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Replacing atrium beams

3 replies [Last post]
Joined: Apr 9 2003

Both of my beams have to be replaced because of dry rot and termite damage. I talked to two roof companies, and they are not particularly anxious to take on the job. The two beams are supporting my high-pitched roof. My neighbor suggested that I should just replace the part with the problem, so I don't have to worry about replacing those huge pieces of glasses. I would appreciate some advice on replacing the exposed beams from someone who had had their beams replaced or who had done replacement work. Thank you.

Joined: Apr 2 2003


Have you actually asked the termite guy or a structural engineer if the geams need to be replaced? I ask because I had subterranean termite damage in a beam that supports an outside wall and *assumed* part of the beam (approx 10 ft) would have to be replaced. I even had an estimate from an Eichelr-familar construction company to do the work--$5K.

However, on Tom E's advice, I later asked a termite guy directly if the beam needed to be replaced and he said no--that the beams were overspec'd for the load and didn't need to be replaced. I used Abatron's Liquid Wood and WoodEpox and am very happy with the results. (On a different beam (atrium), I used a boric acid-based(?) liquid to treat the dry rot then similarlyrepaired with LiquidWood and WoodEpox--seems to have done the job.)

So, I guess you should find out from someone with nothing to gain about whether the beams are structurally sound or not. You might be pleasantly surprised.


eichfan at rawbw dot com

Joined: Mar 20 2003

Ya, I agree with Jake about just paying someone to do the investigating--more like a structural engineer. We just had over $4000 work done on our beams by the termite company, and in retrospect, it would have been better to pay someone $200 just to come out and make sure it needed to be done. I say this not only because of the monetary savings, but also because they can't buy the wood exactly the same anymore. Some beams have curved edges, and other beams don't come in the exact size. They are off by fractions--but still--it's better to have the original thing. Plus a lot of replacement companies won't paint your wood (they'll only prime) so then you have to hire another person to repaint the beams unless you do it yourself.

The part I don't really get is have to replace the glass? Do you have a picture?

Joined: Apr 9 2003

Thank you for the advice. I'm arranging the termite company as well as a structural engineer to take a close look at those beams before taking any action.
I don't have pictures to show, but one side of those two beams ends inside the living room, right at the two posts. That's why I was asked to remove the glasses above the sliding door that leads into the living room.
Will keep you posted of outcome.

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