LESLIE: Joel in Arkansas is on the line and has a question about beams. What can we help you with?
JOEL: I have a house that has a center, load-bearing beam. And I’m kind of wanting to remove it. And my brother-in-law, who is my roommate, says that there’s a way to put it up into the attic. And I’m just kind of curious if that is possible or …
TOM: So you have a beam that runs down the middle of the house and you’d like to eliminate this so that it doesn’t become sort of an obstruction. Is that correct?
TOM: So that you have like a continuous, flat ceiling?
JOEL: Yes. We’re going to drop the ceiling down about 7 inches. The beam is actually 9½-inches down. It’s two 2×4 – or two 4x6s and then two 2x4s on either side. Kind of an eyesore.
TOM: Why are you dropping the ceiling?
JOEL: Because we’re going to put in can lighting.
TOM: Alright. So you’re only going to have an extra couple of inches to deal with with this beam. Is that what you’re saying?
TOM: Moving it a little or moving it a lot makes absolutely no difference. I will tell you that moving a main beam like that is one of the most difficult projects you can do. It’s definitely not a do-it-yourself project. It’s one where you absolutely have to have pros involved. And if you do it wrong, you could collapse your entire roof.
The way it’s done is the structure above it is supported by temporary walls while that beam is disassembled. And then it gets sort of notched into the ceiling-joist structure above and then moved up flush with those beams. So once it’s done, once it’s flush in there, then you would have a continuous, flat ceiling. I don’t see why you couldn’t put the ceiling lights above that if you want to go that whole way.
But this is a big project, Joel. This is not a small project to move that beam. Alright? Good luck, though. Thanks very much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
JOEL: Hey, thank you so much for accepting my call.