Extending Header


Old 04-16-17, 05:10 PM
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Extending Header

I want to open up my kitchen by tearing out 3.5 additional feet of wall. There is an existing header in place that is 6 feet long made up of 2 2x12's sandwiched together.

Is there a way to extend an existing header the remaining 3.5 feet and still get the support needed?
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Old 04-16-17, 05:46 PM
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First, you would have to know that that size built up beam can support whatever load is on it when extended as you propose, and that the new extended end would have proper support under it, perhaps down to the foundation below. That's most likely a job for an engineer.

Built up beams can have joints in the members, but not at the same place in all the members; joints have to be overlapped. You would have to cut back one of the 2x12s at least a couple of feet so the joints are staggered. The engineer can advise how to do this to provide sufficient strength.
Old 04-16-17, 06:52 PM
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You don't extend headers, you replace them entirely. Depending on the location of the load bearing king studs and trimmers, you may need to add support where the new king and trimmers fall.
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