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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