What Size Header for 10 Foot Span

We need to build the headers for wood frame constructions. Header runs between the full-length supports that help carry the load of joists, rafters, or short studs. Header size varies according to the size of the span because only the proper size header could perform best.

If you are a skilled person, you know well what rules you should follow to install the right size header for any size span. If you do not have good skills, surely you need some help; no worry, we are here to assist you. 

Different length spans are used for skylights, stairways, windows, and doorways, but a 10-foot span is widely used.  What size of the header for a 10-foot span? We will help you know about the header’s correct size for a 10-foot span.

What is the Rule of Thumb for finding out the size of the Header?

We have searched on different platforms and discussed with the experts; we learned a rule of thumb that is relatively easy to understand the right size for any length span. 

The general rule is that first measure the span in feet and then add 2 to the span length number; it will be your doubleheader height in inches. 

Suppose you have measured the span and it is 6 feet, now add 2 in 6 the sum is 8. It means you need a header of 2x8s. If the number is odd, you can round the values to find the better one.

This rule may help you, but it is not a hard and fast rule to follow because the size of the header depends on several aspects, such as the site position, load, material, and purposes. So you may need some variations depending on requirements.

The above rule is perfect when working in a single-story building; if there are more stories than one, you may go with some other solutions.

What Factors to Consider When Calculating Header Size?

Several factors affect your header size when calculating the right size of the header for a span. Some of the major factors could be:

  • The length of the door opening or window
  • What is the entire weight of walls, floors, and roofs above?
  • The width of your building
  • What is the snow load in the area?
  • Is it a bearing wall where trusses, rafters rest, or joists, or is it a non-bearing wall to which rafter runs parallel to trusses and joists?
  • Also, consider the position of the wall; is it an exterior-bearing wall or an interior-bearing wall?
  • What type of wood are you using?

When you consider all the above aspects, you will sum up the correct header size that may be perfect for your 10 foot span.

What Size Header is Needed for a 10 Foot Span?

When we searched, we found another simple rule to choose the right size; we found another rule of thumb that may provide your perfect size of the header for a 10 foot span. 

Simply measure the length of span; in our requirement, it is 10, then simply multiply it with 4, which means 4x10s that could be the perfect size of header that help you to keep all of the functions properly.

Generally, a 4×10 foot span is required for a 10 foot span, the length of 4×10 is 10 foot, and only a 4×10 size header could span up to 10 feet. You can install such headers anywhere that may offer you complete support in each situation.


The header provides support to hold the load, and we need windows, stairways, and doorways. But for the smooth functioning of a span, the right size of the header is essential. 

There are two basic rules, one that may be suitable for single-story buildings: measure the span length and then add 2 in the number; you will get the header size 2x sum.

The second rule is for multi-story buildings; simply multiply the size of span by 4 you will get the right header size. 

These are supporting rules but not strict about following because many other aspects like wood type, load, and use are considered which may change the header size requirement in different situations.


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