Header

A header is a structural member placed between studs, joists, rafters, or truss openings. It is intended to distribute loads around wall openings such as windows or doors. The header is supported by adjacent members and should be sized for carried loads using some type of software program or taken from code approved span tables. A variety of materials can be used for header stock including dimensional lumber (2x8 to 2x12), engineered woods products (such asglue-laminated beams and LVL material), and even modified 4x2 and 6x2 trusses. The header can be placed just above the rough opening with cripple members above, or it can be placed just below the top plate with cripple framing below to form the rough opening. Multiple members can be plied together using fasteners to add strength to the beam up to the width of the wall while minimizing the depth of the header. Component manufacturers are in a unique position to apply value engineering techniques to optimize header material and lower construction material costs.

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