In the 15 years our company has been building custom
homes, we've encountered many open floor
plans where the architect has specified long-span
beams. In these situations, we've used steel I-beams,
steel channels, flitch plates, Parallams, and laminated
veneer lumber (LVL). The best choice varies according
to the situation, but the product we've found to be
most versatile and readily available is LVL.
LVL closely resembles plywood, both in appearance
and in the way the two products are manufactured.
Veneers are peeled from logs, dried, and then graded
visually and ultrasonically. Adhesive is applied to the
veneers as they are stacked, and the stacked bundle is
fed through a roller press, then sized