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...

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