Our Rustic Beam
Monte’s full time job requires him to travel. He is flying across the country several weeks of the month. When he isn’t traveling he is working from home. I love having him home but that does create a few unique challenges.
Monte has been traveling for work for over 20 years so that isn’t new to us. Having him work from home is a newer experience. His company decided they needed his office space and he would start working from home. We were not prepared. We had the space but didn’t have a home office. It was decided to set up his office space in a spare bedroom. We had a loft where our personal computer and desk was but we needed to create a space where he could shut the door for privacy when he was on the phone.
When we were looking for our current home we needed an office space for Monte. We wanted the space to be bright and convenient. If you sit at a desk for eight hours it’s important for the space to be comfortable.
We had a couple options when we were making office space decisions. Right off our front door was the perfect space. It was a room we had closed in instead of left open to the living area. We decided to not have the double doors installed because I had a better idea. I assumed the opening into the space would be the size of a set of double doors. That was ignorance on my part. I was surprised to see they left the opening much larger then a set of double doors. We had a couple of options. I thought about closing in the opening a little but we would have had to deal with flooring issues. So I decided to work with the opening.
Monte and I decided we were going to install barn doors to close off the space. Our original plan was two large doors that opened in different directions and meet in the middle when they closed. But we had electrical switches we didn’t want to cover. We decided bypass doors were the way to go.
After we had been in for a few weeks the doors were becoming a necessity, something we needed to get on sooner then later. I had a lot of time to process what I wanted. We discussed our options and looked at all the possibilities from the outside of the office and inside the office. I couldn’t get over how big the doors were going to be. Since the opening was huge we were dealing with huge barn doors.
I love Wood
In previous posts I have expressed my love for wood. I came up with a brilliant idea. We could install a beam and use it as a header for our barn doors. Step one, ask Monte if it is possible. Step two, convince him that he can make it happen. Finally step three, find the beam. Monte may have thought I was a little crazy but in my head I felt like it would make all the difference.
Hunting for the Beam
I began looking for a place to purchase beautiful wood beams. Of course I wanted an old rustic beam. I found a warehouse ‘Old Sol Lumber Company’ that sells old wood. We hoped in the car to see if they had any beams. As soon as we walked in the door I was in heaven.
The wood was so pretty. I actually got side tracked thinking of all the fun I could have with the beautiful wood. Thankfully they had a stack of beams to choose from. The staff member and Monte were willing to move beams so I could make a choice. I wanted one that looked authentic but wasn’t too beat up. I also didn’t want it full of holes. Honestly I was afraid of critters that took up residence in the beam.
The beam was a little pricier then I would normally spend but to me it was one of those investments that was worth it. It had a purpose but would also look beautiful. We had to purchase the full beam even though it was longer then necessary. Monte measured the length we needed and had them cut it to length. Knowing how Monte works, he likes a tight fit. We had to do a little trimming when we got home.
After we got it home I gave it a quick sanding. I didn’t want it completely smooth just knock off the super rough. After it was sanded and hosed off I used the Annie Sloan clear soft wax to moisturize and finish the beam.
Installing the beam
Heres something about wooden beams, they are heavy. I was able to carry one end to get it out of the SUV. But I was not strong enough to lift it over my head while standing on a ladder and hold it in place. I sure wish I was but that wasn’t going to happen. Monte called a neighbor and asked for some help. He was super kind and came to lend a hand. He probably wished he wasn’t so kind by the time we got it up.
Monte decided he was going to drill some holes to install some lag bolts that would be bolted into the wall. The holes were drilled out, we had the bolts ready and the ladders in place.
I wish I could say it went smoothly and I wasn’t panicked as they teeter on ladders holding an extremely heavy beam. But they got it up and secured in place. We then filled the holes with some wooden plugs.
I absolutely love the way it looks. It is so pretty and adds character and charm to the space. It is exactly what I wanted. I ordered the barn door track off Amazon. It took a little hunting to find one that would work for our space. And looked the way I wanted. The track wasn’t easy to install. We finally had to use our own heads and quite following the instructions. It ended up taking the better part of a Saturday getting the beam and track installed.
We purchased the beam at $20 a foot. Our opening is just under 8 feet. Making and creating these barn doors and installing the beam is going to be a little more expensive then if we’d had the builder install double doors. We planned on spending a little extra. It is going to be a focal point in our home and worth the extra financial investment.