Wood Support Beams Cost
The average cost of replacing a load bearing wall with a wood support beam is $3,000. If you are looking at the replacement of a wooden support beam with concrete or steel beams then the price will be higher than if you are replacing the same structure with a new metal frame. A typical wood beam costs between $1,500 and $2,200 depending upon its thickness and type.
Wood supports are not cheap but they do provide better stability to your building. They have been used for centuries in buildings and their use has increased over time due to the increasing demand for such structures. Wood supports are available in different types and thicknesses which makes them very versatile. You may choose from three main types of wood beams: 1) thin, 2) thick, 3) composite.
Thin Wood Supports
Taller and thicker timber supports are available. These types of supports tend to be cheaper than other types. Thin wood supports are usually made from hardwoods like pine, spruce or firwood. The most common type of thin wood support is the 1/4 inch thick plywood. Plywood is commonly used in construction projects because it’s light weight and easy to work with.
Thin Wood Supports
Thin wood supports are made up of smaller pieces of timber. These small pieces make up the width of the beam and can range from 1/8 inch to 3 inches wide. Thin wood supports come in various lengths, ranging from 24 feet (if you want to build a house) to 90 feet (for high rise buildings). Thick Wood Supports
Thick wood supports are made up of larger pieces of timber. These types of wood beams are usually made from soft woods like cedar, redwood or pine. Some of the wood beams that are commonly used are 3-1/2 inch wide timber beams and 4-1/2 inch wide timber beams. These types of wood beams can weigh up to 3,000 pounds; it all depends on their size and length. These pieces are known as “planks” and they can range from 2 inches to 6 feet wide.
Besides making the beam stronger, it also looks much better aesthetically. Since the planks are wider and more visible, it gives a more traditional look to your house.
Wood beams will cost you anywhere from $1,500 to $2,200. That’s a lot more expensive then concrete or steel beams but it does have its benefits. Most of the time wooden beams are used in high-class homes and buildings to make them stand out. They are very easy to install and can be set up in a day. Using wood beams adds character and personality to the building.
They promote good Feng Shui as well.
Wooden beams do require maintenance every once in awhile but nothing major. For example, most of the time wood beams are fully exposed so they are prone to weather damage. If this happens you can always go ahead and apply a fresh coat of paint to protect them and make them look brand new.
Wooden beams also come in different types of wood so you can choose what best fits your home. Cedar beams provide the most protection from insects while redwood beams are best suited for wet locations like bathrooms or kitchens.
They can be used in any home but they are most commonly found in high-end homes.
One advantage to wooden beams is that they can easily increase the value of your home because they give the place more character and personality. The disadvantage to wooden beams is that they can be highly expensive. Besides that there really isn’t much of a disadvantage unless you don’t like the way they look.
Article by David Miller
Timber beams are more commonly found in older buildings because they used to be less expensive and easier to work with. There are three different types of timber beams that people use in their homes today: 1) solid, 2) Dimensional (sometimes called “rustic” or “slab” beams) and 3) Soft wood Beams.
Solid beams are made from a single piece of timber. They are very strong and durable but they usually require special manufacturing equipment which makes them very expensive.
Dimensional beams have been cut to a specific size (width and thickness) from a single piece of timber. The length can vary but they are typically used in the same manner as solid beams. The two most common types of dimensional beams are “Sipo” and “Lumber” and can be cut from any type of timber.
Look around your house and I guarantee you will find at least one beam that was made from a single piece of timber.
Soft wood beams are the most common found in houses today. They are easy to work with and come in many different sizes and shapes to fit any size building. They are typically found in houses built within the past 30 years or so. Soft wood beams can be cut from any type of soft wood but the most common are Pine, Fir and Spruce.
Wooden beams can be treated and painted many different colors but the most popular are usually brown, grey and beige.
If you are concerned about beams warping over time there are a couple of things that you can do to help prevent this. One of the most common solutions is to use a beam coating, like Thompson’s Water Seal. This helps to seal any cracks or splits within the wood and also helps to keep out any potential insects from making a home inside of your beams. Another popular solution is to fill the bottom portion of your beam with a proprietary concrete filler. This helps to keep the beam rigid and straight.
Finally, if you are concerned about termites or other types of insects, you can always build a termite shield around your wooden beams. This is typically done by setting metal drain pipes at the base of the beam and filling them with a special cement mixture. The cement mixture is then colored to match the rest of the beam.
The most common types of wood used in wooden beams today are Pine, Fir and Spruce. Each type of wood has its pros and cons. For one thing, pine is the cheapest and is easy to find at most local building material stores. The downside is that it tends to splinter very easily if not installed correctly. Spruce is more expensive but it is easier to work with and doesn’t splinter quite as easily.
It also holds paint the best and it has the most consistent color of all the soft woods. Fir is somewhere in the middle in terms of price and workability.
If you are building a new house or adding on to your current one, wooden beams might be the perfect addition to give your house that rustic feel. If you have the money you could always go with solid beams but dimensional or soft wood beams are extremely realistic and less expensive. Plus, they are also easier to install.
Most local building material suppliers should be able to order any type of beam you want if they don’t normally keep them in stock. Just be prepared to wait a few weeks before they arrive since most lumber mills only produce beams within a certain time of the year.
Beams can be used in many different ways to add that realistic rustic touch to your house. They can be left open and exposed like in the garage or on the upper floor of your house. You could also opt to paint them white to match the rest of your ceilings. Of course you can’t do this if there is going to be electrical or plumbing work being done though.
Try to use beams in at least three different rooms for a more realistic affect. You could have one or two really large beams in the living room or Great Room. This is a good place because they tend to be some of the largest rooms in the house. The second floor is another good place to use beams because it tends to look odd without much decoration in a modern house. You could also use smaller beams in hallways or more obscure rooms like a library or office.
Beams can also be used to frame doors and windows. This is a good way to break up all the walls in your lower level or basement. If you have a two story foyer, you could frame the upper part of the room with wood beams and leave the rest of the room bare or lined with bead board like they often do with cathedral ceilings.
Finally, you could use beams as wall decorations instead of full beams. In this instance you would use individual beams and adjoin them to the wall. You would then fill in the open space with drywall or paneling of some sort.
This is a good technique to use in a basement since you can line the walls with wooden beams and it tends to make whatever room you are decorating feel more like a natural cave which is fairly common in most lower levels.
Beams alone won’t give your house that rustic feel if that is what you are going for. They need to be used in conjunction with other techniques and furniture to create a more natural environment. You should also keep in mind that the larger the house the more bare (bare as in not a lot of decoration) it should seem. A ranch style home 1,500 square feet or less shouldn’t have more than a few pieces of wooden furniture or decoration. A family that lives in this type of home is going to want to emphasize the amount of space they have not hide it.
Houses over 3,000 square feet should have at least one room that is clearly defined as a library or office with nothing but shelves, cabinets and/or desk space. This makes the rest of the house feel more open even if it isn’t.
More tips to come soon!
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