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Steelers43 05-16-2011 07:09 AM

Egress Window In Load Bearing Basement Wall
Can somebody assist me with installing the proper size header. I am about to cut my foundation. I want to install a 48 x 48 inch egress window in my basement. Its a load bearing wall and I want to make sure I use the proper header above this window. I have a 2 story home with a poured foundation, 8" thick. The window rough open will be approximately 55 inches across. What size and type header is required? I was think it should be similar to the floor joist above, which happens to be 12" LVLs. Any thoughts?

nealtw 05-16-2011 07:36 AM

Most times two 2x10's would be plenty. I would make them 61" long. Is this window below a gable end of the roof.

oldognewtrick 05-16-2011 08:02 AM

I would suggest calling your local codes office and explain what you are wanting to do, they are the ones who will make life miserable if you don't follow their requirements. Get a permit, get it inspected and cover your $$$...OH, and welcome to House Repair Talk.

Steelers43 05-18-2011 01:01 PM

The triangle side faces the sides of the house and the window is in the rear part of the basement. I have called my local building department and they of course want a set of plans and permits filed before they answer questions. I just want to install a window. If I file with town, my Taxes go up again. Money I don't have. I appreciate your assistance. I live in the Town of Brookhaven, New York on Long Island.

inspectorD 05-18-2011 03:59 PM

Take some pictures to your local lumber yard ("Rings End" near you?). Tell them what you are doing, and that you need to size an LVL for the span. Mine does this for me all the time, of course I have an account with them, but they may help, or charge a small fee.
Good luck.

nealtw 05-18-2011 11:08 PM

I am sorry; my first comment as made to fast. There are a few reasons why you would need a bigger header.
1. Floor joists more than 15 ft landing above your window. All floors above.
2. A door or window with criple studs landing over your window. All floors above
3. Any kind of beam that lands above any floor.
4. A girder truss in the attic that lands above. A girder looks heavy compared to the rest of the trusses and has other rafters and jack rafters attached to it. It may be one two or three plies. If you have this you need to take a few photos of it.
5. If your roof was hand framed take photos of the area in question.

If you have answered no to all of there questions 2 2x10s will do.
If you find a beam above or a 2 or 3 ply girder over your window, you also will be looking at the footing. When there is a big point load the construction engineer calls for a bigger lump of concrete in that area, Sometimes on a high concrete wall they forgo this because the weight spreads out at a 45 degree angle. Either way by moving the point load the footing would be stressed and may need underpinning.

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