5 posts / 0 new
Last post
sponmj396
Bearing Wall Header

I have single story ranch house, 1960's construction in Minnesota. The house has a 2x4 bearing wall down the centerline of the basement. There is a 30" doorway with a double 2x6 header that I am planning to open up to 42" using a double 2x6 header also. Should this be sufficient structurally?

Gizmo
Re: Bearing Wall Header

I'm with jkirk if you have room make the header as big as you can. Does the home have roof trusses or conventional rafters. Im asking to see how much weight is bearing on the wall. There is a good chance opening up the door to 42" using a 2x4 header you will have deflection. Is there double 2x4 top plates on the top off the existing header.If so you will gain another 3" that will allow the header to be larger. Either way dont forget to shore up the existing floor joist before removing the old header.

Re: Bearing Wall Header

You may want to consider using LVL material for the header. It's much stronger than conventional lumber and can be ripped to fit the maximum height you can install. Dimensional lumber can't be ripped to reduce it's width without losing strength. I agree though, get the maximum height you can.

canuk
Re: Bearing Wall Header
sponmj396 wrote:

I have single story ranch house, 1960's construction in Minnesota. The house has a 2x4 bearing wall down the centerline of the basement. There is a 30" doorway with a double 2x6 header that I am planning to open up to 42" using a double 2x6 header also. Should this be sufficient structurally?

Is this instead of a main carry beam and columns?

tomwestbrk
Re: Bearing Wall Header
sponmj396 wrote:

I have single story ranch house, 1960's construction in Minnesota. The house has a 2x4 bearing wall down the centerline of the basement. There is a 30" doorway with a double 2x6 header that I am planning to open up to 42" using a double 2x6 header also. Should this be sufficient structurally?

It all depends. What kind of wood species are you planning to use? SPF (spruce-pine-fir) has a lower load rating than say #2 southern yellow pine or douglas fir. The cost is also tempting as SPF is lower cost than "decent" woods. Read what you are buying.

What is the wind loading, snow loading? Where I live, we are subject to more wind storm activity (read tropical storm/hurricane) and lower snow loads. I would think that MN would have more snow and less wind.

Check your local building code(s) usually at your local planning/community development office.

Just my $0.02.

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.