Home>Discussions>DOORS & WINDOWS>Doorway through a Load Bearing Wall - Modular?
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HardHat
Doorway through a Load Bearing Wall - Modular?

Putting in a doorway through a load bearing wall. The wall is 7 inches thick, so I opened it up expecting to see 2x6 studs. Instead I found 2x3 studs on each side of the wall separated by chipboard - essentially two half-thick walls with the chipboard in between. The studs are supporting a 2x3 overhead plate on each side, again separated by the chipboard. Chipboard is not glued, just stapled to the studs. This wall appears to be supporting only the ceiling joists, nothing above them. The second floor is supported by an entirely separate support system that hangs several inches above the downstairs ceiling joists. I am able to see this through an access hole in the upstairs floor. There is about a 1-1/2 foot plenum between the downstairs ceiling and the upstairs floor. The main 6x10 house beam runs parallel to and above the wall I am working with, but I don't believe it is being supported by the wall. The joists run well below the support beam. I need to determine what size header I will need across my 39 inch opening, which involves the removal of two studs. This appears to be some kind of modular house thing, but I'm not sure. Is anyone familiar with this type of construction? Thank you.

A. Spruce
Re: Doorway through a Load Bearing Wall - Modular?

Is this a stick framed house (conventionally framed ), modular (panels built in a factory and assembled on site ), mobile/manufactured (trailer, in every sense of the word ), ???. What you are describing sounds like it could be in any of the above structures, answers will be determined based on the structure in question.

Pictures of the house and the area you are working in will help. You will have to upload them to a photo host, then link them here.

HardHat
Re: Doorway through a Load Bearing Wall - Modular?

Thank you. Here is the URL to my photos.

http://http://s1026.photobucket.com/user/barryjwest1/library/House?sort=3&page=1

I have pretty much decided that this is a modular home. All of the walls and floors are stapled and glued. I can barely find a nail in the entire house. There is no traditional framing going on here. The staples look to be 3 inch 15gauge. You can see in the picture that most of them missed the stud. I have a hard time believing that this configuration actually supports very much.

HardHat
Re: Doorway through a Load Bearing Wall - Modular?

I believe this is a modular house. It is definitely not a conventionally framed house. Everything is stapled and glued. You can see the staples in the pictures linked below. Half of them didn't even hit the stud. Each interior wall stud has had a line of foam insulation applied to each side of the stud that butts up to the inside of the sheetrock. It isn't really a glue, so I am thinking it is just for stabilization for when the house sections were moved. There is no insulation on the chipboard side of the stud, so clearly the insulation was spray on from the other side before the chipboard went in. The floors are definitely glued and stapled. Here is the link to the pics:

http://http://s1026.photobucket.com/user/barryjwest1/library/House?sort=3&page=1

You can see in the picture the height of the arch in the passthru next to where I am working falls. I am trying to put in a matching arch. But I only have room for a 1-1/2 inch drop from the existing overhead plate. I am thinking that I can just glue and nail a reinforcing plate to the existing overhead and then support that. It only has to support two studs across the width of the passthru. Nothing above that. So I’m talking about a double plate across 40 inches. The opening on the same wall next to where I am working actually goes all the way to the ceiling. What’s above the arch is just a sheetrock nailer that I put in to get the arch to the height I wanted it. There were no headers over either of the existing passthru’s, just plates. It is the chipboard and the way the wall is framed that’s kind of freaking me out a little. I have never seen that before. I think I’m good, but I think it is better to ask than not ask.

HardHat
Re: Doorway through a Load Bearing Wall - Modular?
A. Spruce wrote:

Is this a stick framed house (conventionally framed ), modular (panels built in a factory and assembled on site ), mobile/manufactured (trailer, in every sense of the word ), ???. What you are describing sounds like it could be in any of the above structures, answers will be determined based on the structure in question.

Pictures of the house and the area you are working in will help. You will have to upload them to a photo host, then link them here.

Clearly, the first thing I need is to figure out how to use the website. That said,

I believe this is a modular house. It is definitely not a conventionally framed house. Everything is stapled and glued. You can see the staples in the pictures linked below. Half of them didn't even hit the stud. Each interior wall stud has had a line of foam insulation applied to each side of the stud that butts up to the inside of the sheetrock. It isn't really a glue, so I am thinking it is just for stabilization for when the house sections were moved. There is no insulation on the chipboard side of the stud, so clearly the insulation was spray on from the other side before the chipboard went in. The floors are definitely glued and stapled. Here is the link to the pics:

http://http://s1026.photobucket.com/user/barryjwest1/library/House?sort=3&page=1

You can see in the picture the height of the arch in the passthru next to where I am working falls. I am trying to put in a matching arch. But I only have room for a 1-1/2 inch drop from the existing overhead plate. I am thinking that I can just glue and nail a reinforcing plate to the existing overhead and then support that. It only has to support two studs across the width of the passthru. Nothing above that. So I’m talking about a double plate across 40 inches. The opening on the same wall next to where I am working actually goes all the way to the ceiling. What’s above the arch is just a sheetrock nailer that I put in to get the arch to the height I wanted it. There were no headers over either of the existing passthru’s, just plates. It is the chipboard and the way the wall is framed that’s kind of freaking me out a little. I have never seen that before. I think I’m good, but I think it is better to ask than not ask.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Doorway through a Load Bearing Wall - Modular?

Sounds like modular. For just a 39" opening that isn't directly carrying a beam perpendicular above it, I'd just use a 'cripple' header- essentially a flat 2X board ripped to width and carried by jack studs on both ends. Though not rated for it, that will successfully carry 1-2 floor joists above it safely so ceiling joists only will be fine. You can double it if there;s room for that- I would. A wider opening would need a different approach. I'd set the door itself with wide margins- I have yet to see a modular home which didn't shift around somewhat because of the separate sections not always behaving exactly the same with weather changes.

Phil

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