Context: Doing an addition and opening up a bearing wall to create a great room. The bearing wall will be replaced by a 5.5in x 14in PSL beam 18'8" long. Rafters and Joists sit on the beam throughout the length. The beam is carried by (2) 4x4 on each end. One end is against the outside North wall, so that the beam is perpendicular to North Wall. On the West, the existing wall. On the East, the addition.

Use Case: right on the East side of the 4x4 post I have a double out-swing patio door. The clearance between the door and the post is 1.5in, enough for a 2x4 to carry the header of the door.


  • 1 - In California, do I need to place a full height stud between the 4x4 post and the Cripple stud that carries the header? Or is it ok to place the Cripple stud right against the 4x4 post?
  • 2 - Do the studs adjacent to the post (cripple or full) need to be resting on a sill? or can they be directly on the concrete footing? If not, I would need to add a 3 in (or 1.5 in) long sill underneath, which doesn't make sense. Any suggestions?


  • I cannot move the door to the East.
  • I could possibly move the post/14in beam about 1.5 in (or more) to the West to add a full high stud, but that requires more work and the end post (on the other side of the beam) will not be aligned with other posts in the room. It would solve both my questions, but not ideal.

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1 Answer 1


You should not place the ends of the studs directly on the concrete. There should be a lower plate there under the stud and it should likely also be treated lumber with a thin sill plate closed cell material between it and the concrete.

The best situation would be to cut back the sill plates to the west side of the post and fit in longer lengths. The cutbacks should be different amounts do that the extended pieces of the 2x sill plates have an overlap onto the existing sills.

The added 2x4 along the east side of the post is, in your picture, supporting the ends of the upper double plate. I see no reason to need that full length 2x4 and just place your cripple right against the 4x4. And also butt the door header right up against the 4x4 on top of the cripple. Now do note you would need to add a shorter length of 2x4 along the upper part of the 4x4 that extends from the top of the door header to up under those top plates to give them the support needed.

There is a potential drawback of not placing the full length stud against the 4x4 depending on if there is a wall corner right next to the west side of that door. The cripple alone will probably not provide enough space in that corner to allow drywall corner and door casing to be installed. Your picture does not show if this is the case.

  • Hi Michael Karas, Thank you for your valuable input. For cutting back the existing still, how long is recommended? Does the new 2x4 pressure treated piece have to be anchor bolted? 2 bolts are required per code. In this case would it make sense to shift the 4x4 and cripple stud to the West, so that the cripples sits on the exiting (2) 2x4 sill. Regarding the door, the wall does not have a corner, so the cripple stud is flush with the 4x4, which in turn is flush with the rest of the West side of the wall.
    – Max
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 0:13

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