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  1. #1
    malcolm Guest

    Default garage door header depth

    Hello all,
    I am building a garage, with one 16 x 7 garage door opening on the gable (non bearing) end, to attach to the main house. Wanted to keep wall height @ 8 feet, so the top plates from the main house and garage line up, but with a doubled 2 x 10 hdr., I would have to raise the walls/roof, or lower the floor as all this wouldn't fit into an 8 foot wall. Then, just driving through town, I notice several (already sheetrocked) houses with 8 foot high walls, 16 x 7 doors, what gives?? They would have had to use 2 x 8 headers to clear all of this, or a beam, even an LVL would be deeper than this @ 11 7/8 I think. Can this be accomplished, and how?? Just trying to keep floor from having a step down, and would like to keep the roof line the same as the houses roof. I am in the South, working out of 97' SBCCI code, which doesn't even list 'non bearing' headers except for interior walls. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: garage door header depth

    You're not making the garage floor lower than the floor of the house? Even assuming your house in on a slab, the floor of your garage would still usually be at least four inches below the foundation height (in my area, anyway). The top of your garage door opening should be seven feet above the garage slab, not the foundation. This gives you plenty of room to put in your header.

    If your house has a basement, and you wanted to match the height of the garage walls with the height of the walls in your house, then the garage wall height would be eight feet plus the floor; which gives you even more room for the header. Am I missing something?

  3. #3
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: garage door header depth

    I should add:

    If you really do have a header height problem on a gable wall, you can always put the header on top of the wall (unless you have a structural truss above -- in which case you don't need the header anyway -- or if it breaks the plane of the roof).

    Also, in my area, eight foot walls consist of 92 5/8" studs, bringing the total wall height to 97 1/8". Subtracting 9 " for my 2x10 header, and three inches for my plates, I still have room for a seven foot garage door. Need more room? Shove the header up 1 " so that just one plate ties it all together.

  4. #4
    malcolm Guest

    Default Re: garage door header depth

    Hey Patrick,
    Thanks for the tips, I was forgetting to figure in the height of the bottom plate, and was figuring a 2x10 @ 9.5" instead of 9.25". Reasoning for keeping the floor height where it is, is that the garage actually adjoins a sunroom, easier to carry in groceries w/o the step up. Also, drawing this in SoftPlan, which works perfectly, if you remember to set stud height to 92 5/8" instead of the shipped value of 91 1/2", oops. Thanks for the info.

  5. #5
    Dick Guest

    Default Re: garage door header depth

    In most jurisdictions you must have some kind of step down from the house to the garage. There was a discussion about this in the building inspectors' site recently. I would clear this with my local AHJ before proceeding with such a plan. If you really want a level entrance from the garage to the house, I think your best approach would be to pour the floor 4" below the house floor elevation and include a ramp to the house. You could get by with that by claiming wheel chair access, and I don't see how they could stop you. Also think of the liability issues, if you sell the house and gas leaks out of a car and runs into the house, you could have a real liability problem. If you have a water heater of furnace in the garage, you definitely would want a step down.


    Inspetors' Website Garage Floor Discussion

  6. #6
    Jim Mathwig Guest

    Default Re: garage door header depth

    Patrick and Dick have nailed it so I won't add. I am curious about your "remembering to set stud height at 92 5/8" instead of the shipped value of 91 1/2." Standard precut studs are neither 92 5/8" or 91 1/2", but 92 1/4" . A standard wall with 92 1/4" studs plus one 1 1/2" sill plate and two 1 1/2" top plates theoretically equals 96 3/4", but in practice "expands" to equal 97" or 96 15/16".

  7. #7
    Dick Guest

    Default Re: garage door header depth

    Jim:
    Precut studs always used to be 92 1/8" here in Northern California. Apparently that has changed?

  8. #8
    Jim Mathwig Guest

    Default Re: garage door header depth

    In reference to the "structure truss above" I had a wierd situation which I wanted to set a gable end truss in 10" from the house wall and then build a gable wall on the house (22' 10" garage). Then I would run the 5/8" sheetrock (firewall) up the house wall, lid over the 10", and then drywall the truss. When I checked with the truss manufacturer I learned something. He said the gable end trusses are "not structural at all" and must be placed over walls. (!) I assume that they could build one that IS structural and fill in the 16" oc framing. I'm sure glad I checked first!

  9. #9
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: garage door header depth

    Isn't it odd how different areas have different standards. In the 28 years I've been associated with framing, I have never seen a precut stud for a bearing 8' wall other than 92 5/8". Our interior non-bearing studs are precut to 94 1/8". 9' first floor walls have become common here now (Cincinnati), and they are shipped 104 5/8" and 106 1/8", respectively.

    There seems to be a lot of folks here from North Carolina. I have framed in Ohio, Kentucky, and Florida, and the studs have always shipped out at the lengths I mentioned above. What about you guys in the rest of the country?

  10. #10
    greg Guest

    Default Re: garage door header depth

    Patrick,

    Same here. In my long tenure, all precut 2x4 studs measure 92 5/8". Add 4 1/2" for plates and you have 97 1/8" total heigth from subfloor. I also work in Ohio and PA region. Must be a regional thing which I wasn't aware of.

  11. #11
    Dick Guest

    Default Re: garage door header depth

    My memory must be slipping, I haven't measured one in so long it can't be 92 1/8" because after " sheetrock on the lid there is always approximately " gap at the floor. So it has to be 92 5/8". Sorry guys, but you have to forgive age.

  12. #12
    Kelly Guest

    Default Re: garage door header depth

    South Texas: For at least 15 years, pre-cut 8' studs have been 92 5/8".

    And I've never heard of the "non-bearing", longer pre-cuts. Maybe some more regional difference. Anybody down this way know about those?

    CX

  13. #13
    George Roberts Guest

    Default Re: garage door header depth

    Kelly ---

    Non load bearing walls sometimes have only 1 top plate. So the precut studs are 1-1/2" longer than normal.

  14. #14
    Jim Mathwig Guest

    Default Re: garage door header depth

    As far as the rest of the country I had no idea ther was a difference but Dick if you are in Northern California you just haven't been paying attention. That is where I live! I have framed for 24 years all through Santa Rosa, San Francisco, San Raphael, Novato, Healdsburg, Sebastopol, Rohnert Park, Sonoma, and Siskiyou County and 92 and 1/4 inch has been the standard the entire time. It has been printed right on every one of my lumber tickets (when buying studs) for 24 years and we usually measure a sampling to detect variation and they have been 92 and 1/4 inches.

    You guys with the 94 1/8" interior studs matched with 92 5/8" exterior studs must only use a single top plate on interiors. I have never heard of that--sounds cheap--but whatever works.

  15. #15
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: garage door header depth

    Using a single top plate on interior non-bearing walls is only cheap in the sence that it costs less. There is no more need to use two top plates on a non-bearing wood-stud wall, then there is to use two top tracks on a non-bearing metal-stud wall.

    The upper top plate on a bearing wall is used for structural purposes, and since non-bearing walls add nothing to the structure, why pay for the extra labor and material?

    For those out there saying, "Because it ties it all together": How do you 'tie it all together' when there are no interior walls at all in a living space?

    Non-bearing walls are simply partitions to hang drywall on, and double plating the tops of them adds nothing but time and money, IMHO.

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