Since the carpenters aren't working today, I thought I would take a few minutes to clarify the whole ridge beam situation in our house. To begin with, it is important to note that the original construction of this house was... how shall we put it... odd. One of the contractors who walked through said it "reminded him of a house his buddy built... who didn't know how to build houses." So that's what we were dealing with. Originally, the very top peak of the house (ridge beam) was, like everything else in the house, covered by fake ("faux" is too fancy) wood paneling. Unfortunately these are the best pictures that I have of the original configuration:
During the demolition last August, the paneling was removed and we were able to see what the heck was going on under there:
Weird, right? The actual ridge beam at the top was not one of the huge, strong beams -- instead it is a couple of smaller beams. To distribute the weight better, whoever built the house constructed this strange system of criss-crossing 2x4s and larger beams. Total mystery.
In any case, the design for the house called for this all to be ripped out so that the weight could be supported more effectively without that whole structure sticking so far down into our future bedroom. So it was all ripped out, and replaced with the gargantuan beams that I showed you in some previous posts. Here it is after much of the wood had been removed (and the roof supported by the lighter beams in the foreground and background):
Here is the exciting process of moving in the new beams (see the construction catch-up post for more details):
And here is the new "spine" of our house:
It is still an enormous beam (actually two beams next to each other), but it is not nearly as obtrusive as the big mess that was there before -- and it inspires a bit more confidence that it will keep the roof from caving in on us. It may eventually get framed out and drywalled so that it looks a little more chunky and not so long and skinny... we'll see!