Solid Beam FAQ
Can reclaimed beams be support beams?
Building codes do not provide for reclaimed beams to be part of a support structure.
Are all reclaimed beams alike?
No. They are actually all very different, though different beam species harvested at the same time can often look similar if allowed to age gracefully in the same location for many years. Whether hand hewn with an axe or rough sawn with what’s now considered a primitive saw, dimensions were more approximate and dependent on the raw timber, similar in size without being exact.
Can I get any proportion, size or texture I want in solid reclaimed ceiling beams?
Exact sizes are dependant upon availability. If you are looking to preserve the antique faces of the timber, we can provide timbers that are of nominal dimensions and can vary up to an inch. (example: if you order a dozen 8x8’s for your ceiling, some may measure 7.5” x 9” while others may measure 7” x 8.5”) Generally, we are cutting one side flat to go to the ceiling, so we can make one dimension uniform with only nominal variances in the width. If your project does require tighter dimensions, we can provide, but longer lead times should be expected as these unique 100+ year old timbers cannot as easily be found as standard, newly milled timbers.
The same goes for texture, especially hand hewn. Some craftsmen centuries ago made smoother chop marks on the timber, while others left them rougher. We will do our best to accommodate your texture desires, but again, stock is dependent on availability and if certain specifics are required for your project that are not in stock, lead times can be longer.
Are reclaimed beams heavy? Do I need support for them or can I hang them from my ceiling?
Yes, reclaimed solid beams are heavy. An average reclaimed beam that's 10” x 10” x 15’0” may weigh 500 #s. If you support them on posts of about the same size, that should work. If you are trying to hang them from your ceiling without posts, you must ensure your ceiling can handle the weight load, ensure there is proper blocking in the rafters to attach to, and pre-drill the timbers to accept large lag bolts or timber lock screws. We highly recommend our hollow box beams instead of large solid timbers as it is a much easier process to hang post general construction of a home or commercial setting.
How long are solid reclaimed beams?
Since they often formed the framing for large barns or held up the roof for factories and train stations, they are often quite long, with average lengths of 10’ -15’ and longer lengths of up to 25’ - 35’ long. We can kiln dry timbers up to 27’ long.
What kind of textures are available?
- Smooth Planed
- Rustic Circle Sawn or Band Sawn
- Rustic Hand Hewn
Learn more about textures.
What coloration (colors) are available?
Beams naturally range in a variety of grays and browns. But we can naturally color finish them in additional tones.