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Old 08-03-2010, 12:15 AM   #1
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Dormer Window header.


Hi guys,

I am wondering if a header is necessary for a dormer that will probably be at most 4' wide. I was originally going for slightly larger 4.5', but now I think I will stick to 4' all included, so the framing would be mabye 45" (then sheathing, etc.). Anyway, would such a small dormer require a header over the window. Many I see online have only a double top plate. Is this enough? I mean if the side walls are taking the load of the rafters, is the face wall really bearing much anyways?

Another question, I read on someone's construction website once that they leave out the King stud, and just keep the jack stud under the header, because they are trying to maintain a thin, classic profile for the dormer. That's the look I'm going for too, but I'm wondering if this is okay, or if it's a no no. Would it be okay, if the cheek wall corner post were built up enough, so as to provide appropriate backing for the header?


Joe
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:18 AM   #2
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ANY opening with structure overhead requires a header. It may not require much of one, but it is still needed or things can sag over time.
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Old 08-03-2010, 02:45 PM   #3
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Yeah, I guess a header seems only natural there, but I was just wondering because I read in a few places that it's not necessary--and they call a double top plate a header.

Anyway, what size header do you think is necessary, with 2x8 rafters and 2x4 walls? Could I get away with just a 2x4 header? Or should I stick to a 2x6?

You see, I don't want the height of the dormer above the window to be too high, that's why I brought up the question about having a header or not.

Any thoughts about leaving out the king stud, and going right to the corner post with the header? If I did that should I make the face wall the full length of the dormer in front, so as to make the inside of the corner post like the king stud?
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:25 PM   #4
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hey joe,
i'm no engineer but personally i wouldn't hesitate to build that without a header if it were my own house.

the gable end wall has no bearing on it whatsoever aside from its own dead weight. those end rafters hold themselves up.
once you frame the wall above the top plate (2Xs connecting rafters to top plate), and add some plywood, there's no way that little 4' section of top plate is going to sag.

also, this is considered more "green" and efficient building. adding a header in my opinion is simply a waste of wood.
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