Help! Ugly load-bearing beam driving me nuts.

MestenaAugust 9, 2014

We have the UGLIEST load bearing beam in our house, and after 3 years of staring at it, pondering it, and cursing it, I still haven't gotten any closer to a solution. We are working through a total kitchen remodel, and this beam is now standing in the way of our progress. I consulted a couple of contractors, and they both agreed that the beam can't be removed without some pretty serious work on the roof structures, which will cost quite a bit. That kind of thing is outside of our budget right now. So, I am hoping to hear some ideas about how to mask it, or at least make it less of an eyesore. It is awful! On one end, it sits right over the top of our main entry door, so that when you walk in the door, you feel as if you will be cut in half should it fall. On the other end, it stops about 12" into the hallway, on the OUTSIDE of the hallway wall. Oh, and the beam is made of glued-together 1-by strips, with wood glue oozing out between the strips. It is pretty much the nastiest, cheapest, ugliest job a person could do. HELP!!!

In this photo, you can see how the beam is located between the kitchen and the living room area:

And in this photo, you can just barely see how the beam ends in the hallway, if you look at the top of the right-hand wall in the hallway. The beam just sits there, protruding about 12" into the hallway. It is just terrible!

What can I do with this?

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How about including the photos? Or clickable links. At a minimum, how about links that work?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 8:37PM
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Those pictures only just barely show the beam... I think you should just box it in and paint it.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 10:35PM
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Your pics aren't much help. Instead of boxing the beam, you may be able to do a drop ceiling--that is, bring the ceiling down to entirely conceal the beam. You could place a few halogen potlights in the drop. A lowered entry ceiling opening up to a larger area can be very impressive.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 1:31AM
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Can we get pictures of the actual beam? Instead of pictures of the kitchen with a teeny glimpse of beam in the corner?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 8:38AM
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Neither picture shows enough of the beam to be useful. Back up far enough so you can take a picture of the ENTIRE BEAM.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 11:59AM
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I have one of those separating my own kitchen/dining area and entryway from the main living area. We wanted to get rid of it, but couldn't do it without a major undertaking, so I just got over it. It's drywalled, painted, and doesn't bother me in the least.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 1:51PM
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After being told that the link in the original post was bad the OP doesn't edit the post??? Postin the correct link doesn't help a person reading the thread for the first time.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 2:13PM
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Good grief, guys. No need to launch an all-out attack! I was away from home, on the job, with a poor internet connection and 3 year old photos. I just wanted to pick some brains while I had some spare time. Which is something I don't have a lot of these days. I'm almost sorry I asked for help here.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 2:19PM
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"I'm almost sorry I asked for help here."

I don't blame you!!

The pictures aren't that bad ... I can see the beam clearly so I don't understand the problem with them. I posted my example because with the beam drywalled and painted the same color as the walls, it doesn't stand out much and isn't as much of an issue as I feared it would be. It's not what I would have wanted in an ideal world, but it's not horrible either.

This post was edited by jellytoast on Sun, Aug 10, 14 at 14:50

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 2:43PM
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A lot can be done.
First thing I would look into is adding a wall X feet out from existing hallway entrance and the wall showing the base board heater and tie in/add an archway to the beam. It would break up the transition between the kitchen and the other room.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 12:30PM
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Either box it in with drywall or with trim 1x's. Easy peasy.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 1:28PM
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