I want to widen the opening on the back of my home for exterior doors from 68” to 74” to install French doors. The opening is on the gable end of my two story home, built in 2008. It sits on a slab. I’m not sure where to provide support to carry the load when removing the original header. There are trusses in the ceiling that run parallel to the door. Can they bear the weight when the header is removed from over the door opening or do I need to support somewhere else?

  • Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking.
    – Community Bot
    Commented May 21 at 2:04
  • How large is the current header? How much of the wall is open? Please revise to make your situation more apparent.
    – isherwood
    Commented May 21 at 14:06

2 Answers 2


The correct way to do this is to expose the wall without removing any supports, build the new header with supports, and then removing the old one once the new one is installed.

If the old one needs to be removed to install the new one, you would need to build a few temporary headers using a metal support beam, boards, or jack posts.

This Old House and Fine Homebuilding both have videos where they detail building a temporary ceiling support that holds it up while they frame out the wall and place a new header in. You would need to do something similar.

  • Would I place the temporary ceiling support under the truss closest to the door?
    – Daniel
    Commented May 21 at 13:58
  • No, you would place a new board header temporarily to bridge the area you are opening up, and that is what you would support. Then you would bridge the area with a new (permanent) header.
    – Stacks
    Commented May 22 at 16:42
  • Since this is an external opening, you likely need to do it on both sides.
    – Stacks
    Commented May 22 at 16:51

That's a lot of work for 6 inches.

You could just instal a 67 inch french door.

There are other sizes available too.

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