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Kitchen Extension Support Pillar?

37 replies

4yearsnosleep · 04/10/2017 19:54

We're having a 10m x 3m extension on the back of our house, making a large room of 10m x 6m. We 'could' have a massive RSJ but it would be 45cm wide! We've been advised to have a support post or pillar. I have found loads of pics with a pillar but not a round steel post....any pics for me? Recommendations? Thanks Grin

OP posts:
wowfudge · 04/10/2017 23:17

Think of old warehouses and mills - or even a Victorian railway station canopy - where there are no walls in a large, open space.

Pascall · 04/10/2017 23:32

Go for the RSJ.

4yearsnosleep · 05/10/2017 07:45

Having spoken to the engineer, they don't think it's possible without a pillar as the RSJ will also eat into the head height and hubby is 6ft 4. We still need a hefty RSJ with the pillar too.

OP posts:
Tatlerer · 05/10/2017 08:01

4years we are having a large extension and have the mother of all RSJs running across the ceiling. Initially it was placed quite low, which we really objected to as we wanted to maintain high ceilings (not least because DH is over 6 ft too). We had a crisis meeting with the builder, architect and engineer and a way was found to lift it up without disrupting/having to rebuild the ceilings above.

Our neighbour 2 doors down lives in an almost identical property to ours and has had a smaller extension with a round steel support pole- I have to say I don't like it. They've sort of pushed their kitchen island against it and painted it grey but it's the first thing you see when you go into a room. So, if there's a way your team can find to satisfy building regs without the pole I'd really push for that (unless you like an industrial style)

4yearsnosleep · 05/10/2017 08:20

We aren't really industrial! We could do something like this but turn it into a cupboard. I'm still worried it sticks out like a sore thumb!

Kitchen Extension Support Pillar?
Kitchen Extension Support Pillar?
OP posts:
dynevoran · 05/10/2017 08:41

I follow this lovely Instagram interiors account called simplythenest. She has a pillar but it's a smaller round steel type post. I guess it depends for you on what the structural engineer specifies as the diameter as to whether this will work - but I think this looks nice, not too industrial if that isn't really you. And also quite nice in that you can paint and make a feature of it. She says she will paint it bronze/copper for christmas which sounds lovely! Pics screenshots attached.

Kitchen Extension Support Pillar?
Kitchen Extension Support Pillar?
whatsthecomingoverthehill · 05/10/2017 11:53

That's a pretty massive opening. Are they putting in posts either side as well as a central post?

A circular column shouldn't need to be too big if it is purely taking the vertical load and not being used for stability purposes as well. 168mm diameter, or even 139mm diameter might be possible.

(Wonders whether people will ever stop using the term RSJ when they haven't been used for at least 30 years).

namechangedtoday15 · 05/10/2017 14:04

Have to agree, we've extended about 8m x just over 3m out and originally had a pillar in the plans. Builder got structural engineer involved again and we avoided it - the RSJ above has been built into the ceiling / floor void as far as it can, think it drops below the existing ceiling by a few centimetres but doesn't compromise head height much at all.

It makes for a much better (IMO) feeling of space, doesn't compromise view (have bifolds into garden) and furniture placement.

4yearsnosleep · 05/10/2017 19:30

There will be supports each end, a bit like this. I'd really love the no pillar option, but if the cost is thousands more than a small support post/pillar then we would have to go with the support as we don't have a bottomless pit of cash

Kitchen Extension Support Pillar?
OP posts:
johnd2 · 06/10/2017 15:31

Ours had a pillar which means the ceilings could be completely flush and the walls wouldn't need projections to rest the ends of the beams on (or a whole metal frame for the back of the house £££) so we went for that.
The architect said might as well use a brick pillar as once you have a pillar the size isn't a big effect. Even a metal pillar would need fire resistant plasterboard or equivalent.
In the end it looks fine, it's part of the island, and it's a bit like in offices or shopping centres where they have windows outside the pillars.

namechangedtoday15 · 06/10/2017 16:09

OP the pillars either side can be built into the side walls to a certain extent so they won't stick out too far or can be disguised if you align them with the kitchen part.

mrslimelite · 23/03/2021 10:08

This is an old thread but I wondered if the OP decided to go ahead with the RSJ? We are in a similar situation and I really want to avoid having a pillar or post!

