we had an entry way widened a bit which required them to install a longer support beam. I'm absolutely not a professional. But the 2x4's supporting the larger beam don't seem very substantial to me. There's just one under each end of the cross beam.

Does anyone who is more knowledgeable about building practices/codes know if this is up to snuff? The width is about 8.5 feet support beam over 8.5 foot opening

1 Answer 1


For an 8.5' span I'd say no. The purpose of the jack studs isn't just to hold up the header - it also helps distribute the load more evenly to the foundation. For that wide of a span the IRC calls for 2 jacks(see R502.5 Allowable girder spans).

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    Fortunately, it's very easy to put another jack stud or two on either side. Cut them a tiny bit long (1/16 to 1/8 inch) so you have to tap them into place with a hammer. They won't do any good if they're 1/16 short of touching that beam. If it takes a sledge hammer to put them in place, you cut them a little too long. ;-) Aug 26, 2015 at 4:09
  • hmm, ok. Now i am wondering if they did that just to cut corners, or to try and make us happy since we wanted the walls to be flush but they couldn't do that without doing a lot of extra work. So i wonder if they did this to minimize how much of a lip there would be. Although in the picture i posted, i don't see why they couldn't have extended the beam another 3-4 inches into that wall and put the jack studs in the wall - unless that violates some building code.
    – merk
    Aug 26, 2015 at 15:35
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    @merk - The size column is the number and size of the members. For example, 2-2 x 12 would be 2 laminated 2x12s (which is what I'm seeing in the picture). Span is feet - inches, and NJ is the number of jacks. As for the table, it depends on what the header is supporting. When you say it's only one floor, do you mean that the header is only supporting a roof load, or there's another floor above the header that it's supporting?
    – Comintern
    Aug 26, 2015 at 22:51
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    Make sure the load of the beam/jack studs are transferred to the foundation. It may not be critical, since it is only an attic and roof above. It is common practice to have the load transferred through.
    – Jack
    Aug 27, 2015 at 6:46
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    @merk - It does require 2, but the jack studs are the ones that go underneath the header. The one on the left in your picture is called a king stud, and doesn't count toward the jack requirement.
    – Comintern
    Aug 28, 2015 at 22:49

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