My husband and I want to install 42" cabinets in our kitchen which presently have 30" cabinets with a soffit. (which we were planning on removing) Upon removal of side wall soffit we had no problem nothing was inside but insulation, which we removed; but when we started to remove the other soffit area, we opened a area big enough to look inside and saw large beams inside(2 x 6 x 10.5), so we stopped until we talked to our cabinet installer who told us not to continue with the soffit removal because he thought it was the roof joist beams holding up the roof to our outside ceiling.

So my question is: Can these large beams be removed and placed elsewhere so we can continue with the soffit removal to install our 42" cabinets our are we screwed and have to reinstall the soffit to reinstall 30" cabinets?

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    You're very likely helically attached, at least on that side of the kitchen. – Ecnerwal May 18 '15 at 1:30
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    Some photos would be helpful. – Tester101 May 18 '15 at 1:31
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    Large beams are almost always important, and are typically really expensive to move. – Tester101 May 18 '15 at 1:32
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    Tall cabs on one side; short cabs on the other? – Aloysius Defenestrate May 18 '15 at 2:43

Depending on what you want and what you're willing to do, one possible approach is to cut the top cabinets on that side to fit around the beams. Lacking pictures as yet, it's unclear how much space that would leave in the top of the cabinets, but if the cabinets are already bought, and the look of the kitchen (new cabinets, full height) matters more than the top having full storage capacity, it can be viable approach (I have lived with "partially occluded upper cabinets" - you figure out what fits up there next to the obstructions.)


Your question is hard to answer. Beams can be recessed into the same plane as the joists, smaller but strong beams (in wood or steel) can replace existing beams.

To tell you the exact options and what it would cost, you need to talk to someone with good construction experience and possibly an engineer. It is unlikely to be what you think of as cheap.

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