I'm looking to add storage under the staircase in our basement, but the wall looks to be load-bearing. I'm planning to use two 2x10's (or 2x12 if there's room) with 1/2" plywood sandwiched between them for a header, then some jack studs. Are there other material recommendations or techniques to do the work?

Desired location View looking above door location Main floor approx above door

  • 1
    A double joist can sometimes mean expected extra weight above. Your idea sounds good, but having someone else(engineer, builder) there to check is a decent idea.
    – crip659
    Dec 7, 2021 at 18:24
  • 2
    I don't think a 2x10 or 12 is ever needed to span such a small gap. The header is just going to carry one stud right?
    – JPhi1618
    Dec 7, 2021 at 18:37
  • Two 2x10s should be more than sufficient for such a narrow gap.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Dec 7, 2021 at 20:46
  • We're wanting at least a 26" door so i need about 28" for a rough opening. There is a metal beam about 4' from the wall. I kind of want to over-build the header just to be on the safe side.
    – EMAW2008
    Dec 8, 2021 at 15:34

1 Answer 1


I ended up building a header out of two 2x6's with a 1/2 plywood sandwiched between them. Plenty of construction adhesive and screws.

I built a temporary support out of scrap lumber to be sure nothing shifted overhead while working. installed the header on top of two jack studs.

here is the finished rough opening. The header is hidden unfortunatly.

enter image description here

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