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Old 10-11-2010, 12:02 PM   #1
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is this sufficient for a header?


11' span, load bearing outside wall.

i just went to spray foam above my exterior french doors and windows flanking it to each side and found this.....

for a header they used a 1/4" thick piece of angle iron steel pointing up - i guess its probably 3-4" wide, with a 2x5" piece of wood sitting perpindicular underneath it. (making a "T")

the steel sits on the cripple studs, but the 2x4 does not appear to.

is this sufficient? if not - what can i do to support this? could i build it out with another 2x5 to be flush with the beam above it and screw a 2x10 bridging the wood below and above the steel?



the pics

the blue is a 2x5 - it is painted blue, why i have no idea







this is what it is below the beam



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Last edited by quadred; 10-11-2010 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 10-11-2010, 03:31 PM   #2
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is this sufficient for a header?


The 2x5(6?) is just a filler piece, it has no structural worth. Putting in another one will only act as another filler piece.
Is the dormer original?
Was this opening modified from the original?
Snow load?
Ron

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Last edited by Ron6519; 10-11-2010 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:51 PM   #3
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is this sufficient for a header?


looks like there was originally a higher narrower door there. I think the angle iron was used to patch and/or reinforce the pair of 2x10s.

I'm not an expert on door window construction, but it looks like you could put a vertical 2x4 above the vertical members that the door hinges are attached to, letting them carry some of the load. but I doubt its needed. The added in Angle Iron should have beefed that header up plenty. Thats a fairly beefy piece of steel there.
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:06 PM   #4
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is this sufficient for a header?


well after some further examination, yes you are correct - the 2x5 has no load bearing, in fact it is two pieces slapped in there.

the angle iron as well is a 6x4 with the 6" pointing up - 1/4" steel. i guess that has some strength.

directly above it is the bathroom dormer (original) which is fully ren'd with full 12" porcelain tile and a double floor, so there is some considerable weight.

originally there were 3 windows (other houses in neighbourhood are identical) it was put in about 10 yrs ago.

but now i am getting some cracking in the upstairs bedrooms, same spot in both rooms but opposite sides (cape style - central staircase bath at top of stair, bedrooms right and left identical in size) made me wonder if this was sufficient....i was the one that ren'd the bathroom.

so putting the extra wood in there wouldn't help at all?

Last edited by quadred; 10-11-2010 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:27 PM   #5
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is this sufficient for a header?


Putting in the correct size wood or wood and metal would definitely help.
What the correct combination is, well, that's another story. Do you need to remove what you have and replace it with a triple 2x12 lvl bolted together? Do you need a 1/4 " flitch plate, maybe a 1/2" one added to the mix?
The load needs to be calculated to figure out what you need. Guessing would not be too productive.
Ron
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:07 PM   #6
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is this sufficient for a header?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
Putting in the correct size wood or wood and metal would definitely help.
What the correct combination is, well, that's another story. Do you need to remove what you have and replace it with a triple 2x12 lvl bolted together? Do you need a 1/4 " flitch plate, maybe a 1/2" one added to the mix?
The load needs to be calculated to figure out what you need. Guessing would not be too productive.
Ron
really? the loads obviously aren't dramatically undersuported, or it would have failed long ago. this guy just wants it to be stronger. you can figure out things that will make it stronger than it currently is. He was asking for a qualitative answer, not a quantitative answer. That is what he has been getting. I can name dozens of things he can to to make the span stonger without running to a calculator even just once. for example, he could slap another piece of angle Iron in under the current one, with the vertical flange on the inside. he could do what he was sugesting. he could make the inner added 2x10 a 2x12, or better yet, a 2x16 ripped down to fit. use 3x 3/4" plywood instead of 2x lumber. maybe put the new angle iron at right on top of the door, then as described earlier, but around all the added lumber.

all those things and plenty more would make the span stronger. thats what he wanted to know; how to make the span stonger. Now if he wanted to know what he would have to do to strengthen the span enought to take added weight of a second story, or changing the roofing material over to slate, then I'd say: "The load needs to be calculated to figure out what you need. Guessing would not be too productive."

Last edited by forresth; 10-11-2010 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:10 PM   #7
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is this sufficient for a header?


well - thanks for the feedback...both of you.

yes, i am aware that to do this properly it probably shold have been 4x12 minimum however if wishes were nickels i'd be a rich man.

the angle iron is sitting directly on a 4x4 post on either side of the windows which makes it impossible to slide another piece of steel underneath. i do have an arc welder so i could weld a plate to the pice sticking out on the outside making it a bit of a C channel, but would like to avoid that if possible

here is what i thought about doing -

installing some brakcets on each end of the existing 2x5 to join it to the stud
sistering the 2x5 with another 2x5 but a full length
spanning the addded wood and the upper joist with a 2x12 (they were on sale so i bought a 12' 2x12, same price as a 2x10 so what the hell)

now the 2x12 i could notch so it sits on top of the brick, i know i am not supposed to use masonry as load bearing, but its the only thing there i can grab on to.

thoughts? i just feel the need to support it more. agreed - the house isn';t caving in, however due to the increased weight above it in the bathroom i want to be safe while i'm inside...
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:37 PM   #8
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is this sufficient for a header?


I'd probably take a gradeA select 2x4 (most 2x4s are crap, get something without knots may have to take the 2x6 you were planning to rip to a 2x5 and use that), screw it to the 2x12 so it is laying horizontal and below the 2x12. the 2 together would be a L 4" wide and 14" high (or a bit less for undersized availably lumber)stick a 2x3 in the left over space, screw it all to the 2x5 and the 2x10 that would be about the most you can do for adding strength without adding more steel.

If you do another piece of agle iron, just drill and bolt it to the original piece of angle iron vertical element, through the 2x10s.

don't worry so much about what whatever you add sits on. you will be securing it to the original structure and use the original structures end anchores.
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:22 AM   #9
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is this sufficient for a header?


The structure over the door has been bastardized when the 3 windows were removed and the 11' door opening was installed. Either there was a three header system or the current header was supported by king and jack studs between each window. No one frames an opening with a 5"+ space between the top of the door/window and the header.
The poster has cracks above in the bath, which would indicate inadequate support below(to me). Who ever put in the doors did some rube goldberg angle support which was, is, inadequate.
Personnally, I'd rip out the current support structure and put in double 2 x 12 lvl's sndwiching a 1/2" flitch plate "W" bolted along the length. I am not an engineer, but based on construction I've done that was engineered, this will do the trick.
Ron
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:48 PM   #10
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is this sufficient for a header?


rube goldberg? huh?

i hear you that it was bastardized -- never heard of using an angle iron as a header -- nor framing it so it is 5" above the door going in -- but i just can't deal with ripping out the entire unit and interior drywall and putting in a proper header -- no time, money, i have little kids, etc..

so i ripped the 2x6 down to fit below the steel, added the 2x12 on top to span the new piece to the old 2x12's and glued and screwed everything and then bolted it in -- sort of what forresth suggested.

i used some metal supports on each end to tie the 2x5 into the existing 4x4 posts. hopefully that will help. i'm not positive the cracks were caused by this - we had an earthquake in the spring and they started after that; the bathroom was reno'd last xmas

time will tell

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