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Need help with header size

I have a load bearing wall with a 32" door w/ a 2x12x37" header. I want to expand this opening to 56" with a 59" header. The current header is a double 2x12. I want to know if I can use a double 2x8 w/ .5" osb sandwitched in between. My goal is to raise the height of this doorway. Will a 2x8 header be ok?

Re: Need help with header size

Typically a minimum of a 2x10 is required by code. A 2x8 would work with 1/2" o.s.b. fitch plate between, however, depending on dead load and live load conditions above, you may notice some instances of deflection. Two 1 3/4" x 7 1/2" micro-lams would work and perform much better. The weight carrying capacity is vastly superior to kiln-dried dimensional lumber. Also, the two pieces together will give you a 3 1/2" stud pocket without having to add the 1/2" o.s.b. filler. Lumber yards sell micro-lams by the foot, so you can have them cut you a ten foot piece, then cut it down futher to 59" for each piece. Pricing for micro-lams usually runs about $3 - $5 a foot, depends on where you live. It is well worth the added cost for piece of mind. If you cannot get your hands on a micro-lam, then try using douglas-fir instead of #2 pine, it has a higher strength rating over #2 pine.

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