What Size Header For 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 & 16 Foot Span Load Bearing Wall?

What Size Header For 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 & 16 Foot Span Load Bearing Wall?

A header is a horizontal beam made of timber that provides support for doorways, windows, skylights, and stairways in load bearing walls. Headers are typically twice the size of surrounding members, such as joists or studs, and are made of two to four joists, rafters, or studs. The size of the header depends on factors such as the length of the opening, the weight it needs to support, the building width, the snow load, and whether it is an exterior or interior bearing wall.

For a 6 foot span load bearing wall, a 2×8 size header is recommended. For an 8 foot span, a 2×12 size header is suitable. A 10 foot span requires a triple 2×12 size header, while a 12 foot span requires a 4×12 size header. For a 16 foot span, a 1.75″ x 16″ GLULAM or LVL header is recommended.

Key Takeaways:

  • The size of the header for a load bearing wall depends on factors such as the span length, weight it needs to support, and building width.
  • For a 6 foot span load bearing wall, a 2×8 size header is recommended.
  • An 8 foot span requires a 2×12 size header.
  • A 10 foot span requires a triple 2×12 size header.
  • A 12 foot span requires a 4×12 size header.
  • For a 16 foot span, a 1.75″ x 16″ GLULAM or LVL header is recommended for increased strength.

Load Bearing Wall Header Size for Different Span Lengths

When it comes to load bearing walls with different span lengths, it is important to select the appropriate header size to ensure proper support. The size of the header will vary depending on the length of the opening and other factors such as building width, snow load, and the presence of additional floors. Here’s a breakdown of the recommended header sizes for different span lengths:

6 foot Span Load Bearing Wall:

For a 6 foot span load bearing wall, a 2×8 size header is recommended. This header size provides sufficient strength to support the weight above the opening. It is also recommended to have two jack studs on each side of the header to provide additional support.

8 foot Span Load Bearing Wall:

When dealing with an 8 foot span load bearing wall, a 2×12 size header is suitable. This larger header size is necessary to handle the increased weight and provide adequate support. As with the 6 foot span, it is important to have two jack studs on each side of the header.

12 foot Span Load Bearing Wall:

For a 12 foot span load bearing wall, a 4×12 size header is required. The increased span length requires a more substantial header to ensure proper support. Similar to the previous spans, two jack studs on each side of the header are necessary for stability.

It’s worth noting that these recommended header sizes are based on general guidelines and may vary depending on specific building codes and regulations. Consulting with a structural engineer or local authorities is advisable to ensure compliance and safety.

Span LengthRecommended Header Size
6 feet2×8
8 feet2×12
12 feet4×12

Load Bearing Wall Header Size for Specific Span Lengths

When it comes to load bearing walls with specific span lengths, it is important to determine the appropriate header size to ensure proper support. To assist in this process, a load bearing wall header size calculator can be a helpful tool. For example, when dealing with a 12 foot span load bearing wall, with a building width no more than 20 feet wide and a snow load of 30 psf, the recommended header size is a 4×12 made of #2 grade Douglas fir-larch. This size header should be accompanied by two jack studs on each side for added stability and strength.

However, it’s essential to note that for spans exceeding 12 feet, using a GLULAM or LVL header is recommended due to their increased strength. In this case, the depth of the GLULAM or LVL header should be between 12 to 16 inches, with a width of 3.5 inches. These engineered wood products can provide the necessary structural support for longer spans.

When planning the installation of load bearing wall headers, it is crucial to adhere to local building codes and guidelines. These regulations may specify specific header size requirements based on factors such as building width, snow load, and the presence of additional floors. Consulting with a structural engineer or building professional can provide further guidance and ensure compliance with safety standards.

Table: Recommended Load Bearing Wall Header Sizes for Specific Span Lengths

Span Length (feet)Recommended Header SizeJack Studs
62×82 on each side
82×122 on each side
10Triple 2×122 on each side
124×122 on each side
161.75″ x 16″ GLULAM or LVL2 on each side

Referencing the table above, it’s evident that the recommended header size increases with longer span lengths. This highlights the importance of selecting the appropriate header size to ensure the structural integrity and stability of load bearing walls. By utilizing load bearing wall header size calculators, builders and contractors can make informed decisions to meet specific span length requirements and ensure the safety of the overall structure.

Number of Jack Studs Required for Different Opening Sizes

When determining the number of jack studs required for different opening sizes, it’s essential to consider the width of the opening. Whether you’re dealing with a garage door, window, or door opening, the number of jack studs needed may vary.

For a 5-foot opening, you’ll need one jack stud and one king stud on each end. This provides the necessary support and stability for the opening. Similarly, a 6-foot opening requires one jack stud and two king studs on each end to ensure proper structural integrity.

Now, let’s talk about garage doors. For a 10-foot opening, it is recommended to have two jack studs and two king studs on each end. This arrangement provides the necessary strength and support for the larger opening. On the other hand, a 16-foot garage door calls for three jack studs and four king studs on each end for added stability and security.

It’s important to remember that building codes and guidelines may vary depending on your location. Always consult local regulations to ensure compliance and safety when determining the number of jack studs required for different opening sizes.

FAQ

What size header should I use for a 6 foot span load bearing wall?

For a 6 foot span load bearing wall, a 2×8 size header is recommended.

What size header is suitable for an 8 foot span load bearing wall?

For an 8 foot span load bearing wall, a 2×12 size header is suitable.

What size header is needed for a 12 foot span load bearing wall?

For a 12 foot span load bearing wall, a 4×12 size header is needed.

How do I determine the load bearing wall header size for specific span lengths?

To determine the load bearing wall header size for specific span lengths, certain guidelines can be followed. A load bearing wall header size chart can also be used as a reference.

What size header should I use for a 12 foot span load bearing exterior or interior wall with a building width no more than 20 feet wide and a snow load of 30 psf?

For a 12 foot span load bearing exterior or interior wall with the mentioned specifications, a 4×12 size header made of #2 grade Douglas fir-larch is recommended.

When should I use GLULAM or LVL headers?

GLULAM or LVL headers should be used for spans greater than 12 feet due to their increased strength. The depth should be 12-16 inches, with a width of 3.5 inches.

How many jack studs are required for different opening sizes?

The number of jack studs required varies depending on the width of the opening. For example, a 5 foot opening requires 1 jack stud and 1 king stud on each end.

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