Q. How do header hangers compare, from a strength standpoint, with traditional supporting jack studs?

A.Robert Bouchet responds: If the header and jack stud are perfectly cut so that the header bears completely on the jack, the jack stud would have about three times the capacity of a header hanger in download. It should be noted, however, that the strength of the header hanger may still be sufficient for a particular installation. The advantage of header hangers comes in eliminating the jack stud altogether, thereby allowing better insulation properties, saving on lumber, and allowing slightly wider openings in tight framing situations. Simpson’s HH series hangers, with their 2 1/8-inch seat, will also provide support for a header that has been cut slightly short.

Robert Bouchet is an engineer with the Simpson Strong-Tie Co. in Pleasanton, Calif.