absolutely masses of thick fake beams - ways to cover?

(20 Posts)
LaurieFairyCake Fri 18-Mar-16 13:22:56

There's a very ugly house I'm considering where the perfectly ordinary 30's house has been completely opened up and had huge fake beams put in. Criss crossing on the walls, covering the ceiling. Absolutely hideous. The ones on the walls have been done to look Tudor (!), they've partnered this with brick on the other walls and an enormous plain brick fireplace.

It's a festival of awfulness - plus a 90's kitchen and laminate floor. It's over our budget by quite a bit and hasn't sold in 8 months. It is however where we'd like to live (and there's about 3 houses on the market so slim pickings).

What could I do without spending much confused

TalkinPeace Fri 18-Mar-16 13:28:34

in the short term - a skim of plaster and lashings of white / pale paint
in the longer term, get them ripped out one room at a time

Bambooshoots14 Fri 18-Mar-16 13:30:20

Yes paint it white will look much better

SirVixofVixHall Fri 18-Mar-16 13:35:55

We have a few on our kitchen ceiling, although combined with some authentic beams so not as bad as the ones pictured. (My house is 200 yrs old). We could either have pulled them all off, which would have meant replacing the entire section of ceiling, or had a new ceiling of plaster boarding put on top, which would have lost us 6" or more in height. I have painted them all white like the ceiling and they look much much better. All the original timbers have been left their natural colour. The ones you have shown could probably just be prised off though surely?

Lamu Fri 18-Mar-16 13:41:06

Op I don't think it's that bad. It's certainly fairly easy to fix. Rip the fireplace out. Plaster the brick walls and paint hideous fake beams.

bakeoffcake Fri 18-Mar-16 13:49:00

We have real beams all over our house, but as DD's room is in the eves the beams are a bit over bearing. We painted them all the same colour as the walls and they just blended in and the room looked so much better.

PigletJohn Fri 18-Mar-16 14:11:58

pull them off, then repair plaster as necessary.

They might not be fixed very securely, and you know they've got to be pulled off sooner or later.

Lelivre Fri 18-Mar-16 15:48:14

Oh my, I am with you OP I think they are terrible. That would make me crazy - perhaps because I am tall. If it was in the ideal location and everything else was right (for me that would be proportions/orientation/garden size) I would paint it white and try and ignore it, which I could do, if I knew I had a plan for the near future to remove.

Piglet is right, it is an invasive job and one to get over and done with, ideally before you move all your things in. Can you get an allowance ££ for this. It's obviously why it is not selling - yuck.

Cressandra Sat 19-Mar-16 13:58:54

Take them down asap in the main living area and make it good before you move into that room. Live with it in the other rooms until you get the energy to tackle it one room at a time.

It looks intimidating but any interim solution will end up costing you more in the long run, and you'll still hate them until you get rid properly. Do it once, properly.

Trills Sat 19-Mar-16 14:03:47

Short term - paint them the same as the ceiling and don't look up.

Long term - rip them out. They are fake beams so they are not holding anything up.

JeffreySadsacIsUnwell Sat 19-Mar-16 14:41:54

Are they ALL definitely fake? The picture's so small I can't see well (and am on mini iPad), but I'd be wanting to check the two big ceiling ones diving the living area in the foreground from the kitchen area and the area beyond the brick wall. I'd want to know if they were fake veneer casings for RSJs before trying to rip them out!

TBH if they are, you can still rip the rest of the beams off, but you will need to work out how you will hide the structural RSJs if that's what they are - plasterboard and paint as walls/ceiling, powdercoat and openly acknowledge (depends when they were put in!) or re-disguise as beams but maybe a lighter wood - or just paint those two. Anyway, check first!!!

PigletJohn Sat 19-Mar-16 18:17:25

1930's house, so it might possibly have some real and structural beams if it was expensively built as "stockbroker Tudor" but it would be rare. They would be in hall or main rooms, not kitchen, I think.

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Sat 19-Mar-16 20:34:35

I agree that it would be wise to confirm that none were structural before making plans to remove entirely. Our last-but-one house looked to be 'stockbroker Tudor' at first glance - indeed the PO and the purchasing paperwork confirmed it was built in 1938 - but was actually an original Tudor building (albeit one that had been dismantled and rebuilt elsewhere in the 30s) with many of its 'fake' beams (see first two pics) turning out to be supporting timbers. We had no intention of removing them anyway, but could have had a nasty shock had this been our plan.....

Our current house was built in 1853 and extended in the early 1920s at which point loads of ceiling beams were added to the older section as well as the new. Some of those in the newer part are definitely supporting, but even the non-supporting ones (last pic) in the 1850s part look fine now we are beginning to give them a coat of paint to match the ceiling once I've removed the evil woodchip grin

JeffreySadsacIsUnwell Sat 19-Mar-16 21:19:19

It was the OP's phrase "completely opened up" which made me wonder - I.e. If those were originally separate rooms and knocked through, there's a possibility it could have been a structural wall. I haven't come across many 30s house that open-plan originally, and a 30s house we lived in previously certainly did have structural internal walls that had been knocked through... no fake beams, but arches to disguise the RSJ...

JeffreySadsacIsUnwell Sat 19-Mar-16 21:22:00

Sorry, to clarify - I'm not questioning whether they are real wood/fake beams but whether they are stuck-on 'beams' or are actually disguised RSJs. Trying to pull off an RSJ wouldn't be a good idea grin

LaurieFairyCake Sat 19-Mar-16 21:29:59

The 2 huge ones are definitely covered over rsj's - so the can be painted or if they're plastic I could remove them and have them plastered. But the rest would have to wait for an indeterminate amount of time.

And I couldn't afford to live elsewhere while getting something done. We'd move in the same day we sold the last place.

Cressandra Sat 19-Mar-16 21:58:25

ah ok, we just stuck the tv upstairs and lived without a living room for the first couple of weeks. Much easier than moving everything in then clearing it out again before you can even start. But we are used to living round the DIY.

JeffreySadsacIsUnwell Sat 19-Mar-16 22:45:49

Ok, so they knocked through, then realised they had two bloody great RSJs and thought "HTF will we disguise these, oh, I know, we'll pretend they're wood and hide them by covering the rest of the walls with fake beams too - nobody will ever notice" grin

Immediate term: paint the lot of them with as few coats as you can get away with - even a limed appearance would be an improvement! Let's face it, you're not after a professional finish, just a 24hr makeover to avoid migraines. If you wanted to do a proper job you'd need to prepare the surface thoroughly (whatever the surface is), prime and paint several coats, but if you're going to put that much effort in, you might as well proceed immediately to the medium-term plan.

Short-medium term: remove all the non-RSJ fake beams. Replaster as necessary.

Medium-long term: deal with the RSJs by painting/plastering depending on what's covering them.

Alternatively, if they're wood, go down the student route, nip to the nearest market and buy a load of cheap flimsy throws and staple-gun them to the ceiling and walls, pretend you're channelling the Bedouin vibe and glamping in your own sitting room grin grin grin

LaurieFairyCake Sat 19-Mar-16 22:50:16

'Glamping' grin

PigletJohn Sun 20-Mar-16 00:04:10

RSJs need to be covered in two layers of plasterboard, or some other fire-resistant coating, to delay their softening and collapse in the event of a fire. This boxing-in might perhaps be smaller than the fake beams, it will usually be smooth, flat and straight and easier to decorate to match the ceiling and, with judicious lighting, to help it blend in.

unless you like the beam effect, the sooner you rip them off, the better.

Real wooden beams last much longer in a fire, because they don't soften.

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