Is it possible to construct an exterior door header over a 6' opening without enough space for a 10" header?

One of the previous home owners installed this addition over an existing patio. Constructing a wall with a 6' sliding glass door parallel with roof joist above. With the pitch of the roof, the low end of the roof joist leaves only 4" of height above the door frame.

The framing of the door is incorrect, but I want to know if it is possible to even frame a door this size given such little roof for the header.

Is the only solution to install a narrower door, requiring a smaller header?

If you're looking at the image, we also would like to extend the wall to the left, eliminating the single door and the 3'x3' area for the door to swing. This would allow us to shift the door over to the left to free up a little more room for the header

image of existing door framing

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    Could probably be done with steel. Doing it right with steel probably involves a breif, inexpensive consutation with an engineer.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 15:05
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    Then again, is a header even required here if this is a non-loadbearing wall. If I'm reading the FL building code correctly, it sounds like a single horizontal stud here is fine. floridabuilding.org/fbc/commission/FBC_0414/… See section R602.1.3 [IRC 602.7.2] Nonbearing walls.
    – andy5246
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 15:57
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    That doesn't need a header but the corner needs some work.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 16:24
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    @Mazura, every opening needs a header, even if it's not load-bearing. It will prevent sag in the opening and the wall above.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 17:02

1 Answer 1


I see several options, though it's difficult to be sure from one photo.

  • Set the header into the roof framing cavity. You mention that the rafters are parallel. If they're not directly over the header you may have more room than you realize.
  • Since the wall is parallel to the rafters you may not actually need a load-bearing header. Doubled 2x6 may be adequate. You can possibly fit that just by removing a wall plate.
  • Have a steel beam sized by an engineer. Your local lumber yard can probably help with that, and they may not charge extra.
  • 2
    Thanks for the suggestions. I was just reading the FL building codes, and to my understanding now, it sounds like this actually does not need a load-bearing header as you mentioned
    – andy5246
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 16:03
  • You're welcome. Please take the tour to learn what's expected of site participants.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 17:01

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