Header Size for 12' span

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Old 10-09-17, 05:04 PM
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Header Size for 12' span

I would like to remodel my kitchen/living area by taking out a portion of the wall between the rooms. I was planning to remove about 10-12 feet of wall and to build a header in the attic for support. I have had several contractors come in to give me estimates, but they are very high. This is not a load bearing wall. Could I build a header with 2-2x12 boards that would be strong enough to span 12' considering the wall is not load bearing?

Thanks for any advice in advance.
 
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Old 10-09-17, 05:38 PM
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What's in the attic?
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Old 10-10-17, 03:17 AM
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How did you determine the wall isn't load bearing? Why do you need the header if it isn't?
 
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Old 10-10-17, 04:42 AM
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If the wall is truly not load bearing then a header is not required. A header is only required with load bearing walls. So, it is possible you could have nothing and end up with a smooth ceiling across where the wall used to be. But, you have to make absolutely certain that the wall is NOT load bearing.
 
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Old 10-10-17, 06:55 AM
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Thanks for all of the input. The wall is not load bearing, it runs parallel with the beams in the attic. The room we are opening has a cathedral ceiling so I was building the header to give the studs that I will need to cut some support. I had planned to cut the beams in the attic so that the header is basically up there and out of sight. The way they did the cathedral ceiling, they built in into the attic. It does not go all the way to the roof though, there is still about a 3 foot attic space above the ceiling. So the standard ceiling is about 8 foot high and the cathedral goes to about 12 foot at the peak. The roof is another 3 feet above that so when I stand in the attic in other areas of the house the roof peak is about 7 feet up. I hope this makes sense, I'm trying to clarify.

One contractor said that he wouldn't put in a header at all, but 2 others said that they would, so I was going to do it. They were all around $5,000 quotes and with the other work I am having done, I wasn't willing to pay that much for this small portion of the job, so I will just do it myself. You can see that the wall that I am taking out runs parallel with the truces, and becuase of the way they did the cathedral part of the ceiling, it does not actually touch the truce, it goes up beside it. One contractor did say that the wall was not load bearing, but had an alternate name for it that he explained just meant that it was bearing the weight of the cathedral ceiling and wall, but not the weight of the roof. I can't remember what he called it though.

A friend of mine explained how I could use 2x4 in the attic to hold the studs in place while I cut them and put the header in, which was my plan. I just wasn't sure how large to make the header to span that distance.
 
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Old 10-10-17, 07:19 AM
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Hard to offer advice with info given. Any chance of some pictures or a diagram, or both?

Are any parts of the attic structure what we would call truss construction?

Bud
 
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Old 10-10-17, 05:05 PM
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One red flag is your improper use of the word "beam". This fact alone indicates that framing is not your expertise and that we can't really depend on what you say... we have to guess at what you mean in order to give a proper answer. (And I assume you mean "truss" in your last reply.)

Your ceiling either has "ceiling joists" or "trusses", but there's probably not any beams. If there is ever a "beam" located in a ceiling, it is a load bearing structure that other members cross, attach to, or sit on top of.

Structural advice simply cannot be given over the Internet sight unseen. You have included no pictures or drawings. We cannot even confirm what your other contractors have said or seen. There is no substitute for being there to actually look at your framing. These are all things that are not in your favor if you would like good advice.
 
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Old 10-11-17, 06:40 AM
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Of course framing is not my expertise or I would not be visiting a "DoItYourself" forum and posting a question about something like this. lol. I was told that these are trusses and that none of interior walls are load bearing by each contractor.

I wasn't asking for advice on how to do this, I was simply asking using 2x12's to build the header should be sufficient to cover a 12' span considering this is not a load bearing wall. All contractors agreed that this wall is not supporting the weight of the roof or the structure. The contractors said that they would build a header anyway because of the cathedral ceiling that is on one side, which is why I had planned to do that they just didn't say what they would use for it. I just wish the pricing would have been more reasonable so that I could have just paid to have it done, but I'll do it myself rather than pay $5,000.

I looked at my notes, the one contractor referred to this as "Balloon Framing" which is why he suggested putting in a header.
 
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Old 10-11-17, 08:12 AM
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If you have balloon framing in a house with trusses that would be a first for me, unless added with a renovation.
2x12 material, even with a moderate load will sag over time. The best to use would be something like an LVL, engineered lumber and the lumber yard where you buy it can answer your load question.

Without going back to read I think I recall you mentioning cutting something, thus the question if these are trusses. If trusses, no cutting without being re-engineered.

There is also the issue, if these are trusses with a supporting wall below, then the design may have taken that into account. Just because trusses span the full width doesn't mean they were designed to do so all by themselves.

Issue may be mute but I don't have a picture or diagram.

Bud
 
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Old 10-12-17, 10:44 AM
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Thanks, I wish I could upload some pictures here to see if it would help. Anyway, when I mentioned cutting, I just meant the studs for the wall leading to the cathedral ceiling so that I can place the new header underneath them. I was told to just use 2x4's across the studs above the cuts to hold them in place and then brace that with 2x4's to the truss while I cut the lower portion of the studs and insert the new header. I will be removing all of the drywall to be replaced anyway, so there should not be much weight to be supported.

I should also mention that the wall I plan to reduce already has an open walkway and pass through window. That accounts for probably 7 feet of the 12 I would like to open up.

I'm not entirely sure I understand balloon framing, but only one contractor mentioned it and he wasn't a licensed carpenter. He was more of a project manager that would sub-contract the different aspects of the job. The actual licensed carpenters did not say anything about balloon framing. They all went into the attic to look at the structure.
 
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Old 10-12-17, 11:16 AM
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instructions for loading pics;

https://www.doityourself.com/forum/e...-pictures.html
 
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