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Thread: Header Question

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    DIY Senior Member Master Brian's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    Default Header Question

    I have a 1915 Bungalow, in the kitchen is a box out, which likely used to be a back or side entry porch area. At some point in the past, guessing 80's, but really don't know, they converted the porch into additional kitchen space. When they did this, they cut out the wall studs between the house and this box out and installed a 2x8 header, with 1/2" plywood sandwiched between the 2x8's. The span is about 11-1/2'.

    The cripples are the original 2x4 wall studs, cut to rough length and shimmed to fit tight to the header. Some seem to carry weight, some feel a bit loose. The Trimmers are just the original stud(s) in the perpindicular wall(s) cut out with the header resting on them. No idea about King studs as I can't see that part of the framing yet, there might be some, there might not be any.... My guess is there is something for king studs as one side meets a bay window at this joint and the other another box out/exterior wall.

    I hope that all makes sense, I'll try to attach a picture of where I am on this. Basically I want to raise this header up about 12" to gain headspace and open the room up a bit, by vaulting the ceiling above the box out. My question is, should I replace this header or re-use?? I've always understood you want about 1" of header height per 1' of span, which tells me this should be a doubled up 2x12 header. The current header has obviously been there for 20-30+ years and shows no signs of sagging or twisting, etc.... I'll have to cut/rip out the trimmers to replace them, so they reach the new header position and I intend to use no shims on the cripples, even if I have to double up the existing lumber to make it work.

    The header supports the small shed roof on the box out and about 1/3-1/4 of the gable wall above it. The floor joists obviously run parrallel, so it's not carrying much ceiling weight, but the ceiling is lathe and plaster. Above is currently unreachable attic space. Generally, I'd just replace this with 2x12, but in this case, it seems so much easier to support the everything above, including the header, cut the cripples to new length, remove the trimmers and raise the existing header, replace the trimmers and be done....

    Curious what others would do....
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