One of our biggest undertakings in this space was vaulting the ceiling and it’s something I want to share in more detail now that we’re living on the other (cleaner, less stressful) side of it. If you have been following along, you already know we removed the walls separating the original kitchen, dining and living rooms. Steve did a bunch of research online (he found finehomebuilding.com especially helpful) and in person with several contractors and a professional engineer at a local lumber yard. We went back and forth between the options of installing collar ties or a structural ridge beam.
Our contractor worked closely with an engineer at a local lumber yard to create an LVL (laminated veneer lumber) beam specific to our roof pitch, room dimensions and length of span. An LVL beam is constructed of multiple layers of thin wood held together by adhesive.
This allows for a smaller yet stronger structural support when compared to a solid wood beam. The compact size allowed us to run electrical along the beam (for track lighting + two ceiling fans) and box it in without taking up too much space at the peak.
The LVL beam was manufactured off site, signed off on by a professional engineer and installed by our contractor.
To support the beam properly, the slab on either side of the doorway shown above was jackhammered and dug out. Footers were poured and the corner studs were replaced with glued and nailed 2 x 4 posts. It felt so much bigger yet we hadn’t touched the house’s original footprint.
But we bought the worst house on the street for well below $100,000 so it was within our budget and the result was a game-changer.