I need some help on sizing a header. My house is 19ft wide about 24ft long 2story with a small loft attic. House was build in 1915 so its balloon framing. The wall I want to open up is 12ft long on the first floor . I want to open it up about 7ft maybe 8ft. the main girder that run almost under this wall is a 4x 9 3/4. My floor joist are 2x8. The wall on the second floor runs almost inline with this wall. There's no support wall in center of the attic. The roof runs down to the 2 outside walls of the house. I talked to someone a while back on another forum. The person told me they were a engineer. They asked me a bunch of measurements and info on the rooms above this wall. There's a small 5x7 bathroom and a 10x10 bedroom and part of a hallway. The person I talked to came up with this For a full 10' span I need a 3.5"x11.25" 2.0E LvL. If I do a 8' span I can go with a triple 2x12. My fist question is does this sound right? My second question is if I do a 8' span with a LvL can use something closer to 8" to recesses it into my floor joist? Thanks for any Help

  • "The person told me they were an engineer." Hmm, I'm a mechanical engineer, and there's no way I'd give someone free advice over the internet about something that could cause their house to have major structural issues. I understand they were just trying to help, but you should really hire a credentialed professional to perform the analysis.
    – Doresoom
    Jan 26, 2015 at 15:03

1 Answer 1


You need an engineer's advice. This is not something free web advice should be trusted for; the consequences of getting it wrong could be severe and the answer may involve much more than that one beam to properly transfer the forces to the frame and foundation. I had something similar done and had to have a floor joist sistered with steel c-beam and specific arrangements of cripple studs...

  • This is a picture of how my house is build. I understand that there could be other factors but it seems like a simple set up. The front room of my house has the same wall with a 8' that was build when the house was constructed. If I could see what size header was installed in that wall id be set. bct.eco.umass.edu/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/engbeam_pic1b.gif
    – Robert
    Jan 26, 2015 at 1:57
  • One end of the new header will transfer its weight right down to the foundation and the other end will transfer down to the main girder that's resting on a massive brick Colum and chimney in the center of the house.
    – Robert
    Jan 26, 2015 at 2:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.