Building headers with carpentry framing for windows and doors

Part of carpentry framing is the use of headers. Wherever you have an exterior door or window, you will want to put a header to distribute the weight from the upper level and roofing to the floor. A 2×6 works well for headers as long as you have adequate support with the cripple studs.

window header

After you get the walls up, you will need to run a double plate on top to hold the sections together better. The same thing applies to the interior walls.

A top plate all the way around the exterior wall will be a 2×4 or a 2×6 depending on the thickness of the wall. Most interiors are 2×4 studs so the top plate will be 2×4’s. Make sure to offset the joints to maintain stability.

wall drawing

lumber walls

This is how you overlap the joints for extra strength. This is necessary on interior walls.

Interior walls and some outside walls will need to have pipes running through them. This substantially weakens the strength of the board so reinforcements will need to be made.

pipes through walls

The height of the walls is really up to the owner, but certain dimensions make for easier work. Back in the 70’s, a ceiling height of 7’6” was quite common, but after that, trends went into different directions.

A good measurement is an 8’ ceiling. Whatever you decide, you need to remember to adjust your wall height to include the top plate. You can use builder studs that are already cut to the perfect height.

window header

Building door headers is simple too. You can use 2X10’s or 2X6’s with cripple studs for the header.

framing a closet

That pretty much covers window and door headers. The next part of the learning how to frame a house will be building the roof and eaves.

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Next, framing the roof and eaves

Back to framing main page

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