What Are Headers in Construction?

January 31, 2024

Headers are a critical framing component that helps to ensure the structural integrity of a building. They are placed over openings of any type such as doors and windows and provide essential support for the structure above them. Headers, also known as lintels, help to distribute the weight evenly and prevent the wall from sagging or collapsing.

Header sizes are largely determined by the load requirements that they need to support. The sizing process involves considering the size of the window or door, the span distance, and any additional loads that may be imposed on the header. It is important to consult a professional engineer or builder when determining the appropriate header size for a particular project.

A lintel or header can be made of various materials including wood, steel, or reinforced concrete. The chosen material will depend on the specific project, the loading requirements, and budget constraints. The material should also be approved by the local building code and have an adequate load-bearing capacity.

Regardless of the material used, it is crucial that builders pay close attention to the construction and installation of their headers. Incorrect installation techniques can lead to a number of problems, including sagging or movement, and poor energy efficiency. Proper installation of a header can help to improve energy efficiency, reduce drafts and condensation, and ensure the structural stability of the wall above. This article will explore the various considerations for constructing and installing a header, including tips, best practices, and recommendations based on years of experience in construction.

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