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nstonehouse

06:33PM | 05/21/01
Member Since: 05/20/01
11 lifetime posts
Bvmisc
my husband and i just bought a house built in the early 70's; dark brown cedar is everywhere! i took off cedar in the living room that covers 3 columns consisting of two 2x4s each. when i got the cedar off, i realized that the ceiling beam that the columns extended to is nothing more than the same thing: cedar covering two 2x4s.

can i take the 2x4 "columns" and this 2x4 beam down? would that affect the structurally integrity of my house?

PattyB

09:15AM | 05/22/01
Use the following checklist to discover if it is safe to remove the ceiling 2x4 beam:
1. Does the ceiling beam run in the same direction as the ceiling joists.
2. Do the "column" 2x4's just rest on the floor of the room or are they sitting on a support beam under the floor.

If 1 is the case then this beam is in no way a "bearing wall" supporting the second floor and/or the roof. OK to remove it.

If 1 is not the case and it runs across the ceiling joists then you more than likely have an insufficient beam carry the weight of the second floor and/or roof of your house, do not remove.

Take a look and post back what you have discovered.

nstonehouse

07:06PM | 05/22/01
Member Since: 05/20/01
11 lifetime posts
OK. Got up in the attic, and to a complete novice, it appears that the joists are running perpendicular to the fake beam. BUT, the "columns" are resting on a 1" thick little piece of wood which is resting ultimately on concrete. I'm in the south, so we don't have a basement. There is no attic or floor above this part of the house. It is near the top point of a vaulted ceiling.

thanks so much for your help. let me know what you think. nicole

PattyB

12:07PM | 05/23/01
It may be that the columns are supporting something and the beam was added to disguise the columns. Do the columns butt up against the wall or stand away? You will probably be able to remove the beam but not the columns. From your vantage point in the attic could you tell if the columns stopped at the finish room ceiling or went thru the ceiling and attach at the top to a roof beam?Sorry about all the questions, it's just that without seeing it is hard sometimes to advise. Don't want you removing columns and 2 months from now have the ceiling collapse.

nstonehouse

06:58AM | 05/25/01
Member Since: 05/20/01
11 lifetime posts
Sorry for the late response; i'm planning a church-wide garage sale!

There are three columns; the two on the ends are about a foot away from the wall. all 3 columns go up throught the cedar covering the beam and stop at the beam. the beam/2x4s apparently stops at the wall. It doesn't seem to continue through the wall (and attach to other structures).

nstonehouse

07:20AM | 05/25/01
Member Since: 05/20/01
11 lifetime posts
ok... just pryed away part of the cedar cover on the beam, and the 2x4s that make up the core of the beam to extend through to the attic. haven't gone up there to look for their end, but i'm guessing that it's attached to something. the 2x4 columns stop flush at the 2x4 beam.

is it too shaky to take down the columns?

i really appreciate your help!

PattyB

03:43PM | 05/25/01
If the 2x4's inside the columns do not extend thru the ceiling to a roofing member and the beam runs in the same direction as the ceiling joists it should be OK to remove all the columns and the beam. Do you have any inkling why someone would put in all that? Does it accent a wall or something?
My curiosity is getting the better of me.As far as removal, start at one end, then the middle then the other end. Let the columns support the beam for you as you go. Have fun.
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