Hanging load bearing Beam

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Ron Van

Well-Known Member
Oct 2, 2019
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Alabama – Left California 2020
Hello. I have a question for the group. We have recently Installed a 11’ concealed beam in our house and two exposed beams in our daughter’s house. You can see those projects here:

Counter Beam Sizing

We’re still doing the final touches on the kitchen remodel but looking ahead, the next phase will be a bathroom/bedroom update. This will involve moving another load bearing wall which could be done in a similar way to our other concealed beam but I was thinking…. Why couldn’t a load bearing beam be installed above the ceiling joists and then hang the joists from it rather than cut the joists and re-attach the joists to the new beam with hangers?

As discussed in the above mentioned thread, on a conventional wood truss roof, the bottom chord creates a tension tie between the outside walls. The roof’s downward force wants to push the exterior walls outward but the joists (or rafter ties in a cathedral ceiling) oppose this force. When installing a concealed beam, you must securely tie the joists to the new beam to restore this rafter tie function. A concealed beam's purpose is to support the roof but will also keep the joists from bowing due to ceiling weight and also there may be support struts connected to it as part of the roof system. But a beam above the joists would not have to cut the joists and would not disturb the rafter tie function.

The illustration(s) below show the rafter tie function of a roof system.

Rafter Tie illistration 002.jpg

Rafter Tie illistration 001.jpg

Here is an example of a load bearing beam above the ceiling joists.

Hanging Beam yo remove load beaing wall 002.jpg

Hanging Beam yo remove load beaing wall 001.jpg

Article below from:

Upsidedown beam 001.jpg

Upsidedown beam 001.jpg

I haven't solidified my bathroom plan yet. As it stands now, I may only move a 3' section over by 9" and it will actually be closer to the center of the house where the center foundation supports are. In other words, It will move to a more structurally sound location. But I think I'd like the option of moving any part of a 12' section of wall either now or in the future without having to worry about it being load bearing. I could put a 12' LVL in the attic above the ceiling joists and hang the joists like the examples above, then, I could move or take out any section of the wall I want.

What are the pros and cons of putting a beam above the joists?


  • Rafter Tie illistration 001.jpg
    Rafter Tie illistration 001.jpg
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  • Hanging Beam yo remove load beaing wall 004.jpg
    Hanging Beam yo remove load beaing wall 004.jpg
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Fixer Upper
Staff member
Feb 5, 2013
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Erie, PA
IMO there is no difference in hanging from a beam to the beam below supporting, as long as the connections are done properly and the ends of the beam are supported to handle the load.