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Old 02-26-2016, 12:19 PM   #1
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LVL beam Install with Plaster Coving


Forgive me for this first post, getting a little bit desperate for a second opinion on a project that's been ongoing since October and hasn't moved much.

Long story short, I have a 21' wall that I want to replace with an LVL beam between the Kitchen and living room in a 1 storey house. The problem is, on the living room side there is 6 inch (or more) plaster coving on all four walls. I already have the kitchen demo'd, but I keep wrestling with the idea to cut the plaster coving out to install the beam or try to do it in place without damaging it. It's in really good condition so everybody keeps saying it would be an absolute shame to damage it even if it means taking up 16 inches of headroom between the kitchen and living room.

Oh, and I've already had an engineer spec a 20' 18" depth 2-ply lvl or 3 ply 16".

Advice would be immensely appreciated!
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Old 02-27-2016, 01:08 PM   #2
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If you removed the kitchen side wall, you should be looking at the inside construction of the liv room wall - studs, drywall, plaster wall, etc. If you use oscillating saw and grinder, framing can be removed in small pieces without shaking the wall. Hand saws as well. Metal blades on sawsall is also gentler than the demo blades. If the wall is plaster keyed to the slats, don't try to remove the slats. You may have to install the beam away from it and fill the void with can foam or such. The ceiling is regular joist, you have to support it and cracks can appear on the coving if the joists flex. There's noway to tell if the ceiling will flex or not until you removed the wall.
This will mean slow demo and lots of dust. It also means the beam will not fit snugly into the stud bay. You need extra hands, means to lift the weight gently into place and time to finish it. Your family probably should plan to be out of the house and you should make a list of everything you need and everything you may not (for example, a generator and extra nails, screws, bolts). A grinder died on me before and wasted one afternoon. Tarp off the furniture and the area. Dust control is always #1 on the list. Old wall will have lead paint.
Also consider rebuilding the cove. Maybe easier on the project. Search if there are pvc or foam replacements. In case the beam settles a bit.
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Old 02-27-2016, 06:13 PM   #3
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Any chance that ehe beam could be installed against the cove work framing? This would make the beam wider, but not deeper.
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Old 02-28-2016, 12:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carpdad View Post
If you removed the kitchen side wall, you should be looking at the inside construction of the liv room wall - studs, drywall, plaster wall, etc. If you use oscillating saw and grinder, framing can be removed in small pieces without shaking the wall. Hand saws as well. Metal blades on sawsall is also gentler than the demo blades. If the wall is plaster keyed to the slats, don't try to remove the slats. You may have to install the beam away from it and fill the void with can foam or such. The ceiling is regular joist, you have to support it and cracks can appear on the coving if the joists flex. There's noway to tell if the ceiling will flex or not until you removed the wall.
This will mean slow demo and lots of dust. It also means the beam will not fit snugly into the stud bay. You need extra hands, means to lift the weight gently into place and time to finish it. Your family probably should plan to be out of the house and you should make a list of everything you need and everything you may not (for example, a generator and extra nails, screws, bolts). A grinder died on me before and wasted one afternoon. Tarp off the furniture and the area. Dust control is always #1 on the list. Old wall will have lead paint.
Also consider rebuilding the cove. Maybe easier on the project. Search if there are pvc or foam replacements. In case the beam settles a bit.
Thanks for the reply! I can definitely see all of the construction on the interior of the wall. There are no slats, but it does look like the coving could be attached to the plaster board which is nailed to the studs. I started thinking along the lines you just recommended after I posted this, taking out the double top plate piece by piece surgically instead of trying to rip it out. I thought about maybe using a cutting wheel between the plaster board and the stud to cut any nails as well. I could manage that all the way up to the 2x6 ceiling joists. They just barelyyy overlap the opposite sides of the wall so I'll have to put up two temporary walls.

I guess the only issue here would be the fact that if I were to cut all of the fasteners, the plaster board would be dangling or hanging just from the wire mesh that I'm assuming is behind the cove. I could use a few vertical studs right up against the plaster board and tack a few nails in along the wall to somewhat support the weight but I'm almost definitely going to get cracks in the coving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sixeightten View Post
Any chance that ehe beam could be installed against the cove work framing? This would make the beam wider, but not deeper.
If I do what I thinkkkk you mean, it would mean the beam would be set below the ceiling joists killing 16" of head room. The coving is right up against the plasterboard .
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronos288 View Post
Thanks for the reply! I can definitely see all of the construction on the interior of the wall. There are no slats, but it does look like the coving could be attached to the plaster board which is nailed to the studs. I started thinking along the lines you just recommended after I posted this, taking out the double top plate piece by piece surgically instead of trying to rip it out. I thought about maybe using a cutting wheel between the plaster board and the stud to cut any nails as well. I could manage that all the way up to the 2x6 ceiling joists. They just barelyyy overlap the opposite sides of the wall so I'll have to put up two temporary walls.

I guess the only issue here would be the fact that if I were to cut all of the fasteners, the plaster board would be dangling or hanging just from the wire mesh that I'm assuming is behind the cove. I could use a few vertical studs right up against the plaster board and tack a few nails in along the wall to somewhat support the weight but I'm almost definitely going to get cracks in the coving.



If I do what I thinkkkk you mean, it would mean the beam would be set below the ceiling joists killing 16" of head room. The coving is right up against the plasterboard .
I am not talking about going down, but rather making the beam thicker. Install it against the back side of the cove including the 2x4 framing. Gonna make the beam fat, but not deep.
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