Support or Load beam main floor

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Posted by: from Woodbridge
4/9/2012 at 10:02:39 PM

I bought a house not knowing that a big support or structural or load beam will be put accros my living and dining room through the kitchen, the beam is place horizontally once you enter the front door. My ceiling is only 8 ft and the beam is showing lower than the ceiling, it makes my ceiling more lower.

I talked to the builder to flush or hide the ceiling just like the model house. I was told from the decor that it cannot be done because they used different materials.

How much it will cost me to hire a structural engineer to fix it? My house will be finished on July 2012.

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Date/Time4/10/2012 at 12:35:53 AM

Hi Cate:

What would bother me more than anything, is that you viewed a home and felt that yours would have the same features, or lack of one.

What type of contract price did you arrive at? Were there any major differences which would cause the difference in construction? Was this ever discussed that the ceiling would be different?

You have not mentioned whether this is a two storey, but if you need a support beam then I would think that it is to support the upstairs floor stringers. To change this is difficult especially if the drywall has been loaded. To correct it if it is not too far along in construction will entail a design engineer, and the end result would be very costly.

This problem started with the contract and the understanding that you had with your builder. Find out where that started and then see if he will work with you to find out how much it is going to cost to correct it. Quite often it could be cured with a laminate beam, but then the point loads to the foundation are in question, and also if the footings are in place to handle the point loads. It can be a nightmare to correct, if at all possible.

It doesn't sound like your builder is trying to be evasive. Perhaps, there were features in the house that you chose, that were limited by budget. There are a lot of structural items in a house that the homeowner does not consider essential because of cost, but are necessary to achieve the desired design.

A lot of costs that are necessary, but not deemed essential by the customer, are essential for construction, but are never seen because they are behind drywall. I am an old fashioned builder who believes in what you cannot see, because that is the basis for a good home.

Good luck with your problem.


Meadowood Homes

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Cate in Woodbridge
Date/Time4/10/2012 at 9:11:39 PM

Hi Chuck,

They did not mention that the ceiling will be different with all the upgrades that I did (taking out bulkhead and post) if i only knew I will have a 9ft ceiling (main floor) and pay the 7k upgrade. It will totally change my decision on getting an 8ft ceiling (main floor). They only inform me that a bigger support beam is needed if they take out the post and did not specify or explain that it will be lower.

The last conversation that i received today is that they cannot do it bec they used different materials or post etc. in the model house and giving me different excuses, which everything that we agreed (like the model house open concepts) which recorded on my email is not valid. I even ask if how much it will cost to hide the supoort beam (so that it will save me a bit money to do it later on) but they insists that it can not be done. I was told that they had several meetings and some say Yes it can be done, some say No.

The house closing is on July 27th 2012, we visited the site and the beam is now wrap with pipes. Meaning that they will not do anything and i have to take the house as is. I put so much upgrades on this house for it will be my retirement home, now i dont even want to move. I am stress and frustrated, all they can say is they do understand but it cannot be done.

Unhappy home owner,

Cate sosa

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Date/Time4/17/2012 at 10:40:43 PM

Hello Cate,

I have seen this several times with builders they do not want to change things at the end of the day because it will cost them money and time.

I have not seen the plans but it most case ( 90%) of the time what you are asking for can be done.

If you don't like the builders response I would suggest taking the drawings to a structural engineer and ask for a second opinion. It might cost you a couple of bucks but at least at the end of the day you will know whether or not it can be done.

The further your project proceed the more it will cost to complete any changes.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.


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Cate in Woodbridge
Date/Time4/18/2012 at 10:22:08 AM

Hi Mike,

We had a meeting with the construction engineer that building our house, yesterday Apr 17th and I prayed that God will touch their hearts. I am very Blessed that they are fixing and hiding the support beam inside the ceiling, just like we requsted in the first place.

Now I can say that we will be a happy home owner.

Thank you all for your help,


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