Part 3: The Beam
So I believe we left off at the pool, but when the weekend came we had to get back down to business again. Let me just say that at this point my hopes of being done with the remodel in 4-6 weekends completely dissolved. Everything began to take about 3 times as long as we’d planned, simply because that’s reality. As a diyer, it’s something I’ve come to live with and accept, but that doesn’t make it any more appealing lol. The reason I’m saying all of this is because as you scroll over the pictures I want you to keep in mind that this article alone was 3 weekends worth of work even though the progress seems fast.
The first of those weekends was another smaller, but just as tedious, demo weekend. Removing all the little edges of drywall still stuck on, knocking down the rest of the never-ending blown in insulation, clean up, and so forth. While it was yucky work it had to be done before we could move on. So while I was busy giving the shop vac a workout, Ed started building the support wall behind the existing wall.
The support wall is put in place behind the original wall so that we are able to knock out the original wall and set the beam in place. Once the beam is in place we remove the support wall and the load/weight of the house rests on the beam.
Ed cut the support wall 2x4s slightly too long and then wedged them in place. We were actually able to use boards from one of the ceilings we’d removed in the kitchen to build the support wall 🙂
The next weekend we removed the pre-existing wall studs. It was a bit nerve-racking removing the original wall support, but much to our relief the house didn’t cave in and was now being supported by our temporary wall! And then we got to clean up some more…yay 😉 But after the original wall was gone it already began to feel so much bigger!
The following weekend we purchased 2 laminated beams from a lumber store. Let me just say it was a pretty big deal for us to know we had made it to lam beam day! They cost about $60 a piece.
Before the beams could be put in place Ed got the king boards in position. They’re the boards that the beam would sit on top of on either end. Using construction adhesive he glued 2x4s together and tucked them into the wall on one side and against the wall on the other and then secured them further with screws.
Then Ed cut the laminated beams to the proper length and then used tie down straps to hold them in place. He glued them together with construction adhesive as well.
Once both the beams were in place we held our breath and knocked out the support wall we had built one stud at a time.
And just like that the wall was gone 🙂
At this point it’s evident we still had a long way to go, but there’s also been a ton of progress made and we chose to focus on that lol! Our kitchen became a 3rd bigger! Even now when I look at these pictures I remember the pride we both felt at this point. Something we had talked about doing for almost 3 years had become a reality. We, me and Ed, removed a structural wall and installed a laminated beam…how crazy! My experience as a diyer is that if you want to do something bad enough, do your research, then get up and make it happen!
There’s so much more to come! Be sure to ask any questions you might have!