Home>Discussions>EXTERIORS>Old Barn Beams in new construction
3 posts / 0 new
Last post
Old Barn Beams in new construction

Hello, on the front of my home are three old barn beams extending from the structure. They were used by the original owners/builders in the construction of the home in 2007 to add character. My question is in two parts. The first question is "what is the best preservation method for these beams?" I've been told everything from just leaving them as-is to encapsulating them in marine grade epoxy. I really like the look but don't know if I should be maintaining them is some way. The second question involves the water staining on the boards underneath the over hang. I believe the best way to address this would be to sand the boards down and then re-stain and finish with a clear sealant. Any assistance would be very much appreciated.

Re: Old Barn Beams in new construction

It's entirely up to you and what you are comfortable doing.

What you don't want is old looking beams surrounded by newer construction.

The second question: your approach is fine.

Re: Old Barn Beams in new construction

Depends on the wood species; if chestnut, or white oak, you do nothing and they will still outlast the house. If red oak or poplar, cap them with a copper roof to let water roll off the top, but rot will probably have already started.
Never apply any sealing coat like epoxy unless you know for certain that the wood is dry to the core, because if it's wet inside it will remain so for a good while. Also, any small checks that form will allow water in as if it were entering a dishpan, furthering any decay. If you did the epoxy thing, I'd recommend drilling some good sized holes in the timbers from underneath so moisture has a way out.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.