Wood beam ceiling


I like the look of a wood beam ceiling, like what you see here:
http://vintagetimber.com/newpics20040330/new/Sanded_1841.jpg
What I don't know is, are these beams decorative or actual structural? How are they attached to the rood structure? Can they be added on AFTER the fact?
Thanks in advance,
MC
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miamicuse wrote:

I'd say there's a 90% chance those beams are decorative and just applied to the ceiling...but without seeing the structural system, it's impossible to tell for sure.
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Thanks Don.
Don't worry too much about that specific picture, since I found it on the net to use as an example of what I was looking for. Someone else told me they could be styrofoam. I was in a house with it, and it's definitely not styrofoam. The one I saw had a central beam along the "ridge" of the A frame, and then cross beams seem to connect to it from both sides, and they all pitch down with the cathedral ceiling. I reached up and touched one at about 8' tall where it is the lowest point, and it's solid wood as far as I can touch and knocked on it. But the wood does not penetrate the wall, it just stopped there. I would think for it to be somewhat structural it has to penetrate the wall and rest on top of some cross members in the wall. In that particular house, above the beams is the drywall ceiling, and there were AC vents and high hat lights on the ceiling, and the roof looked a lot more pitched than the ceiling, so there is another layer of space above it, probably insulation etc...not living space however.
MC

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One would have to be supported by the chimmney, another by the window header, and the one on the end is so close to the corner that it should just be part of the wall. Throw in that a heavy timber building wouldn't need to be sprinklered and the decorative saw, and you got your answer.

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