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Posted by Clayton Hare on February 7th, 2000 02:00 AM

I want to install a six foot wide garden door in a basement
wall(actually a knee-wall..4 feet of concrete topped by doubled up 2 x 6
for a sole plate and the same thing ...doubled 2 x 6 for the top plate
with 2 x 6 for studs in between. The joists run parallel with this wall
and the last of those rests on that doubled up top plate). My problem is
I do not have enough room to install a 2 x 8 header. I have only 6
inches of space that I can play around with. I can either:
(1) Use a 4 inch steel I-beam placed directly under that doubled up top
plate and attach a piece of 2 x 6 to the bottom of it to help frame the
RSO for the door
(2) Use a 2 x 6 header instead ... made by laminating plywood between
two pieces of 2 x 6 ( I would like to use LVL...laminated veneer
lumber... but it is not available here
(3) Remove the doubled up 2 x 6 top plate and install the header ... 2
x 8 then because of the extra room gained...directly beneath the joist
(I must say that I would not feel comfortable doing this even if it is
(4) Abandon the project altogether...but since I have already purchased
the door, this is not really an option :)... I really mean abandon doing
it myself and get a contractor. Only problem is, it will be the middle
of December before I can get anyone and I really want to do it myself
So, what do you think (1) or (2)...steel I beam or laminated 2 x 6 ?
Which would give me the greatest strength. Also, if I were to go with
the 2 x 6, I could use 3 pieces sandwiched with a piece of plywood to
fit under the 2 x 6 top plate but I don't know if this would be any
better than two pieces since the joist rests on the outside edge of that
top plate.
I haven't checked to see if a 4 inch I-beam is available but I'm pretty
sure if it is, I will have to purchase a much longer length than I
need...say, 16 or 20 feet when I only need about seven but this isn't a
problem it this were the best option.


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