Steel Versus Wooden Beams

Today steel beams are commonly used throughout a wide range of buildings and homes. From apartment complexes to shopping malls and even smaller structures, builders rely on them due to their durability and strength as well as their longevity. Wooden beams that were popular for building structure in the past are sometimes even being replaced by these steel beams due to the superiority of the material and its strength. However sometimes due to the lower cost, quality wooden beams are still used without causing any major structural damage. Some builders even prefer to use a mixture of the two, especially on the second story of two story houses.

Steel beams come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and varieties. Steel beams are available as single beams, double beams, I beams or RSJ beams, T beams, shelf beams, splice beams, to name a few. Some of these beams can come predrilled from the manufacturer to fit a variety of construction needs.

Those in the construction and building industry as well as, do-it-yourselfers have a wide variety of steel beams available to them. Unfortunately steel beams often need to be ordered according to the specifications that are needed for the project. However most suppliers and manufacturers of these steel beams are well aware of what is needed and what needs to be specially made for a variety of projects. Many will even assist their customers with expert advice to ensure they are getting exactly what they need.

Steel beams are durable. They can be painted to protect them against rust from water or moisture, but they are harder to work with unless the right equipment is on hand. However they often require two or more people or even a crane to lift them due to their large size and weight. Steel beams must also often be specially ordered if the project is a little more involved and there is not one readily available.

Wooden beams can be an excellent choice for second stories of homes and businesses due to their light weight. Wooden Beams can also work just as well for the lower levels of homes, depending on the type of wooden beam. Wooden beams can be strong depending on the type of wood used. Always ask an expert if attempting the use of beams to ensure the project which they are being used is the right one for them. Wooden beams tend to be less costly than their steel counterparts and are often easy to find as close as your local lumber yard.

Wooden beams are easy to drill or anchor into and to cut making them often more easily modifiable. However wooden beams are subject to rotting and wearing more easily especially if subjected to wet or moist conditions. Often painting them does not increase their durability against the wet conditions as well as it works for the steel beams either.

Getting an expert opinion before deciding which type of beam to use is a great place for builders to start. Often times there is a better beam to use for different types of projects so consulting with someone who has used these beams or done similar projects can lend some insight into the best one for the project at hand. Many lumber yards and steel fabricators will offer free quotes to the building materials needed, including support beams. They can also help decide which type of beam is best for what project so whether using RSJ or I beams or sticking to a trusty old wooden beam builders and do-it-yourselfers can find the materials that are right for them and their projects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.