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Header size for 5 ft opening?

allztime's picture

Howdy, New to the forum.  Looking at placing a 5 ft opening on a load bearing interior wall supporting one floor above.  Any ideas on how large a header I need.  Thanks in advance.

(post #102924, reply #1 of 17)

Use 2-2 x 12's with double jacks.

(post #102924, reply #2 of 17)

When in doubt, LVL's

(post #102924, reply #3 of 17)

I think the previous suggestions would reguire a 4x6 post midspan.

(post #102924, reply #4 of 17)

Obviously, these guys have been dipping into the eggnog.

they were having fun because generally we don't dispense structural advice here since there can be too much liability where we can't see all the site information

But for something as simple as this, I'm comfortable with the standard pair of 2x12s



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We did the best we could...

(post #102924, reply #5 of 17)

would that be in Oxfords???


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Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!

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(post #102924, reply #6 of 17)

Now that the other guys have told you how big a header to use, get ahold of the March 2006 issue of "Fine Homebuilding" for a slick method to insert that new 2-piece header into a load bearing wall without jacks or temporary framing.


(post #102924, reply #7 of 17)

This being Christmas and all.

More than likely 2 2x8's will work.

(You should get a code book to make sure.)

(post #102924, reply #8 of 17)

for that opening, 63" should be fine

Barry E-Remodeler


Barry E-Remodeler  

(post #102924, reply #10 of 17)

<63" should be fine>


(post #102924, reply #9 of 17)

Is the load bearing wall supporting the floor above an interior wall? What is the span of the floor joists above on each side of the bearing wall?


(post #102924, reply #11 of 17)

OK, Here's the deal.  I'm moving a 5 ft wall back 1.5 ft which is located in the center of the house, to be able to recess my fridge back further.  I've already placed the new load bearing wall behind the fridge however I need to place a header to support the floor joists above since the new wall is just outside of where the floor joists overlap in the center of the house.  As far as what's above it, there's an interior door with about a 1ft wall on each side.  Lastly the floor joists are 16" on center.  At this point I'm planning a 2x10 header.

(post #102924, reply #12 of 17)

if i understand this correctly a single 2x10 is NOT SUFFICIENT.
as I read this last posting it sounds like u are talking about a flush beam with hangars. which would require at least dbl 2x 10s. but that depends how far u need to go to get proper bearing for your header, that being said there is no way anyone can give the proper answer without being on site.
fisrt u stated that the opening was 5' then u said the removed wall was 5' does this mean u removed 5' from the center of the bearing wall, or that it was only a 5' wing wall, you really should consult someone in your area to at least look at this. IE engineer
an lvl may be needed depending on conditions


Edited 12/29/2006 12:49 pm ET by official1jg

Edited 12/29/2006 12:50 pm ET by official1jg

(post #102924, reply #16 of 17)


Where did he say that he was using a single 2x10?

Joe Carola
Joe Carola

(post #102924, reply #13 of 17)

So the wall you moved behind the fridge is not a load bearing wall but you need a header sized for the location the wall is moving from because that is the existing bearing line, correct?

(post #102924, reply #14 of 17)

Sounds like I'm confusing people....Sorry.  The width of the wall I am moving is 5ft and load bearing.  It's moving back 1.5ft.  There's room to place a double 2x10 header where the load bearing wall was and still clear my fridge because the header in up in the soffets.  I am not using hangers either, just the normal way of supporting the hearder within a wall (king and trimmer stud).


(post #102924, reply #15 of 17)

You are more than good.



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Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
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Excellence is its own reward!



Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #102924, reply #17 of 17)

Sounds good so far. All you did was take out a 5' section of the load bearing center wall and install a dropped header and just reframed a new 5' wall 1.5’ back to allow for your refrigerator.

Did you check to see on each end of your header where your king studs and jacks landed that they didn't land in the center of the joist below?

If they did land in the center, you have to put solid blocking under them in between the joists and on top of the girder.

What I do in that situation is measure out the desired opening and see where the king and jack studs land. If one happens to land on top of the floor joists that side is fine. If the other lands in the center of the floor joists and I can't get to it do to a finished basement ceiling, then I will make the opening to the next floor joists so that the king and jack studs sit on top.

Now the opening s a little bigger and I will just close it in to the correct opening. This way all the weight of the header is on solid joists underneath.

Joe Carola
Joe Carola