Cutting load bearing members - standard practices

I am putting a window in my garage along one of the external walls. We have already cleared the brick and sheetrock only to reveal a double wall stud near the center of the new window opening. In the attic, this doubled stud supports a doubled rafter which would appear to be a load bearing member.
I need to cut that double wall stud and build the header to frame in the new window opening. I have read that standard practice is to make the header size twice the size of the member being cut. Would the appropriate header for a double stud member then be qty 4, 2x4's? Seems a bit much but there is room to do it. Also, would the two adjacent wall studs need to be doubled as well?
Please comment Mike in DFW
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mike wrote:

All rafters are load bearing members. A doubled rafter indicates a larger load. Consider it a red flag.

Not sure where you got that advice, but don't go back for more.

There are many variables and you haven't provided any of the important information. It doesn't sound like it will be a big deal, but it would be foolhardy to recommend a "solution" to someone unfamiliar with framing practices and without having seen the conditions personally.
Standard practice, when you don't know _exactly_ what's going on structurally (including all loads involved, design standards, connections, etc.) is to hire an engineer to design you a solution.
R
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Why a "red flag" item?
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Matt Barrow wrote:

"Only to reveal" suggests that you laid out the wall from the outside without verifying framing prior to cutting, or that you didn't strip the drywall before knocking out the brick.

I'll answer your question with three other questions. Why did they double up the rafter in the first place? Was the existing garage built correctly? Do you feel from the information provided that the OP should forge ahead on his own with information garnered from a newsgroup (where the best intentioned advice is based on many assumptions), or should he get some pro eyeballs on it?
R
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wrote in message

Tell that to Mike, not to me. I only left that in for context.

You better ask Mike...I only asked the last question.

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Matt Barrow wrote:

I thought I just did. ;) I commented on something the OP wrote in the midst of a reply to you. Maybe your newsreader works differently - my stuff didn't show up as a reply to something the OP wrote in your reader?

Indeed. That was understood thanks to the marvels of the > and >> technology.

You asked why a red flag, and in my own tangental way I answered. It's a red flag for the simple reason that beefed up construction points to greater loads and possibly previous modifications or repairs. Did I misunderstand the meaning of your question?
R
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Well, take your tangent and stick it where...! :~)

I assume so. I saw nothing in the original (albeit a quick read) to indicate these were after the original construction. (?)
Why would modifications to beef up a structure be a negative (red flag)? I would take such to be "improvements".
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Matt Barrow wrote:

That's why I wrote possibly.

Structural modifications are rarely done on a whim, and unless the members and loads could be verified it would be an assumption that the modification was an improvement. An improvement doesn't equate to simpler or standard inDoubled members are perfect indicators that there are greater loads in the area. Either way, original framing or modified, it has little difference on the approach to the problem. Verify conditions then design a solution.
R
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Can't speak for your garage, can't see it. Opposite walls on my garage have doubled studs with another 3rd stud attached 90 degrees orientation to the two. The doubled studs run 90 degrees orientation as opposed to the rest of the wall studs. Their purpose is help support a doubled up 2X12 beam w/1/2" plywood that spans the garage. This beam holds the ceiling joists. There also 2x4s on top of that beam that go to the bottom of the ridge board. Span is only 20'.
While it may have been possible for me to put a window in the middle of such a wall, I chose to offset the window placement toward the rear of the garage. Something has to support the beam temporarily while building a header and blocking to support the top plate. I chose not to mess with this.
The header dimensional lumber used depends on the king studs and cripples separation distance, and how much weight is being supported. Would probably be best to double up the studs that actually support such a header. Don't forget about the 2x4 blocking above the header, if not running the header to the bottom of the top plate to support whatever's immediately above. Suggest, if you have some method of accessing the attic, to see what's being supported.
--
Jonny



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mike wrote:

Make the opening to one side or the other or get somebody who has a clue to make the header design modifications necessary. Can't imagine having the opening a couple feet one way or the other in a garage could possibly be a major problem...
That's my comment... :)
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Thanks for all the input - I posted this earlier this morning and should have realized there really isnt a "standard practice" when it comes to cutting load bearing members. Its a little late to rethink the location of the window on this as we have already toothed out the position in the brick veneer.
The doubled stud I need to cut supports a rafter beam comprised of a 2x4 sandwiched between two 2x8's. This beam spans 19' to a parallel interior wall. There is a roof support tied into this beam that makes 45 degrees with the beam. Its attach to the beam about 8ft from the plate.
I dont think this is a big deal, and agree that it deserves careful planning before simply forging ahead and assuming a repair is good for the long haul. I didnt want to make a science fair project out of this but rather was hoping for some ideas on how to adequately transfer the loads from a doubled 2x4 wall stud to the two adjacent studs via a header component.
My design will probably be overkill but I will seek out the advice of a pro before I further my investment of time and materials.
Mike

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In a previous post mike wrote...

That's the best advice you have given yourself. Hire an engineer to recommend a proper solution. It may cost a few hundred bucks, but you won't have to worry about whether you did it correctly or not. The cost of engineering is only money, peace of mind is priceless.
--
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
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mike wrote:

Replacing a little on one side and moving the other way would seem relatively simple unless you've used a masonry saw and actually cut a line. But even there, the only difference will be using some of the brick to fill in.
As you've no doubt realized, starting from the inside out first would probably have saved a fair amount of additional effort... :)
While I'm sure it can be done where you want, I'm pretty sure I'd just move it and go on. But, this is usenet so it's easy to tell somebody else what to do w/ impunity... :)
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