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Looking for any advice on a load bearing wall header that was installed..

NotACarpenter's picture

Hi all -- I want to start off and apologize, because I am not handy in the slightest but am starting to stress out a bit about a recent renovation that occured in my home. I understand I open myself up to scrutiny by posting here, and while likely deserved, I'm also hoping for advice / suggestions. 

I recently had a load bearing wall oepned a bit more by a family friend who has been a carpetner for many years. He's built homes, designed additions, etc. so I felt comfortable using him for this project.

I initially had an opening between my living and dining room that was roughly 5' and we've since opened it up to approimately 7'10". two temporary walls were installed during the installation of the header, but I am a bit concerned that it is not sufficient enough after reading through a lot of these posts. 

Here's what I know from reading online:

The header is using 2 2x8 secured together by screws with a 1/4"? of plywood attached as well. This is supported by (I believe) a single jack stud. The house is a two story house, and the opening is on the first floor. The attic is finished, and the roof (if it even matters), is a gambrel roof. I may have psyched myself out, but since the installation I've been trying to measure areas of the home to see if sagging or cracks have occured. The area just above where the opening was created has a bit of trouble closing the door. I don't believe it previously had the issue. 

Do I have a legitimate reason to be concerned? Have you ever heard of 2 2x8's being used for an 8 foot span? I rose my concerns to him and tried finding a span table to reference, but he remarked that generally speaking 1" of span he 1' of wood. 

Would appreciate any input you may have. I understand this is most likely not to code, and while that is a concern, I'm more interested in if generally speaking this seems secure enough or if I'm completely ruined the integrity of my home. 

What is directly above the (post #216273, reply #1 of 5)

What is directly above the new beam? 

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

Directly above the new beam (post #216273, reply #2 of 5)

Directly above the new beam is the "master bedroom". It's not very large, maybe 16x16. 

What is DIRECTLY above the (post #216273, reply #3 of 5)

What is DIRECTLY above the beam?  Open floor?  Waterbed?


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

I guess technically it would (post #216273, reply #4 of 5)

I guess technically it would be the bed, although nothing actually rests on the beam itself. The beam is kind of in the middle of where the bed is because the 2nd floor has some sort of cantilever system -- I may be describing that wrong. Basically if you had x-ray vision and looked up through the beam you would see the mattress, but that is not where the footplates touch down since they are off centered. 

Off the cuff. There should be (post #216273, reply #5 of 5)

Off the cuff. There should be at least 2 jacks on each end and the header should have been bolted together in addition to screws. In my opinion the header should have been 2 X 10 or even 2 x 12. I don't think yours will fail but the floor will probably be springy. I'd also want to know what the jacks are bearing on. The load has to be carried through to the foundation somehow.

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.