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Simple carpentry question....

Old 11-19-2013, 10:26 AM
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Default Simple carpentry question....

I have a porch that I am converting to a sunroom. The roof is supported by PT 4x4's, 4 feet on center on the perimeter.

My question is this - i want to install a 7 ft wide by 6 ft tall window where an existing 4x4 is. The header above that runs between 4x4's is a double 2x10 with a 2x4 connected to the bottom. Can I make an 8 ft span with that configuration or do I need to add an additional window header?

There is no live load on the roof and no rooms above the proposed sunroom.
Old 11-19-2013, 10:34 AM
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Yes, that will be fine.
Old 11-19-2013, 10:35 AM
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double 2x10 header should be enough to make that span. did you sandwich 1/2 plywood in between your 2x10's? the 2x4 connected to the bottom you refer to, is this a jack stud on the side of the 4x4's?
Old 11-19-2013, 10:38 AM
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Will there be a snow load?

Last edited by Garett; 11-22-2013 at 09:36 PM.
Old 11-19-2013, 10:58 AM
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Thanks for all the responses. I guess I will find out once I sawzaw the 4x4!

I cant tell if there is a 1/2 plywood sandwiched in between the 2x10's but the 2x4 is placed on the bottom of the sandwiched 2x10's giving it more depth. There is no snow or ice.

I think I read somewhere that a good rule of thumb for a header size is 1 inch per foot of span.
Old 11-19-2013, 11:01 AM
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There should be 1/2" plywood in b/w. It makes the width of the header 3.5" which is the same as the 2x4.
Old 11-19-2013, 11:22 AM
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ok

Last edited by Garett; 11-22-2013 at 09:36 PM.
Old 11-19-2013, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by littletunny View Post
I have a porch that I am converting to a sunroom. The roof is supported by PT 4x4's, 4 feet on center on the perimeter.

My question is this - i want to install a 7 ft wide by 6 ft tall window where an existing 4x4 is. The header above that runs between 4x4's is a double 2x10 with a 2x4 connected to the bottom. Can I make an 8 ft span with that configuration or do I need to add an additional window header?

There is no live load on the roof and no rooms above the proposed sunroom.
Should be fine, rule of thumb is inch per foot for window header(roof only) assuming you have a double 2x plate above.
Old 11-19-2013, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by littletunny View Post
I have a porch that I am converting to a sunroom. The roof is supported by PT 4x4's, 4 feet on center on the perimeter.

My question is this - i want to install a 7 ft wide by 6 ft tall window where an existing 4x4 is. The header above that runs between 4x4's is a double 2x10 with a 2x4 connected to the bottom. Can I make an 8 ft span with that configuration or do I need to add an additional window header?

There is no live load on the roof and no rooms above the proposed sunroom.
This is THT; that is wholly inadequate for your intended use. You must bolldoze the entire house and start from scratch.
Old 11-19-2013, 11:45 AM
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2X10's will be fine unless you have the main house roof load sitting on the porch beam instead of the exterior wall.
Old 11-19-2013, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Jersus View Post
This is THT; that is wholly inadequate for your intended use. You must bolldoze the entire house and start from scratch.

this... you will need a new foundation consisting of a 5' thick mat of 5000 psi concrete with 6 #16 bars (epoxy coated of course) each way, every 4" vertcially. You will also need new 8" tube steel columns to support the 2x10 header, but the 2x10 headers should be adequate, so thats the good news.

Have you thought about adding lead film to shield from EMP's? Cheap to do now but expensive later.
Old 11-19-2013, 11:53 AM
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Its not necessarily the size of the header, but the bearing points as well. How much of each end of the header is bearing on a jack? Anything over 4' span, we double up the jack studs.
Old 11-19-2013, 03:26 PM
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Depends on where you are. If it requires a permit, the gubment may tell YOU what you'll do. In Florida, they'd laugh at you and tell you no way in hell you're gonna get off that easy.
Old 11-19-2013, 03:59 PM
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A window that wide is likely going to be two windows attached with a mullion between. You could leave the post and attach both windows, one each side.

How big of a roofed area, and where is it attached (house edge only or three sides).
Old 11-19-2013, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by billinstuart View Post
Depends on where you are. If it requires a permit, the gubment may tell YOU what you'll do. In Florida, they'd laugh at you and tell you no way in hell you're gonna get off that easy.


You forgot to tell him that it will cost him $10k for an engineer (if he lived in Fla) to design this for him!
Old 11-19-2013, 04:07 PM
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moral of the story...there are no simple questions here
Old 11-19-2013, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by littletunny View Post
Thanks for all the responses. I guess I will find out once I sawzaw the 4x4!

I cant tell if there is a 1/2 plywood sandwiched in between the 2x10's but the 2x4 is placed on the bottom of the sandwiched 2x10's giving it more depth. There is no snow or ice.

I think I read somewhere that a good rule of thumb for a header size is 1 inch per foot of span.
Yeah, I think you misread that rule!
Never heard tell of that one. If you plan on spanning 6', remember that you will need double jacks (3" bearing) at each end.
Old 11-19-2013, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Just1more View Post

You forgot to tell him that it will cost him $10k for an engineer (if he lived in Fla) to design this for him!
It's friggin' stupid down here. No, stupid is being kind. You have to have an engineer and a permit to fart. Don't think it's just us..FEMA is also involved..the feds.

I've been a contractor for 40 years. Got state certification. What I don't have is the patience to put up with the absolute idiocy of the permitting process.

It's gonna get worse. Insurance is next. They're starting to zealously interpret our building code for their own gratification. What? No impact rated solid door to your garage? gonna cost an extra $1000 on your insurance..........
Old 11-19-2013, 04:26 PM
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Probably fine, my only concern would be the load it is carrying. Is it carrying a 30' truss, or is it carrying a smaller truss or rafter? What is the span of the roof truss or rafter that this is carrying? As stated earlier, the 2 X 4 on the bottom is doing nothing structurally. I wouldn't worry unless you have a long span truss, say 25' or more.

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