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Thread: 2X6wall header

  1. #1
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    Default 2X6wall header

    Question about a 2x6 wall header.
    I will have an 8' opening in a load bearing wall to accomodate a window. I'm trying to figure out what size header I need. I am planning to use 2 2x10's with 2 1/2 rigid insulation sandwiched in between. Is this fine or do I need to use 2 2x10's with 3 1/2 plywood in between to form the header? I have found mixed reviews. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 2X6wall header

    Howdy, without knowing what loads that load bearing wall is bearing- no one can tell you what size header. It is much stronger to not sandwich foam between wood members instead consider sistering the wood using pl premium caulk liberally and then bolting, or screwing or ring shank nailing the boards together( note there is proper spacing and fasteners needed to bear the load) then add foam to the interior side of your header to fill out and insulate the wall stud cavity. Also the support of the header to transfer the load is important. So is it a 2by4 wall, one or two story home, roof loading the wall or not such as a hip roof or a gable end?? All this is important not to mention snow loading. Where you buy wood, guys can direct you as too what type of header and support framing- take photos of the house showing the wall and whats above it with you to assist them.
    Any an all of my comments are just my opinion and not to be confused with facts.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 2X6wall header

    I would be very careful here, if I were doing the construction. As T Miller said, much more information is needed.

    Why don't you consult an architect who can calculate your total load and tell you precisely the size and length of the header you need?

    Generally speaking I prefer to use solid 4x headers in 2x4 walls. Maybe 2-2x4 with plywood in between them for small windows and doors in non bearing walls. Everything being equall, a 4x is better than 2-2x. However here you have a 2x6 bearing wall, with an 8' opening, a very demanding situation. You also need to know that you will have to double the jack studs and king studs for your size opening.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 2X6wall header

    This is a new construction one story 16'x24' addition. Snow load 30psf, live load 10psf. This is a 16'load bearing wall holding the 24' roof trusses. Originally I planned on using 2 to 3 2x10's with layers of 1/2 plywood in between to make 5 1/4 width due to the size of the 2x6 walls.
    Thanks for all the info.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 2X6wall header

    Maybe I should look into a LVL beam. According to the span tables it looks like 1 3/4 x 9 1/2 lvl's would work.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 2X6wall header

    Howdy good idea when you do order a LVL ask them to size it based on your building load. 8' span I would go a couple extra$ an do 2 again pl premium and fasteners , the LVL manufacturer literature on their wed page tells you the fastener method and pattern spacing. More over i'd also have 3" solid bearing at both ends of the header= doubled 2by6. But then again i want it to last and no have deflection over time.
    Any an all of my comments are just my opinion and not to be confused with facts.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 2X6wall header

    when it comes to headers when you get to a span greater than 5' you require double jack studs in most regions.. now up that span to 7'6" its now classified a beam no longer a header which means you have to either up it to a 3ply or to engineered lumber.

    going with a 2 ply lvl will give it far greater strength and will be required if you have any girder trusses bearing on top of the header.

    but as mentioned you should be consulting a engineer for this, where its an addition im surprised its not spec'd on the drawings already
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 2X6wall header

    Thanks for all the replys.

    JKirk, on the plans it reads 2x10 headers.

    After looking at the exterior wall header tables and talking to the town's building inspector, it seems as if I could use 3 2x10's with 1/2 plywood in between to make a suitable header for roughly 9' wide. I only need 8' wide. In this case I would need to double the king and jack studs correct? And this would be the same scenario if I used 2 LVL headers? Thanks.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 2X6wall header

    Quote Originally Posted by RISurfer View Post
    Thanks for all the replys.

    JKirk, on the plans it reads 2x10 headers.

    After looking at the exterior wall header tables and talking to the town's building inspector, it seems as if I could use 3 2x10's with 1/2 plywood in between to make a suitable header for roughly 9' wide. I only need 8' wide. In this case I would need to double the king and jack studs correct? And this would be the same scenario if I used 2 LVL headers? Thanks.
    Yes, you will double the king and jack studs, as I mentioned before, and that will give you a total of one additional foot over your 8 foot opening. The sandwiched plywood should be 1/2" x 10" x 9', glued and nailed.
    Follow your nailing schedule precisely. The inspector will probably want to see your nailing of the first king stud, so leave the second king stud un-nailed until after the inspection.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 2X6wall header

    or nail through the opposite side so the inspector can clearly see the nailing pattern for both the king into the first jack and on the face of the 2nd jack
    fire up the saw and make some dust

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