Do Box Beams Cost the Same as Solid Beams?
The final cost of a box beam depends on the source beam material, dimensions, and many more factors however a box beam is usually more expensive than a solid beam simply due to the extensive labor involved in crafting such a piece.
Why does a box beam cost more than a solid beam?
A wood box beam is generally more expensive than a solid wood beam because of the labor involved in creating the hollow beam. As well, the cost of the host beam material is included in the final assembly cost.
Our process of constructing a reclaimed barnwood box beam generally follows this process:
- Material is chosen by the client; hand hewn, rough sawn, live or resawn.
- A search for a solid beam that closely matches the desired look and character which the client prefers. This source beam will be 1" - 2" larger in dimension than the final box beam
- The solid beam is processed, including fumigating, patching mortise pockets, and nylon brushing. Clients may also request power washing, wire brushing or other finishing but all of which remove the original character and patina to some degree
- The outer surfaces of the source beam are removed with a bandsaw giving us 'skins' with which to construct the box beam faces.
- The box beam is built with either 3 or 4 faces, or sometimes two faces if the box beam will rest against a corner (between the ceiling and wall juncture).
The list goes on but suffice it to say that each of these steps are labor intensive steps. This labor is in addition to the cost of the host beam from which the original face skin material is taken.
Example of Hand Hewn Box Beams being made (incomplete):
This is just a portion of what there is to know about a wood box beam. Learn everything you need to know before pulling the trigger on buying a box beam by reading our all in one top tips on wood box beams, be sure to check out our Faux Wood Beams - Ultimate Box Beam Ceiling Buyer's Guide