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  1. #1
    Mac Guest

    Default Headers/2X6 walls

    Here in the midwest a typical header for a 2X4 wall is two 2X10/12 with a 1/2 osb sandwiched between to make it 3 1/2". What is the prefered method in the case of 2X6 walls? I have seen three layers of 2X material plus two layers of osb. This requires 50% more material. I have also seen a typical 2X4 header with an inch of foam on both sides. This would help to insulate the header and it places the header in the center of the wall. A third method uses 2 1/2" spacers between the 2X10/12 making it 5 1/2" It can then be stuffed with fiberglass insulation. I have one framer who tells me method 3 is the best way to go, and that he has been doing it for years. Another told me he tried it once and the inspector made him rip out all the headers and redo them. The reason being that the two members were not properly nailed together.

    mac

  2. #2
    George Roberts Guest

    Default Re: Headers/2X6 walls

    I like the third method. It provides good nailing on both sides as well as reasonable insulation.

    As for strength ...

    If the construction matches the plans, it is strong enough. If it does not match the plans, it is not strong enough.

  3. #3
    Keith M. Guest

    Default Re: Headers/2X6 walls

    Allways a double 2x10 with a 2x4 cap on 4 inch walls and double 2x10 with a 2x6 cap on 6 inch walls. Hold it flush to the sheathing so that when the header shrinks, curls, cups and hooks as it drys out its got a half inch between it and the sheet rock. Plus the 2x4 cap will hold the bottom of the header together. Sandwitching headers is only a waist of time, labor and material. plus it makes hell for the trimmers and the sheetrockers. Stick to the basics its been a building standard sinse the forties.

  4. #4
    FramerT Guest

    Default Re: Headers/2X6 walls

    I agree w/ George R.When we frame"basement" homes,the back wall is 2x6 and our plans spec.the size but they are always "box"headers.2x10 w/2x6 top and bottom is the norm.Sometimes they want 3 2x10s w/2x6 caps.Here we don,t have to insulate headers but you can always drill a hole so the insulater can squirt some stuff in it.I can,t see how 2inch spacer blks.will help make it stronger.

  5. #5
    Joe Carola Guest

    Default Re: Headers/2X6 walls

    Mac,

    Around here in NJ it's always 2-2x10's with a 2x4 cap on the bottom for a 2x4 wall and 3-2x10's with a 2x6 cap on the bottom for a 2x6 wall with all headers flush faceing the outside of the wall.

    The 2x4 cap on the bottom of a 2x10 header gives you a Rough Opening of 83" from the top of the subfloor when using 92-5/8" precuts which 6'-8" doors fit in.

    Some houses I'ved framed we used 3-1/2" x 9-1/2" and 5-1/2" x 9-1/2" lvl's for 2x4 and 2x6 walls but never once have I ever sandwiched plywood in between 2-2x10's befor it doesn't make sence and insulate headers, never heard that one befor.

  6. #6
    Keith M. Guest

    Default Re: Headers/2X6 walls

    Hey Joe, why three 2x10s isn't that a waste of material. If you were to have an engineer spec the span of a 41" or 37" header you would find that even a single 2x10 is sufficiant on exterior load walls; two is used for R value, but three is overkill. I understand that on the average 2000 sqf. house there can't possibly be more than 6 or 7 headers that this would aply to so the material can't be that much but why three on a 2x6 wall. All of my work is in New Jersey and I have not seen this as a building standard.

  7. #7
    Joe Carola Guest

    Default Re: Headers/2X6 walls

    Keith,

    I made a mistake when I typed in 3-2x10's it's 2-2x10's for a 2x4 and 2x6 wall. I wish we could edit on this forum.

    Where are you in Jersey, I'm in Caldwell.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  8. #8
    Ken Drake Guest

    Default Re: Headers/2X6 walls

    We frame a lot of large custom homes down here in San Antonio, Texas.

    The outside walls are very often 2x6, and of course there are tons of 2x4 walls in the interior that need headers.

    We use Timberstrand headers. They normally arrive at the jobsite in 20'lengths. These headers are 7 1/4" wide, and 3 1/2" thick, so they work nicely in a 2x4 wall. No problems with cupping, warping, or irregular sizes...They fit perfectly, and they are strong.

    For 2x6 walls, we just add 1/2" ply or OSB, plus 2 2x4's ( or a single 2x8 ) to pad them out to 5 1/2"

    Try it, you'll like it.

    Joe, say hello to Momma Carola for me. Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving day.

    The Big Hammer

  9. #9
    kcoyner Guest

    Default Re: Headers/2X6 walls

    If the budget allows, you can't beat the 7 1/4" timberstrand with padding. Check the design load for the header, you can use 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" installed in plank orentation. But if you are trying to save money, then (2) 2x10s with with 2x6 caps to and bottom and 2" foam insulation works fine. In any case, unless you are absolutely sure of the loads, or if there is a question in the back of your mind, have the header designed. Today's plans sometimes impose huge point loads on headers. Unless it's something real simple or something I've built before, I have Trus Joist design the headers just in case and it's a free service if I use their products.

    kcoyner

  10. #10
    Keith M. Guest

    Default Re: Headers/2X6 walls

    Why pad anything out? I serves not purpose. If your worried about loosing heat through the header I think you should more concerned about loosing heat through the window or door its sitting over, or all of the studs shoes and plates. I would love to know the R-value of 4 inches of wood as compared to the R-13 in the walls. Plus, say you have a 30' by 60' house with 2x4 walls. That's approximately 200 studs and 540' of plates and shoes that are transfering cold directly from outside to the sheetrock quickly in my head that equates to 200 square feet on the first floor that's not insulated besides a 2x4. If you were to have an engineer spec every header in a house you would find that you would be using all sorts of lumber screwing up the your lumber list, wasting time measuring 83" to pack down all of your headers for common head hight and wasting the benchman's time trying to figure out what lumber is for what header when he could have allready cut all of them out of 2x10s and started cutting rafters. I'm not in the business to save the contractors money by pinching pennies on the print. I want efficiant speed. You'll save the contractor thousand more by getting him and your self on to the next job rather than the $200 you save on the lumber list. Don't think that I mean that you should sacrifice quality for speed. The more you think beyond the basics of framing the more time you waste. Joe, I live in Butler but all of my business is in Wyckoff and Saddle River area. I have a small business that I just started but you'll hear about me in the next few years.

  11. #11
    charles Guest

    Default Re: Headers/2X6 walls

    Keith, you have a point. The R-value of wood is about 1/4 the R-value of foam. Wrapping the entire walls with foam board would do a lot more to cut down heat transfer through the framing.

  12. #12
    Joe Carola Guest

    Default Re: Headers/2X6 walls

    Keith,

    Why will I here about you in the next few years?

  13. #13
    Ken Drake Guest

    Default Re: Headers/2X6 walls

    Keith,

    Why pad anything out?

    Only because, on the exterior, we need a nailer for the sheathing, and on the interior, we need a nailer for the drywall.

    I would also ask, as Joe Carola did, what your comment meant about hearing from you in the next few years.

    We're already hearing from you, right?

    Ken

  14. #14
    Keith M. Guest

    Default Re: Headers/2X6 walls

    Ken I don't think your catching on and Joe prevetti ain't got sh&%&* on me.

  15. #15
    kcoyner Guest

    Default Re: Headers/2X6 walls

    R-Value of wood is about 1 per inch. Yea I would worry more about the window but you don't use single pane windows because you want to save on heat loss. Same holds true for putting something solid or building it out with foam.

    kcoyner

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