Living Room Remodel - Header/Framing Question

Discussion in 'Framing and Foundation' started by infidex, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. Jun 22, 2013 #1

    infidex

    infidex

    infidex

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    I am remodeling the living room, getting rid of that early 80's oak paneling and the rails above the half wall. Started taking down the paneling tonight to see what the load bearing header looked like, not knowing if it would be one long solid header or if it would be 3 separate ones. As you can see from the pics, it's one long one, measures just over 16 foot long and is made of two 2 x 12's.

    My question is, are the two 2x4's that are on each side of the main opening needed to support that header, or is that header the proper size for this opening to be 16 foot across.

    If I have to leave support there, how do I deal with the support 2x4's sitting on a horizontal 2x4, do I need to get a jack and prop it up while removing this and reinstalling new 2x4s. Is it ever ok to just put the 2x4's on the slab, or is this horizontal 2x4 serve a purpose? Going to work on the other half of the room in the meantime, let me know your thoughts.

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  2. Jun 22, 2013 #2

    nealtw

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    2x 2x12, would not likely be strong enough for 16 ft so the 3 studs in the center are likely load bearing too. You should look at it like you have 3 headers in that span.
    Any time a header is 5 ft or longer, they require 2 jack studs and a king stud on each end. Builders or framers often run them together like this but they are still 3 shorter ones.
    If you just want to remove parts of the wall and leave the posts, just cut the bottom plate on each side of the post. (saws-all)
    Evan with a slab floor, they put footing in for the bearing wall and a lager footing for supporting posts like this, so if you want remove, some the center supports you would want an engineer to look it over. He would calculate the weight from above and may want to investigate the footing that was put in for the end two.
     
  3. Jun 22, 2013 #3

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

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    As Neal stated, enlisting the services of a structural engineer will be cheap compared to the damage that may result from improper support of that area.
     
  4. Jun 22, 2013 #4

    WindowsonWashington

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    Flitch beam or LVL would do 16'.

    If you call the beam makers, they can tell you what they are rated for.
     
  5. Jun 22, 2013 #5

    infidex

    infidex

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    Neal, this is what I figured, doing some reading on the interwebs here I could find where a 16 foot span really required something different. The wife is fine with there being two poles there still, really just don't like the wall area with the rails as it makes the living room closed off and it's dated. So now what I'm thinking is to take out the area of the wall where the decorative rails are down to the floor and leave the support studs under the header. Since only two go down to the slab, my thought was to put a third one in there, and then cover them with wood and molding to make them decorative and more attractive once the rest of the remodel is done.

    Basically taking this area out of each side of this opening, but leaving all the full length studs that are under the header, then adding one so there will be 3 studs together everywhere that 2 run together down to the slab.

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  6. Jun 22, 2013 #6

    CallMeVilla

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    I agree with your decision. The studs create a 4x4+ support system for the main header. The structure beneath the decorative woodwork is what we call "typical" and not structural. Obviously, you need to retain the top plate which runs the length under the header.

    The jack stud in Photo #2 can come out too because it is part of the frmaing for the opening, not a structural component supporting the header. Similarly, the bottom plate under the opening and the cripples can come out (as you suggested) for the same reasons.

    The outlet needs to be moved to the left at the same height. You have more than adequate romex to achieve that.

    A nice wrap treatment for the post would celebrate it and create a nice accent. I recently saw some really nice work done using MDF crown molding to create a beautiful look on some columns.

    You were very smart to ask ... No sense destroying that nice place!

    BARN.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  7. Jun 23, 2013 #7

    WindowsonWashington

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    +1

    Those spindle and cripples can come out. Be sure to replace that one 2x4 on the right side of the opening as Villa indicated and you did as well.

    That will really open the space up considerably.
     
  8. Jun 24, 2013 #8

    nealtw

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    The bottom window sill does give the post latterel support, (stops the two studs from bending) so with out the window there the two center beams should be at least three sometimed four studs just to stop the post from bending under load. (2 or 3 Nails every 12") The other thing is the post should be bolted to the floor, on close inspection you may find the bottom plate is bolted down and the bottom of the studs may have been notched for the bolt. If you can't find that rent a hammer drill and use an anchor bolt to bolt the plate down before adding the extra studs, just cut a V out of the bottom of the stud to clear the bolt and nut.
     
  9. Jun 24, 2013 #9

    bud16415

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    The areas you show with the red X should be not carrying any load as mentioned above. Obliviously the rest of the studs and the header are carrying the load and have been for some time. Without knowing the rest of the load factors as to where you live and the rest of the load sharing it’s impossible to render an opinion in any detail beyond that. I would say if it was mine and I was making the changes you are planning I would add in some studs at the ends of the openings. I like to view the span and ask how many studs would be in there if it was a solid wall 16” on center and then use that number or something close to it in the supports. Not scientific, more of a rule of thumb for me. When you take out the windows there is a jack stud you will be losing that is doing some support.

    If it were mine I would replace that and at least add one more and do as Neal mentioned find the anchor points on the lower plate and make sure you have something holding the ends in place before you cut out the middle. I would look at how I wanted the columns to look when finished in and if I wanted a more massive look on the outside then I would fill up the inside with more studs to play it safe.

    The column can be wider than the beam above (square or cylindrical) and be architecturally correct where the capital (top) overhangs the beam.
     

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