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Roger follows Dan fixing the floor beams in his latest oast house project.


Fitting floor beams in an ancient building, such as renovating an oast house, requires careful consideration to preserve the integrity of the historical structure and ensure the new beams are installed securely and safely. An oast house, traditionally designed for drying hops as part of the brewing process, presents unique challenges due to its distinctive architecture and the age-related wear and tear on its materials.

The first step in replacing existing first-floor beams involves assessing the condition of the existing structure to understand the extent of decay or damage. It is crucial to choose timber beams that are structurally sound and sympathetic to the building’s historic character. The selected timber should match or complement the original materials in terms of type, size, and appearance to maintain the building’s aesthetic continuity.

Installing new beams in such an old structure demands precision. The process usually begins with carefully removing any deteriorated beams, not disturbing the surrounding structure. Temporary support may be needed to ensure the building’s stability during this phase. Measuring the space accurately is vital to ensure the new beams fit perfectly without causing stress to the existing masonry.

Custom-sized beams might be necessary to match the unique dimensions of historic buildings. Once the new beams are prepared, they are gently eased into place, ensuring they are level and securely supported at both ends.

Finally, the new beams are often integrated with the existing structure using traditional joinery techniques, such as mortise and tenon joints, to enhance the floor’s strength and stability while respecting the building’s historical significance.

This careful and respectful approach to fitting floor beams ensures the longevity and preservation of historic buildings like oast houses, allowing them to continue telling their stories for generations.

About Dylan Garton

Dylan Garton is a co-founder, video producer and editor for the Skill Builder social media platforms.

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