open beam ceiling

What Goes into Designing an Open Beam Ceiling?

Want to make your home or business establishment look cavernous rather than crammed? An open beam ceiling provides the perfect solution.

But because your ceiling is fully exposed, you have to ensure it is built with design and form in mind and not just function. No need to subject yourself and your guests to an appalling view overhead.

What is an open beam ceiling?

This is a great alternative to conventional flat ceilings that involves pulling down ceiling drywall so the joists above are left fully exposed. It brings to mind buildings of the past, particularly rustic and country-style kitchens that have open ceilings.

While this is wonderful to think about, the reality is that ceiling boards hide insulation, wires, vents, and unpainted and uneven beams, among others. This means taking out the boards will expose all these hidden secrets.

Are you brave enough to face the challenges an open beam ceiling entails?

If you are, you will reap some amazing aesthetic benefits.

What goes into an open beam ceiling design?

Removing the ceiling board is not always necessary. Not for the entire house, anyway.

Remember that you will lose attic insulation, which may not work in certain areas in your home. So this requires careful evaluation as to where you can take down ceiling drywall without compromising interior comfort.

In most cases, the kitchens get the exposed beams treatment but not the bedroom or living room.

Reroute wires

More often than not, wires are left snaking around the joists through drill holes or nailed to the tops. Since these will look unsightly with the beams exposed, you will need to reroute the wires or hide them out of sight.

Doing so can present building and design challenges, but nothing like an experienced contractor can’t handle. It’s all about tricking the eye, after all.

Use faux beams

Fake beams made of pine or high-density polyurethane makes an attractive alternative. They mimic the look of timber but in a more uniform and even dimension, with irregularities here and there for that natural appearance. They often pass as the real thing since no one would dare to examine them closely, what with them nailed up on the ceiling.

Use them to replace small beams or joists that are smaller than the actual beam. This eliminates the need to space beams frequently to ensure ceiling strength. Just make sure to mix faux beam with real ones strategically.

Fake beams also allow you to create an open beam style without taking down the celling board. Simply add them to the board to achieve the look you want and bring the eyes down to furniture level.

It can be nailed according to the design of your ceiling, be it sloped, diagonal, or gabled. You can also place it between the two slopes of a ceiling to create the illusion of height and space.

Faux beams can be used to either support the ceiling or not.

Bottom line

Given the things your ceiling hides, it is recommended that you decide to have an open beam ceiling at the start of your home construction. This way, a suitable plan will be made with consideration to insulation, wires, and the right beams to use.

But if you hire Richardson Design and Building Contractors, you can have an open beam ceiling at any point you want.


Richardson Design and Build proudly serves the following cities and their surrounding areas: Cathedral City, Escondido, Murrieta, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Temecula, and Vista

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