Interior wall framing question (Door header)

I had a question regarding the interior door framing on a pre-drywall for this afternoon. Images taken by client prior to my arrival. The door was incorrectly framed for a single door and was required to be modified for double doors in the original plans. These two images is the only reference I have prior to arrival. The wall does not appear to be load bearing from what I can see other then on the right side corner. I see the header above the cripple wall on the original single door framing and not on the new double door framing. Is there any reason this missing header may not be necessary? It seems to me now the cripple wall is serving as the header as it was not before.

2018 IRC for GA. This may vary depending on location but may provide you with some direction. They added the missing jack stud which is good. But determining bearing vs non-bearing is a bit risky.


The original, narrow opening is correct and appears set to be for a load bearing wall with a proper header. Without the plans, and using that information the second, new, opening is incorrect and does not contain a proper header.

You need the plans to tell what is going on or at least more pictures of what is above that wall.

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Most likely not a problem. I personally would have used at least a double 2x4 instead of the single flat 2x4 for such a wide opening though. Still, it doesn’t really matter in the end as the drywall is framed over it and and provides rigidity. The whole assembly turns into a box beam practically. The original header used on the small opening may have just been scrap that was left from cutting the exterior window/door headers, remember material costs are up. Without plans, you can look above this opening, if that single I-joist runs across this full opening, the header for this wall is not likely load bearing. If this is a smaller home and construction is fairly standard, even more likely to be non-bearing. A large home with complex roof trusses and framing upstairs? hard to say. You’d have to take a peek at the plans.

Also, if this header was supposed to be load bearing, you should also have a braced/sheathed cripple wall framed above this whole wall to match the height of the I-joists to support a bearing wall above, pack the I-joists solid to meet the bearing wall above, or add squash blocks for a point load. Again, you don’t see any of this above the opening right? this again reinforces the idea that this header is not likely load bearing. Still, only way to know 100% is to look at the plans as there are always exceptions.

At a large house I inspected earlier this year, there was nothing over a kind of exterior inward wall that is part of an inward framed screen porch that sits right below the master bedroom. I-joists for the 2nd floor are running parallel and above this wall but nothing is actually between this wall and the subfloor above. I go upstairs and the trusses for the master bedroom are bearing on a interior wall that is stacked right over this inward exterior wall below. Too bad there is just air between the two stacked walls. In this case, I didn’t even need to check the plans because the load path is so obvious when looking at the framing.

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If you observe the eye joist orientation placed at the top, the wall changed by the double door is a non-loading wall, so it is not a problem without the header.


I concur. does not appear to be a load bearing wall.
May I suggest, using an image sent by someone can turn around to bite you from behind in the behind!
Limit your liability. Narrate, 'opinion based only based on subject images offered by the client. Why… You stated “These two images is the only reference I have prior to arrival.”
Just my 2 cents.

Per the IRC section 602.7.4 a flat header in a non-loadbearing wall can only be installed if the total length of the flat header(basically lentil) is 8 foot or less in length and the distance down from the top of the wall to the flat 2x4 is less than 24 inches. The opening could be more than those dimensions and therefore might need a true header.

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