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Determining potential door height?

2113 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Gary in WA
Hello all,
I'd like to install sliding glass doors where I currently have large windows. I found a great set for sale on craigslist, much nicer than I can usually afford, but am not sure how to tell whether they would fit in height - they are taller than my windows. The current windows end 11.5" off the ceiling, but maybe there's a support beam running across them below the ceiling. Do I need to tear out the wall to determine the max height they can be (i.e., where the support beam is)?
Thanks!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes. We'll probably tear most of the wall out in the process. But if I want these doors, I need to buy them now but I don't plan to do the job for quite a while (I have a lot of reading to do before I can do this job!) so am hoping for a non-destructive way to determine where support beams (headers?) need to be before buying mis-sized doors.

Thanks! Julie
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Looks like it's the top plate I'm trying to determine the height to the bottom of since that would determine the maximum height of the doors. (or is a minimum header required below the top plate?)
Julie
 

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Yes, it is weight bearing, and I just read that that's why I need a header and that I can determine the width from the length needed.
You are currently 11.5" from the ceiling with the window you have. Are you looking to make that size smaller?
If so,its unlikely you can. Odds are you already have a header above the window,removing the window for a door which will be wider will require the header to be as wide as the door opening or wider to carry the weight of the opening. A header is usually made out of two 2x10 boards with half inch ply between then.
 

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you can reduce header width down by adding a structural header instead of a standard header. could gain a couple of inches at least, not a whole bunch of space. maybe 82 or 83" off of finished floor is all you need to clear the door and with 8' ceilings your opening is really close now...
 

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