We’re building a shop ourselves and keep failing the shear inspection because we don’t have the engineering results to send to the city engineer. He said our wood supplier should be able to draft that with some special software but they can’t apparently, so I need to figure out how to get that done.

The header is basically two 2x10 Douglas fir boards sandwiched between two 2x6 Douglas fir boards. I’m assuming they need to know the failure point and distribution over the 108” span, but I’m not certain.

Anyone know where I can get this information? I really appreciate your help!

  • 1
    The obvious answer is: A Structural Engineer. There are few here lurking about.
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Aug 28, 2020 at 18:32
  • 2
    what do you mean by "sandwiched" - diagram probably needed. City question shear strength is quite different from load strength. Me thinks that they are questioning how this header is held up. (or possibly their heads are stuck in sand and want someone else to rubber stamp a piece of paper)
    – DMoore
    Commented Aug 28, 2020 at 19:54

1 Answer 1


The city wants design documentation stamped by a licensed Professional Engineer. For off-the-shelf components the supplier may be able to provide a generic stamped design and as long as it's installed and assembled according to the plans, it will be acceptable.

But it you are building a structure with lumber or other piecemeal components, the design itself needs to be stamped. No "special software" will cut it. It needs to be an engineer licensed in your state.

For what you appear to be doing, basically building up a structural member from components, it will need to be analyzed and stamped before it will pass inspection.

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