The Difference Between Decorative and Structural Oak Beams

Oak beams are regularly used in property builds of all kinds. They might be used to bear weight, or they may be simply decorative. Either way, it oak beams are going to be used in your home and it is your pride and joy, you want to know that the oak beams you are buying will look great and will be made from high-quality timber. The quality of your property rides on the quality of the materials that make it up, so you don’t ever want to compromise. If you buy cheap wood, or if you buy green wood that warps, you’re just going to have to replace it in future, so it is a false economy. If you buy cheap, the wood simply won’t last.

Decorative oak beams

Many people are now using oak beams in their homes for decorative reasons. The rustic beauty of an oak beam can lend real character to your home, making it look more traditional – or, in some instances, opening it up and making it feel more modern. Much of this is down to the current popularity of open plan living, where spaces feel larger and more open – people often want the ceiling space to complement this look. High, beamed ceilings will go with this type of room very well, and will begin to make a property look more premium.

People will often use aesthetic oak beams in properties like barn conversions, ensuring they will keep the character of the original barn whilst bringing it up to date. You can use more modern beams as a perfect compromise – choose lighter coloured wood, or a more toned down colour scheme, so you can make your room feel airy and modern. The conversion would probably have had darker beams originally, but you can use your creative licence and install beams that will look more modern and beautiful.

Oak beams for structural support

Some homes will use oak and timber beams as part of the structural design, meaning that the beams are weight bearing. This is often the case in older homes, where they have used the structural integrity of beams to compensate for more limited building techniques. If you are replacing weight bearing structural beams with new oak beams, you will need to be a little more careful. You should consult with a structural engineer before carrying out any building work of this nature. If you simply want to update your home with new oak beams, an engineer will easily be able to draw up plans to help you to do this.

If you are building a new property and you want to use structural oak beams, you will have a little more freedom. You will be able to select the beams that you want and specify this with your structural engineer and architects. They will know good timber beam suppliers and your building contractors will be able to use high quality, new oak beams for you. Have a look at some examples of homes you like to get an idea of what you want.