We like remodeling projects where design and structural challenges have to be reconciled. That was certainly the case with the whole-house remodel shown here. The 3,400-square-foot ranch had a low-pitched roof and 30-inch roof overhangs; part of the job was to open up the floor plan at one end of the house and replace the old, cramped kitchen with a spacious great room. This would require removing the center bearing wall and installing a stain-grade structural ridge beam.

Our engineer spec’d a 6 1/4-inch-by-16 1/2-inch-by-30-foot glulam, with bearing posts at either end extending to concrete footings in the basement. The challenges were how to hold things up until the beam was in and how to get the beam into place. Because the design called for the beam to extend through the gable wall to the rake trim, we...

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