header size over windows/doors


I'm remodeling a stick-built sunroom, and after peeling the wallboard off, I see 2x6 headers over all the windows and the door. It just makes me a little twitchy, comparing it to the 2x10 headers over all the other doors. So, how big an opening is a 2x6 header really sufficient for? Thanks! A
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Is the wall load-bearing, or non-load-bearing?
For non-load-bearing, the practical answer is "as long as the 2x6". <grin>
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On Sun, 03 Apr 2005 22:30:26 -0000, snipped-for-privacy@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) wrote:

It's an external wall, with nothing but 2x6 joists and a composite-shingle roof on top. So, it does bear *some* load, but I don't know how much. A
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It's best to look at your local code requirements. It depends on a number of things; e.g., what's the design snow load for your area; what's the roofing? Two 2x6's are suffice for at least 6 foot wide windows and doors here in the desert southwest. But if you are in northern Idaho, they would not be adequate.
wrote:

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wrote:

requirements in your area. Jim
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Avraham wrote:

Which way to do the joists/rafters or the bottoms of the trusses run? In general, if they run perpendicular to an outside wall the wall is load bearing and if they run parallel to an outside wall, the wall is non-load bearing.
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On Sun, 03 Apr 2005 22:30:26 -0000, the inscrutable snipped-for-privacy@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) spake:

Sunroom-glass-bearing? Tubasexies s/b just fine.

Oh, sure. Just look at "pre-standards" 2-car garage door openings.
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I just happened to be reading a book on framing garages today. One of the pages had a table on mininum header sizes for various openings. Below is the info from that table.
Opening width Header size up to 4' two 2x4s 4' - 6' two 2x6s 6' - 8' two 2x8s 8' - 10' two 2x10s 10' - 12' two 2x12s
There is a note that this is for 2x4 stud walls in single-story structures. If there is a second story, choose the next larger size. So, I'd say without knowing details on the structural loads, the above is a good rule of thumb.
todd
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wrote:

widening the window openings to 4' A
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And I'd feel better, were it my project, with a call to the building department in my town. That's one of the reasons we pay taxes and fees to have these services.
Building codes aren't just for the other guy.
Patriarch
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Right, and while he's at it he can file for his permit, pay his fee(s), schedule his inspection(s), and maybe get any other work he has done onto the tax rolls (and pay for any permits he didn't get). What an opportunity!
Wilson

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Or do it wrong, have the project fail in some way, and do it again later.
Or pay the penalties when the property is sold, and the work is found to have been done without permits and inspections.
Why does the law only apply for 'the other guy'?
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Actually it's better to "let sleeping government officials lie" or is it "let lying government officials sleep".
I never could get that right(lie,lay,lying). Can an old english major please speak up ?
Patriarch wrote:

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On Mon, 04 Apr 2005 20:13:01 GMT, Pat Barber

the plan here is to ignore the inspectors and permits stuff. As far as I'm concerned, it's my house, and I'm going to exceed anything the codes would ask for to begin with. I over-engineer as a habit - my workbench is built like a deck, with a ledger board and all, and should support pretty much the weight of the house, should I be silly enough to put it there. A
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Patriarch wrote:

Right, and what does the building department use? It uses wood structural data, but by the time it get into the local code or an official looks it up, the data may be magically transformed into something less than accurate. You may get an official that really knows, but the chance is probably less that 50-50 especially if you live in a big town.
Best if you don't want to go second-hand data, use a wood products guide, many of which are free from the U.S. Gov't, State forestry departments, and manufactures of wood products. You should have some of those in addition to a basic manual on carpentry before beginning such a project anyway.
Of course, if you don't know much which seems to be the case with the op, since he doesn't know if a wall in a single story house is a bearing wall or not, the local building department might be the way to go.
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On Mon, 04 Apr 2005 21:12:59 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"

the same time. As it happens, a second look at the current construction revealed that the headers are already 48" long, they go over two windows with one header. So, no framing changes needed, just new windows. Fortunately - I didn't really want to redo siding, too. Thanks, all. A
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When the house was built, the inspector should have looked at it then and passed or failed it.
There is also a simple test to determine if the size is adequate? Any big cracks in the walls? Has the roof caved in? Is the floor in the room above dipped at the end?
If the answer is no to all of the above, it is probably sufficient.
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