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Ask Anderson Answers Your Own Question
Anderson Answers
Anderson Answers, Carpenter
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 5
Experience:  10 Yrs experience in residential home construction new, old, and remodeling.
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I have a contractor installing a header in an exterior wall.

Customer Question

I have a contractor installing a header in an exterior wall. The header width is 78 inches. the wall is a single story structure and will be installed over a fireplace opening. What size header will work and how do I justify the size of the header to the conractor to insure the proper size header is installed.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Anderson Answers replied 11 months ago.
Hello welcome to Just Answer.
I would like to help you out but need some additional information and pictures if possible.
How old is your home?
What kind of style of roof do you have. Gable roof or a Hip roof style?
If a gable roof, where in conjunction to the gable side of the roof is the wall with the header?
Can you take an exterior picture of the house showing the roof
with the wall thats being worked on?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
My home was built in 1979. I have a standard gable roof. The area where the header will be installed is in the living room has a cathedral ceiling. The header will be installed in the gable end wall. I have composition roofing.
whats happening is I have an existing fireplace insert in an existing wood framed bumpout on the side of the house in the living room. I am removing the modular fireplace and opening the wall to expose the existing framed box. I am planning to finish the interior of the bumpout and place a pellet stove in the bumpout area.
I need to elevate the opening from the top of the existing fireplace from about 3 feet off the floor and reinstall a header at 8 feet off the floor in order to allow space for the pellet stove.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I can provide a photo, however I will have to take the exterior picture in the morning
Expert:  Anderson Answers replied 11 months ago.
Okay, picture of the exterior in the morning would be great.
Can you send a picture of the interior area?
Do you know if your roof framing is Trusses or Rafter's?
Expert:  Anderson Answers replied 11 months ago.
To be on the safe side a doubled up 2" x 12" southern yellow pine Header nailed with 4- 16D nails 4 on each end and every 16" in the middle would be enough to support the load. Any span over 48" needs to have 2-shoulder or support studs under each end of the header with a King stud on the end of the header nailed onto the end of header with at least 6 nails and also attatched to the shoulder studs. If above the foundation wall the load from the king and shoulder studs should carry down to the foundation wall with small 2x4 or 2x6 squash blocks or called cripple studs.

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