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I am installing a new inset medicine cabinet. I need to add about another 1.5” inches in height to get the new one to fit. I would like to remove the header on this (it’s a true 2” stud) and replace it with a piece of 1x4. I’m pretty sure this is setup just to support the original cabinet. Would there be any harm in doing this (or possibly removing the header altogether)enter image description here

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    the header is not really holding anything – jsotola Mar 11 '18 at 20:19
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You can do a number of things here:

Shorten the stud board coming down to the header and move the header up 1.5” to 2” inches (I would do that ) - a nice oscillating cutting tool would make that easy to do right in place.

I would then install my cabinet - and I would have a sturdy upper frame for it as well.

You could remove it , replace it with something thinner .. but really why spend the extra money for wood - just cut the stud board and move the thing up the distance you need.

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    Its only there to allow you to attach the top of the cabinet to something solid. You could get away with removing it completely as well. It does not create a load bearing connection to the cabinet because your cabinet wouldn't bear any weight from above. Having one on the lower side is needed to help support the weight of the cabinet. – Jeff Cates Mar 11 '18 at 22:24
  • If there is nothing there there would be no support for the new wall covering and cabinet to attach two, I would cut it out and move it up as in ken's answer.+ – Ed Beal Mar 12 '18 at 17:13
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You want to follow the instructions given to cut the upper short stud some and then move the header up the requisite amount. Make sure to re-nail the lower end of the short stud to the raised header.

Please ignore the noise here regarding removing the header entirely. You do not want to do that since that upper short stud lower end would be unsecured and will create a spot on the wall that can flex. This can be especially problematic if someone tries to attach a load on that stud from the opposite side of the wall. Just imagine how bouncy it would be trying to hammer in a nail to that stud from the opposite side.

  • +1 Just assume that the carpenter who put that header there in the first place knew more about wall structure than the internet does. – A. I. Breveleri Mar 12 '18 at 4:51

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