I'm putting in a large 10 foot window in a sunroom on a non load bearing wall. The entire wall is being replaced. I was planning to put in a header with joist hangers attached to the 2x12s in the picture and supported with 2x4s on the side. Is a double 2x6 sufficient and would not sag? How much support in terms of 2x4s would be needed on the sides? I clearly haven't done a lot of framing and just want to make sure I get this correct. I'm trying to maximize the window size for the opening. The bottom of the window will be supported by normal stud spacing on top of concrete.

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1 Answer 1


A header of that size should be double 2x10, or at least 2x8. Sag is a concern (you don't want your windows to bind), but lateral stability is also. Walls like that tend to flex a lot in the wind and when doors are closed, creating pressure bursts. You don't want the thing bouncing and rattling the windows. You can see the flex in a 10' 2x6 just by leaning on it. That gives you an idea of what gravity will do over time.

Single trimmer studs are probably fine since you're not carrying overhead load. Double would be more appropriate for a header of that length if you have room.

There's really no point to joist hangers if you have supporting studs below. They're for carrying load, which there shouldn't be on the 2x12s unless they're intended to be beams themselves. I doubt they are. Face nail or toenail the header in wherever you can.

These suggestions are not gleaned from load tables or specific building codes, but from experience building in heavily-regulated jurisdictions. If you want to meet code (and not just achieve the intent of the code) you'll probably need to get someone on site.

  • Thanks! I was thinking to use joist hangers to limit the number of support studs and maximize the window width. Would this be a good idea? Would a single 2x4 on each side work for this purpose or does it need to be a double?
    – AdamC
    Jun 18, 2020 at 19:12
  • If you put a trimmer stud under the existing 2x12 and a king stud outside those you'd have a nice arrangement for using joist hangers. Don't hang a header on those beams if they're not properly supported.
    – isherwood
    Jun 18, 2020 at 19:42

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