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Insulated Headers

Xman's picture

In searching the archives, I saw old references to people using Superior Wood Systems engineered insulated headers. It appears to be a great product, but I always take experience over a convincing web site. How has this type of product worked in the real world? Thanks!

(post #94941, reply #1 of 4)

Our most recent "local" header configuration: use TGI "I" joists sandwiching 2" ridged foam (blue board). Use a table saw to make cutouts for flange of "I" joists.

Simple. Fast. Quality?

What features does the manufactured header have?

I am changing out two small windows for one big window. Need a good header.


(post #94941, reply #2 of 4)

I used some in my spec house and think a lot of them. They're straight, don't twist or shrink, and have insulating value.

The only downside is that they're more expensive than a double 2X12/plywood to buy. But you make some of it up in labor savings.

I don't understand why they're not more widely used. But builders are slow to change.

They have a website at:

Using a pair of I-joists probably isn't a good idea. They're not made to be used as headers. They'd probably require web stiffeners if you asked the manufacturer.

BTW - If you subscribe to Fine Homebuilding, there was an article in the most recent issue about headers.

Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.

(post #94941, reply #4 of 4)

When I was living out in NE Indiana, the SWI headers were all I saw being used, everywhere.

The Amish, who own the framing business out there, use them when building for themselves, even for unheated buildings.

Of course, all the lumberyards had them, and there was price competition. 

No one has them where I live now.

Gene Davis, Davis Housewrights, Inc., Lake Placid, NY



(post #94941, reply #3 of 4)

Frame your openings using a 2x4 plate on top of the jacks..header on top of that flush to the top plates.

That leaves you about 1/2" to insert foam on 2x4 walls as well

as flushness (is that a word?? lol) for rocking.

Be well,


My life is my passion!