PresentingPercy · 23/03/2021 10:21

Did not realise it was an old thread. But......Go for the no pillar option!!!! Absolute no brainer. You cannot furnish easily around a pillar. I think the pillar in the kitchen photo is absolutely awful. No structural engineer would be proud of that!

Some RSJs can be partly in the ceiling. All need sufficient piers at either end to hold them up in the walls but they should be partially embedded in the wall. Ours are. So the intrusion into the room is minimal. You get the total view and no obvious intrustions, except maybe the beam in the ceiling. We have around 10m x 5m for our lounge supported with a beam roughly in the middle. DH is a structural engineer. We also have one corner of the house totally supported with beams to make an open porch/entry area. Never have columns. It is cheaper but totally unecessary and looks cheap - because it is.

frazzledmum4 · 23/03/2021 10:38

Yes I agree, I know the additional cost of a massive RSJ will be worth it, in my head I just can't imagine anything being strong enough to hold the entire back of the house up 😂 but that's why I'm not a structural engineer 🙄🥴

dotdashdashdash · 23/03/2021 11:31

(Wonders whether people will ever stop using the term RSJ when they haven't been used for at least 30 years).

Haha, we just refer to them as steels in our build, but I'm not certain what the actual correct term now is!

dotdashdashdash · 23/03/2021 11:37

We had a pillar in our old kitchen - it was the bane of my life in that house - we had an "island" up against it, put a picture on it, shelves etc etc, anything to disguise it but it didn't work and it just looked crap.

PresentingPercy · 23/03/2021 11:41

It does not matter what you call it. A "beam" if you like.

Africa2go · 23/03/2021 11:44

We have a steel across the back of the house following an extension, think its about 8m+ across. I've just measured it and as a pp, we had it built into the ceiling as far as possible, it drops down by 10cm (its about 40cm wide) so whilst you can see it, its not noticeable nor does it compromise the head height.

I personally don't like the extensions with pillars, they always stick out like a sore thumb no matter how you try to integrate them into the design.

LittleOverwhelmed · 23/03/2021 11:49

This photo is from our extension / renovation. We have had all RSJs pushed as far up into the ceiling as possible. The biggest one still projects down a little, the smaller ones (the rust red in the middle of the ceiling) are completely pushed into the ceiling (although they have had to batten the ceiling a little bit).

This did cause disruption / damage above: we have two bathrooms up there which had to be taken out and will be put back in again, but it is worth it (to us) to get the finish below. There are also a couple of bedrooms that need to be patched and decorated above (although they needed redecorating anyway...).

We wanted fairly seamless open plan. The slight projection of the beam works with the room zoning (one side kitchen, one side dining area) too.

I suggest looking at as many examples as you can to ensure that you are happy with your decision before making it.

Kitchen Extension Support Pillar?
Kitchen Extension Support Pillar?
PresentingPercy · 23/03/2021 11:53

How wide will the opening be at the back of the house?

PresentingPercy · 23/03/2021 11:58

We decided not to disturb the floors above. The depth of the beam was just too much so we live with it. It spans one room. Not the worst outcome ever.

PresentingPercy · 23/03/2021 12:01

"RSJ" is still commonly used by manufacturers. Along with several other descriptions.

frazzledmum4 · 23/03/2021 12:06

[quote PresentingPercy]@frazzledmum4
How wide will the opening be at the back of the house?[/quote]
It will be 10 metres which is the entire width of the house

LittleOverwhelmed · 23/03/2021 12:11

@4yearsnosleep are you planning to zone the room (10m is a very long room)? Does a pillar fit in with that? A nice two sided open fireplace perhaps Grin

endlesscraziness · 23/03/2021 12:34

We didn't do a fireplace due to it dividing the dining and living area and it has the upstairs waste pipe in it. I still wish it was smaller and wish we had got another structural engineer but it does help zone

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