Header Support Question

While this is a little off topic, I am guessing that someone in the group has had some experience in something similar.
I am in the middle (or closer to the end) of a kitchen renovation project, and want to opened up a wall to enlarge the entry point that had been shortened up for the previous renovation 20+ years ago. The problem that I have some across, is that when I had closed up this previously, I had installed a 2x4 header below a 2x8 header that had been left hanging due to the removal of wall area on the opposite side of opening. The original opening was for a rear entryway, but there have been two additional added to the rear of the house.
This is a bearing wall that supports the second floor and roof and is near to the corner of the second floor dormer.
My thoughts are this;
Hard Way: Post and remove old 'hanging' header and replace with either 2x8 or 10 header supporting it with 2x4 on either side.
Easy Way Install a 4x4 or 4x6 under current 'hanging' header, wedge header off new material to ensure complete contact for load transfer to sistered 2x4 jacks
The opening will be 48" +/-
Advice??
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A load Bearing wall? and you are asking at an Internet Newsgroup?
Where I live, and this depends on your local government, if you touch a load bearing wall, you need a building permit. Period. The kind of B.P. where the building inspector wants to review your plans and see your calculations on the load. (and how you are going to proceed in steps so the load is temp supported during construction.) As in load and distribution of the weight to the foundation.
I think I am going to mark this thread. Could be good reading.
Personally, If it was my home, I would see if I could get a quote for how much it would cost to get a professional (architect or P. Engineer) to do the math and your building structure then come up with a plan that will get a building inspector's OK. But your home, your money, go with what every plan you decide to do.
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I simply cannot visualize this from your description. You seem to write that you have a "hanging" header--from what and why?--with a 2x4 header under it. Do you mean cripple stud under the 2x8 header?
You want to enlarge an entry point that had been shortened up?
It sounds iffy to me, as you describe it. I'd get a pro in to look at it, even if it costs a few bucks extra.
That beats having the corner of the house sag badly over time.
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On Mon, 9 Mar 2009 07:01:07 -0700 (PDT), Charlie Self

...yeah, I don't get it either. What does he mean by 2x8 header? Is that (2) 2x8's sandwiching 1/2" ply? If the end result is a 4' cased opening it'd be best to get some help, that's for sure...
cg
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