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flashings contractor recommendation

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Joined: Sep 2 2007

Hi: I am looking to put in flashings on top of the beams in my atrium. My general contractors looked at it but he couldn't find the materials. So either contractor info or where we can find materials will be very helpful - our atrium is large, so the flashings need to be at least 12-ft long. Thanks in advance.

Recommendations should be sent directly to: ljane_99 AT

Joined: Dec 31 2007

I'm also very interested in any ideas for flashing material. My beams currently have a cheap, plyable tin-like material that has an adhesive backing attached to the beam. It may have been useful at the time, but that time has come and past. The idea I had was to use a metal flashing that could be bent into a "U" shape and tacked onto the beam then painted for protection. But I haven't a clue where to find the flashing. Hopefully someone will post with their findings.

Joined: Feb 8 2005

I think I saw this flashing at Dolan's Lumber

Joined: Dec 18 2006


I just wanted to give you some help with capping your beams. Anyone with an exposed beam should cap it or start saving money now for some very expensive carpentry work in the future.

When capping an atrium beam first measure them to be sure of their exact width and length. You will have to order the metal from a sheet metal shop made to size. Ten ft lengths are standard for most shops.

Resist the urge to order up a 12 ft long cap. Its better to order the cap in two pieces for each beam. This will allow you to clip the end of the metal cap and form a metal tab that can be tucked up under existing roof edge flashing. Turning up the metal will help you avoid a situation where you will have to caulk and recaulk the joint between the metal cap and the fascia. This joint, if caulked, will separate regularly due to expansion and contraction. Open joint = rotted beam/fascia.

I have found that you want the metal cap to turn down on the side about 1" (it will form a wide upside down 'U'). Also, order two different widths of about 1/16 in. wider that the other. This will allow one cap to nest neatly on top of the other without it's legs 'splaying' out. If you want to get fancy, you can have the legs 'hemmed' or doubled back on themselves 1/4" to make the cap look a little more substantial. You may even ask for a drip edge. This will flare the bottom 1/4" of the legs out at about a 30 deg. angle. The flare will allow rainwater to drip off of the metal instead of constantly running down the face of your beams (this make the paint job last long and look better).

I guess a shorter version of this long explanation would be... have your contractor call me and I'll tell him where to order your metal cap. :wink:


Joined: Dec 31 2007

Thanks Adam,

Our roofing subcontractor is taking care of the flashing. Thanks to you and Keith for keeping on our general contractor, sounds like you have it under control. We should be ready for you in a week or two after our electrical is completed and inspected.


Joined: Sep 2 2007

What is your contact info? I would like to get a quote from you about doing the metal flashing work. Also do you do kitchen hood installation? It needs a cut-out in the roof. Thanks.

Joined: Apr 2 2003

Thanks, for the questions and discussion on beam capping. Capping my atrium beams is one of the items on my "to-do" list yet to be done. I started looking at it over a year ago but other projects cropped up.

As a further note to what's already been mentioned--I believe you can order the sheet metal "primed" (for paint) or unprimed. Some people are happy with the aluminum edge look, others want their caps to be less conspicuous. If you are of the latter persuasion, consider ordering the primed metal and painting the flashing to match the beams.

I'm not sure how long regular house paint would adhere vs. a matched metal paint. Anyone have info/experience on this?


eichfan at rawbw dot com

Joined: Dec 18 2006

Here is a little more flashing information.

Metal flashings com in different finishes. Galvanized (silver) is the standard. There is a product called Jet Coat that has more of a primer finish and much easier to paint. Jet Coat is rarely seen at roofing supply houses or sheet metal shops for that matter. It is easier to paint but I understand its doesn't have the same level of rust protection as standard galvanized metal flashing.

The big complaint with galvanized flashing is that it can be a pain to paint (and some consider it silver 'Bling' for their Eichler). Galvanized flashing has been know to 'shed' its paint....and yes it looks mighty ugly if left in this partly painted state.

There are two ways to approach getting paint on the flashing so it stays there. One way is to let the flashing weather for a couple of years before priming and painting. Wiping with vinegar (acid wash) is usually recommended before applying primer. The 2nd approach is to use a primer that is made specifically for galvanized metal. Rust-Oleum has a primer that has a pretty good reputation when it comes to really sticking. The trick here is to read and follow the directions so you get it right the first time. The 'fun factor' of painting and repainting flashing that's 10 ft off the ground is overrated.

If you would like a referral to a sheet metal shop or metal beam caps please make a request online at

When you decide to cap your beams....check to see if your neighbor needs caps as well. Larger metal orders usually reduce the cost per piece of flashing and most neighbors will appreciate that you cared enough to ask.

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