I am working to remove a load bearing wall between my living room and my kitchen. I removed the sheetrock and the top of the wall has 2x4 top and double plates that is perpendicular to the ceiling joists (load bearing give away). The opening will be approx 9 feet tall and 11 feet wide.

At either end of the opening, I am looking at 1 king stud and 2 jack studs and adding a lally stud under the floor in the crawl space under each jack stud location.

Living room is a vaulted ceiling and the room above the kitchen is a bedroom and closet. I am I looking at using 2x10x12 (2ea) with a 1/2' shim in between to brace the span.

Will this be sufficient for a header?

  • Not sure I'm convinced by your load bearing assessment. Is there a cripple wall directly under it in the crawlspace carrying the load down to the foundation. Even then, it may not be. Really need to understand the span of the framing members above it. – CoAstroGeek Jan 10 '17 at 13:15
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it requires an engineer on site. – isherwood Jan 10 '17 at 15:10
  • What does "top and double plates" mean. Typically you have a top plate - often a double top plate, and a bottom or sole plate. If you're on top of a foundation wall you'll have a pressure treated sill plate. A double top plate doesn't mean it's load bearing - it's easier to tilt the wall into place and slip in an additional plate then to build it full height, and you can use pre-cut studs identical to the exterior walls and get the same height. – CoAstroGeek Jan 10 '17 at 15:17
  • To determine if the wall is load bearing you need to follow it down to the foundation. Is there a cripple wall or beam in the crawlspace carrying the load of this wall down to the foundation? Is there blocking & squash blocks between the floor joists on top of this beam or wall? Are there headers & jack studs in other openings in the wall? Do the floor joists/trusses/rafters above this wall require a load bearing wall for the span supported? – CoAstroGeek Jan 10 '17 at 15:20
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    @CoAstroGeek, "Double plate" or "tie plate" is the specific term for the upper member of a doubled top plate assembly. The OP was saying that both are 2x4. I think you're right about the load-bearing confusion, though. – isherwood Jan 10 '17 at 17:14

Two by tens are insufficient, and will sag over time. I would suggest a lam beam for this.

  • Unfortunately, getting LAM or GLULAM is not an option around me. I have looked at LVL but none of the lumber yards or big box stores within 120 miles of my address have these or will make these. I can go down to a 10 foot span if needed or increase to 2x12x12 (2 ea) if needed – Brandon Nov 2 '16 at 21:07
  • I would go with the 2x12s, and shorten the span to ten feet. – Bob Nov 2 '16 at 21:17
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    Most charts, such as this one say you need at least 4 2x12s to span 11 feet for conventional timber headers. – bib Nov 2 '16 at 21:26
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    Where are you that LVLs aren't available? They're a very common building component in the US these days. You can't put in a double-car garage without them. – isherwood Dec 9 '16 at 20:43
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    The span table is the way to go unless you have an engineer willing to sign off on something else. – CoAstroGeek Jan 10 '17 at 13:21

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