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Thread: Pesky header

  1. #1
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    Sep 2008
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    Default Pesky header

    I have been slowly going through our older home and trying to take care of the many issues. I just finished with the laundry room and have now moved upstairs to tackle the living room. I removed the old "popcorn" ceiling texture, sanded it smooth and primed it. I'm now prepping the walls. There is a "stress" crack on both sided of a header that transitions from our living room to the dining room. I removed a small piece of drywall to inspect and found that the header is actually no longer seated on one of the support studs, not sure exactly what caused this but in addition it has twisted with age and that has caused the cracks. I would like to completely remove this header and the top plates and have the ceiling transition between the two rooms without obstruction, just not sure how to structurally strengthen the trusses if I remove the header and top plates? Is this possible?
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    Last edited by coachie; 09-06-2008 at 01:56 PM. Reason: attach photo

  2. #2
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    Sep 2008
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    Default Re: Pesky header

    I was looking for some information on this problem because I to have the same problem. I have a bilevel where on the second floor there is an open span between my living room and dining room. The crack in the ceiling was repaired and soon after it came back. I now know it is structural. Above the ceiling is the attic. There is a beam that the builder put in but not an actual header that spans the width of the ceiling in this area. I have noticed also that the floor hardwood in this area is also slightly raised between the two rooms.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pesky header

    jigsprocket .... I'm not 100 % clear of your layout but from what I have in my mind .... is there a main beam that runs underr the floor?

    If so this maybe a hump from the main beam being higher .... which might be from the exterior ends of the foundation settling..... or the center has heaved.

    Whether or not the cracking of the ceiling is related to this depends on how this upper beam as you call it is supported on the ends and what method of framing is above this.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pesky header

    Quote Originally Posted by coachie View Post
    I'm now prepping the walls. There is a "stress" crack on both sided of a header that transitions from our living room to the dining room. I removed a small piece of drywall to inspect and found that the header is actually no longer seated on one of the support studs, not sure exactly what caused this but in addition it has twisted with age and that has caused the cracks.

    I would like to completely remove this header and the top plates and have the ceiling transition between the two rooms without obstruction, just not sure how to structurally strengthen the trusses if I remove the header and top plates? Is this possible?
    If this header isn't sitting on the jack stud ( lower stud ) might indicate something has shifted.
    When you say it looks like this header " has twisted with age " ... maybe .... or it could be rolling over from too much stress.... it's hard to say.

    It may be possible to install a flush mount header/beam with the ceiling joists hung off it. This will depend on what is above this ceiling that needs support and really should be evaluated by a professional.

    Just a thought.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pesky header

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    jigsprocket .... I'm not 100 % clear of your layout but from what I have in my mind .... is there a main beam that runs underr the floor?

    If so this maybe a hump from the main beam being higher .... which might be from the exterior ends of the foundation settling..... or the center has heaved.

    Whether or not the cracking of the ceiling is related to this depends on how this upper beam as you call it is supported on the ends and what method of framing is above this.
    Thanks canuk, 11/12/12 had bigger fish to fry, but I still haven't addressed this matter. I agree with your assessment and that there really isn't much that I can do with the hump in the floor due to settling. There isn't any heaving below from the foundation and yes a beam runs below the floor. Probably just settling on both ends of the house.

    About the crack in the ceiling; I saw on another post that this can be addressed by getting up into the attic which is above the crack, and placing pieces of plywood in between the joists following the length of the crack. Then use sheet rock screws from below to secure the plywood above on both sides of the crack. So essentially you would have a piece of plywood approx 14 inches wide. You would then use 4 screws or more to secure each piece. The crack runs at a 5 degree angle to an exterior wall. Finally spackle, sand and paint. I have also seen that cutting strips of 1x2's and hanging them off the roof joist down to the ceiling joists below along the crack would help to stabilize this area as well. Your thoughts please?

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