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Old 01-23-2012, 05:13 PM   #1
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Load bearing beam, arch or trim it?


The house i bought has a kitchen that has been extended. Where the outside wall was there is still the load bearing beam in the middle of the room. I would think most of the load has been spread to the new walls. Is it possible for me to take an inches or so off of it or arch it so it doesn't look so awkward.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:36 PM   #2
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Load bearing beam, arch or trim it?


I assume by arch it you mean taking some wood off the beam to make it appear curved. This would reduce the moment of inertia of the beam, meaning it would not be as strong. Unless you perform detailed engineering computations to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the building inspector that a reduction in strength of the beam is satisfactory, neither shaving the beam to arch it, nor reducing the depth of the beam, is acceptable.

If the depth is unacceptable, you may be able to replace the beam with an engineered beam of lesser depth (this might require steel or an LVL). This generally requires the services of an engineer or architect, unless the local lumber yard which will supply the beam is willing to perform this service for you as part of the cost of supplying the beam.

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Old 01-23-2012, 05:38 PM   #3
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Load bearing beam, arch or trim it?


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Originally Posted by DemetriusF View Post
The house i bought has a kitchen that has been extended. Where the outside wall was there is still the load bearing beam in the middle of the room. I would think most of the load has been spread to the new walls. Is it possible for me to take an inches or so off of it or arch it so it doesn't look so awkward.
I'ts been done before but it was spec'd by an archtect or engineer. You would have to have either one look at it. You can't just cut it. You may or may not be able too. No one here can answer this. It's impossible without seeing the house to evaluate it.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:55 PM   #4
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Load bearing beam, arch or trim it?


A picture would help clear this up.
Adding an arch to the inside corners would not effect the streingth of it at all. There's even companys that sell the whole kit made to your opening size.
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