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Old 07-13-2006, 01:45 PM   #1
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Two windows where one used to be..


I am expanding the opening for our front window and replacing the old casement window with two new, fixed pane, vinyl windows. The existing header is in good shape, a little out of square, however the new windows will extend beyod the span covered by the old header. There will be a support post (2, 2x4s) between the windows, as shown on the drawing, that will continue to support the existing header. My question is: Can I extend the header just to have something to screw the window into without compromising the integrity of the wall? I've attached a simple drawing, there are studs immediately to the right of the header extension that support the ceiling rafters, so I only have a gap of maybe one foot that is not covered by the existing header.
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Old 07-13-2006, 03:36 PM   #2
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Two windows where one used to be..


billinak,

You don't want to do it that way.

The proper method is to temporarily build a support wall to hold the weight of the ceilings joists and the rafters. Make sure that your temp. supports are running perpendicular to your floor joists underneath.
Then remove the old header and replace it with the proper length header for the new windows. Install your king and jack studs to it. All of these peices would be measured and cut ahead of time so that you can quickly 'pop' them all in after removing the old header.

If you do what you have shown you want to do, that area of unsupported ceiling and roof will definetely drop. That is not a good thing.

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Old 07-13-2006, 05:20 PM   #3
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Yeah that's what I was thinking, but the header is still supported by the post between the windows and the area without the header is only 1 foot long with an adjacent stud to support the ceiling. I know it might not be the best way, but do you really think it would cause the ceiling to sag?
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Old 07-13-2006, 07:36 PM   #4
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Two windows where one used to be..


If there is a rafter or ceiling joist sitting some where above that 1'-0" section, It will definitely sag.
There is more weight supported there than you realize. Rafters are spaced 24" apart. There is alot of weight that sits on each rafter. Depending where you live, you can add the snow load to that. It's ALOT of weight.
That end will drop, and it will get worse over time.

Do it the right way...
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Old 07-13-2006, 09:14 PM   #5
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Two windows where one used to be..


What is your header? How is it made? I totally agree with Atlantic so far. It's always trying to cheat in that 'only one foot' that gets you into trouble.
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Old 07-13-2006, 11:21 PM   #6
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Two windows where one used to be..


Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlanticWBConst.
billinak,

You don't want to do it that way.

The proper method is to temporarily build a support wall to hold the weight of the ceilings joists and the rafters. Make sure that your temp. supports are running perpendicular to your floor joists underneath.
Then remove the old header and replace it with the proper length header for the new windows. Install your king and jack studs to it. All of these peices would be measured and cut ahead of time so that you can quickly 'pop' them all in after removing the old header.

If you do what you have shown you want to do, that area of unsupported ceiling and roof will definetely drop. That is not a good thing.
You can't do that no matter what way you look at it. What will hold up the end of the header that's there now??? Then you want to just add on to it? The end of that header now is being held up by your jack studs that are nailed to your king studs and once you take that out, all the weight from the ceiling and rafters above will come falling down on your head.

This is not a DIY'er project. You want to increase your oprning 1' BIGGER and put a post in the middle which means nothing because the end of your existing header will be UNSUPPORTED which holds up everything above it, Period!
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Old 07-13-2006, 11:26 PM   #7
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Two windows where one used to be..


And the first sign of sagging will be your new window breaking...

Don't do it, billy, it's not only not the 'right way', it won't work.
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Old 07-14-2006, 12:06 AM   #8
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Two windows where one used to be..


OK, OK I read you all loud and clear. I 'll be the first to admit that my first idea's are seldom my best.
Sometime it takes me a few tries to see the right way to do things, but thanks to you guys, I now know what a mistake that would have been and I appreciate your concern.
Thanks!
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Old 07-14-2006, 01:09 AM   #9
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Good luck and let us know how it turned out.
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Old 07-14-2006, 07:07 AM   #10
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Two windows where one used to be..


Well,


I did learn a new DIY Term: "Header Extension". ;-)

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