in some cases.
Depending on how much roof load you have you may only need double 2x4 or 2x6 header. The "end" of the rafter can hang off this like a joist with a joist hanger.
Depending on the location of the door it will only be supporting 1 or 2 rafters.
Steel may be another option, on the inside and outside, need a structural engineer to spec this one.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:19 PM   #11
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Top plate & header clearance


Quote:
Originally Posted by GBrackins View Post
you would need a landing on the exterior .... the floor would be the landing on the interior

trying to raise the door in the way does not provide sufficient height it sounds to provide a header over the door. the size of the header depends on the depth of the roof (from front to rear) and the floor load of the 2nd floor, together with the width of the opening for the door.

you could place a reinforced concrete slab over the septic tank with risers with frame and covers to the top of slab. this would provide access for pumping and provide strength so you do not have to worry about the top of the tank collapsing.

just some thoughts ....
Why would there not be enough height? I have 85.5" from the top of the top plate to where the top of the floor will be to be level with the deck. Doubled southern pine 2x6s can span almost 4 feet in the situation I'm using it for according to ICC Table 2308.9.5
http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/ic..._23_par182.htm
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:32 PM   #12
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Top plate & header clearance


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Originally Posted by mae-ling View Post
You can also put the header above the top plate in some cases.
Depending on how much roof load you have you may only need double 2x4 or 2x6 header. The "end" of the rafter can hang off this like a joist with a joist hanger.
Depending on the location of the door it will only be supporting 1 or 2 rafters.
Steel may be another option, on the inside and outside, need a structural engineer to spec this one.
I considered putting the header above the top plate and using hangers as well. But as this is on an exterior wall, I couldn't figure out a way to get the header up there without cutting out a huge section joist or rim
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:58 PM   #13
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Top plate & header clearance


what is the rough opening height of the door you are planning on using?
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:27 PM   #14
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Top plate & header clearance


2x6 is 5.5"
Most doors need a minimum of 2"-2.5" clearance.
so you have about 8" off your height plus 1.5" for the single top plate is 9.5"
9.5" off 85.5 is 76" for the door. Way to small for me. Wouldn't meet code here.

thought you had 82" plus double top plate of 3" so 85" not 85.5?

To put header on ends of rafters have to rip apart the roof - yep, it's a pain.

Last edited by mae-ling; 11-06-2012 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:41 PM   #15
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Top plate & header clearance


If you have 2x6 top plates you could notch it down to 3.5" and then use 2" by 3" (or 3.5" high) square tubing with a heavy wall or 2 - 1" X 3" doubled up beside each other, then you would have 4 vetical pieces instead of just the 2.
Would need some engineering on this.

If 2x4 wall then put beam on inside of wall with posts going to floor and solid down below.
or use 2x8 studs rip to needed width for 2x4 wall and beam on the inside of the wall.
will make a deep opening for the door and the door will only open to 90degree.


Last edited by mae-ling; 11-06-2012 at 07:03 PM.
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