Help adding header for A/C wall install


Hi all, I need to add a through wall a/c, and I cannot put it under the window because it is too tall to fit there. I plan to remove a portion of a stud to make room for a frame. The bottom of the frame will be supported by cripple studs which will also be screwed to the two flanking side studs.
I am wondering how to add a header to the top portion of the amputated stud so that the load is then transfered to the bottom of the frame and thus the cripple studs. It seems difficult to cut the 2X4s to exactly the right length so that there is no gap between the hanging stud bearing the load and the header that I wish to support it with.
It's really hot here in Eastern WA this year, so I'm hoping to get this in before mom pays us a visit.
Thanks all,
JD
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In this part of the country, a "jack stud", supports the header, and "cripples" the bottom of what your are calling the "frame".
http://daveosborne.com/dave/articles/images/windowframe.gif?PHPSESSID 57bb5a27a9200943424b5363bd7a8c
The above picture is included for clarity, not terminology, as terminology does vary according to the part of the country you're in.
What we down here in this part of the country call "cripples" is what is below the rough "sill" (your frame bottom) in the picture.
YMMV
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The real trouble here is that you can't cut the studs to the right length without messing up more wall than you need to for the unit. If this doesn't bother you, two 2X4 on edge makes a strong header. Really though, if you have double top plates the load for one stud will go fine to the ones adjacent, unless there is something really heavy above, so finishing the hole with 3/4 wood may be all you need. If you cut near one stud, you can put blocks on it to support the ends of the top and bottom 3/4 pieces, then put a couple of sheetrock screws into the cut off stud ends to hold them there and let the ends float. Put the other vertical between the horizontals and screw/nail it before they are hooked to the stud. The unit will sit on the lower horizontal just fine, supported mostly by the short stud below. Make the 3/4 wood the same width as the studs and you can put it behind the sheetrock and run in a few screws to support it. Wilson

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On 5 Jul 2006 13:03:31 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Do you get snow in those parts? What wall of the house is this going in....for example is it a rafter bearing wall....or a gable end wall?
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wrote:

Snow load on that short of a header won't really be an issue. If he builds a standard header he'll be fine. If it were me (I live in serious snow country), I'd use a 2x6 header for something that short, though the extra cautious might want to go 2x8. Overkill, but not out of the park price-wise.
The OP's bigger question is how to cut off a stud squarely. Kind of hard to answer that question - you just cut it off square. Sounds like this might be a project he could use a hand on from someone a little more experienced with a saw.
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Thank you for all of the input. It is unfortunately not in one of the gable ends....and yes, we do get our fair share of snow - sometimes up to a foot in a storm.
I did some drill bit probing under a window, and it seems that I have 3/4 inch to spare in the height dimenson. I'll have to use the bottom plate as the base of the frame, but this might be the best way to go instead of cutting a stud.
Does anyone know if there is anything objectionable about using the bottom plate to directly support the A/C? It's a 120# unit.
Thanks again,
JD
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

the same thing in my workshop wall except I created an opening for a 4'X6' plate glass window.
I'd build a header (2-2X6s with 1/2" plywood between, all glued and nailed or screwed together - 2X8s if paranoid). Then, I'd set this header on a cripple attached to each side stud. I'd replace the cut stud with a short piece above the header, bearing on it and supporting the ceiling plate.
For the A/C support I'd set another cripple and/or a 2' block fastened to the header's cripple and run a 2X4 across to support the A/C. Then, support the 2X4 in the center with a short stud anchored to the floor plate.
If there's a worry about the whole thing sagging while cutting the studs and installing the new support(s), back off 2-3 feet from the wall, set a 2X8 flat across the ceiling/joists and support with timbers and jacks.
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On Thu, 6 Jul 2006 10:30:51 -0400, "Mike Marlow"

Howdy MM - Not sure why you are Replying to me. I'm simply trying to get more info so I can reply as best I can. And, if it is a bearing wall and in an area that gets snow, I feel it is an issue to disect even a single stud w/o headering it off. In other words if his house is framed 16 OC cutting that one stud leaves an unsupported span of 30.5". I would not trust that even for the dead load let alone live loading if the OP lives in snow country.
But, you're right - if cutting a stud squarely is an issue, it might be a good idea to get some help.
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Hi Joe. I picked up on the snow load question. A headed off span of 30" is no concern for snow load assuming a decent header. That's why I responded to your post. I hope I didn't get more than one reply mixed up. The OP has since stated that they can get up to one foot which is a very trivial snow load. I didn't disagree with heading it off. I was simply stating that even in snow country, an opening like the OP described could well be headed off with a simple 2x6 header. So - I was agreeing with you more than disagreeing.
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On Thu, 6 Jul 2006 21:50:07 -0400, "Mike Marlow"

Thanks for explaining, Mike. I am very careful in here as there are some very sensitive participants.
Good day, J
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