APA - The Engineered Wood Association


Using Glulam For Headers

Glulam headers can easily span distances long enough to allow garage door openings for two or three cars. And because they are cut to length when you buy them, you pay only for the length you need – nothing is wasted.

A common width for a glulam garage door header is 3-1/2 inches, which fits conventional 2x4 wall construction. For 2x6 wall construction, a 5-1/2-inch-wide glulam provides the perfect fit. Beams with widths of 3-1/8" and 5-1/8" are also used for these applications.

Additional Benefits Include Shear Wall Performance

Full-length glulam headers at an end-wall provide an excellent nailing surface for structural wood panels, which help tie the beam to wall framing members on either side of the garage door opening to improve bracing. This construction method also adds rigidity and improves resistance to wind and earthquake loads by effectively creating a narrow shear wall.

The APA Narrow Wall Bracing Method allows for a reduction in the width of narrow walls adjacent to garage doors and other openings. This method can be used when the house is fully sheathed with structural wood panels and the header extends beyond the garage opening to the corner framing. Once lapped by wall sheathing, the header forms a semi-moment-resisting frame. Also known as a portal frame, this configuration provides additional resistance to wind and earthquake forces and enables the wall leg of the frame to be narrower than otherwise required and still transfer the shear load of conventional corner bracing prescribed in the code. Glulam beams are readily available in the long lengths needed to extend the header to the corner framing. This construction offers strength, stability, and ease of construction.

For more information on glulam headers, please download Glulam Garage Door Headers Offer Design Options, Form EWS C410, by clicking on the link at right. More information and exact specifications for the APA Narrow Wall Bracing Method are available at http://www.wallbracing.org.