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I am going to cut out the wall in my garage under my stairs to build a small room. When I put up the door I have to use a header because it's a load bearing wall. Do I need to make the header out of 2x10, or something else?

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    how wide is the door? – Ed Beal Jan 8 '16 at 21:18
  • Door or rough opening width? Floors above the door frame? Is the attic trussed and/or could it be reasonably used for storage? What state/zip code/snow load needs to be taken into account? Is this the same side of the garage that has the garage door in it? Unfort, a lot more info is needed to give a good answer. – pbarranis May 9 '16 at 17:29
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For door openings up to 36" (nominal) and for structures with no more than two floors above, it's a safe bet that doubled 2x10s are adequate as a load-bearing header.

Without more detailed information, that's as much as I can say.

  • As much as I hate to see an answer given to a question with sooo little info, this is the classic overkill-it-to-hell-and-back response that should always work. One caveat: if the door is on the same side of the garage as the garage door, the OP'er may be cutting into the sheer wall / sheer protection. @aaron crowe, if you run into plywood or other sheet wood when cutting the opening, post pics on a new question. – pbarranis May 9 '16 at 17:33
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There are alot of factors in sizing beams. Without more information we go to simple spans, simple load cases.

If the door opening is 3'-2" R.O., and it carries a 24' roof span with 25 PSF design snow load AND 24' floor load with 10PSF dead load, 40PSF live load, (2) 2x6 DF #2 more than carries the load. If it is only roof load, then it can support more roof span (over 50'). Just make sure no concentrated loads from beams or girder trusses land over the door opening; if they do I would recommend consulting a professional.

Point is, (2) 2x6 should be well enough if you can ensure absolutely no concentrated loads are on the beam.

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    I don't mean to be rude, but it seems irresponsible to me to be guesstimating loads and recommending beam sizes without even knowing the size of the opening, floors above, or zip code (to determine snow loads, which vary tremendously from Alaska to Florida). The OP includes no where near enough information to go down this path yet. – pbarranis May 9 '16 at 17:23

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