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Old 02-15-2010, 11:03 PM   #1
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What size header?

Hello all,

I have a rehab project going, and need some advice on how to support the floors.

I have a load bearing wall on the main floor I would like to remove, its sagging and in bad shape, I want to remove it to open up the kitchen to the living room. it has a bedroom above it. it is a 14' span. what size would be safe and the right way to support it, someone told me double or tripled up 2x6's would work, but I want more opinions.

also I have to put in some more headers just to stiffen up the floors from sagging over time, where there has never been supports.

Thanks in advance, slow.
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:51 AM   #2
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The trouble with answering this question is that we need more information.
Why is the wall sagging? What, exactly is it supporting? Are there bearing points below it to carry the new cripple supports?
In my jurisdiction, you would need a triple stud under that header.
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:12 AM   #3
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Where in the world are you and what is the foundation system? That would help you get a reasonable suggestion.

On poor choice is to follow your friends suggestion if the will sign a written guarantee i will work and he will pay any additional costs if he has the money.

If you have a basement, you will have to provide columns the support the new loads locations at the ends of your nrw opening. If it is a slab on grade, you better make sure the concrete there is stong and thick enough for increased concentrated loads.

Pay a few bucks to get an engineer to give you a written opinion and options after he has looked at the existing situation. He does not do the work, but just provides information and opinions. He might be will to give you 2 or 3 references of contractors he is aware of for jobs like yours.

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Old 02-16-2010, 10:27 AM   #4
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Someone else recently asked a similar question, so here follows a similar response:

This is not something you could or would even want to pull off without permits, plans and engineering. Now that's out of the way.

There are two articles at the UMass Amherst Building and Construction Technology site that you might want to start with:



You will have to work through your own house's dimensions and your local code books to figure the load that your new beam/header needs to carry.

The other responders are calling attention to the fact that it's a lot more than the beam/header you will have to work through. Not only do you need to figure the load from above, you need to figure how it transfers down to the ground.

Also, though I have never done so, in other threads posters have noted that beam/lumber vendors will often supply engineering for the beam itself for free.

Sharpen your pencil, and good luck,
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:53 PM   #5
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your local lumber yard will be able to size material for this for free
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:34 PM   #6
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Pretty general question...... You need support under the jack (supporting) studs all the way down to the foundation. Blocking between floors, etc. Point loads from distributed loads, bearing stacked within 45* of each other, etc. General guideline: http://ftp.resource.org/bsc.ca.gov/t...2_page0376.pdf

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Old 02-17-2010, 06:53 AM   #7
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Triple 2x6's will not work
I had a similar opening sized for a beam & it camne in at triple 12" LVL's or (2) 14" LVL's
Triple studs were required under each end of the LVL beam

My local lumber yard sized the beams for me based on the loads/walls above

My end points were also directly above the foundation
So it was easy to continue the support down to the foundation
If your end land in the middle of the floor then additional support/posts will be needed if you have a basement/crawl space

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