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What You Need To Know About How To Install RSJ beam and steel support beam

Construction experts who build large commercial buildings have been using steel beam installation support beams for years because of their durability, resistance to pests like termites, and of course, their strength.

Steel beams for residential construction has become more widely used as trends have called for knocking out load-bearing walls to open up space, taking out an old chimney breasts that require shoring up the walls and stack, performing a loft conversion, or installing bi-fold doors to bring some sunshine and natural lighting in as well as expanding living space to incorporate outside beauty.

All of these design changes call for an extra load bearing beam to make sure the walls are stable and able to hold the weight of the structure.

steel beam installation in London

What is an RSJ beam?

An RSJ beam, rolled steel joist, is a steel beam that uses steel that is rolled into one solid joist called a beam. They are also commonly called I-beams and are becoming used more often in residential home reconstruction projects whenever load bearing is needed to properly support the structure.

Steel beams are the only strong option to support a long span that offers little headroom for multiple beams.

installing steel beam load bearing wall

What are the benefits of using steel beam installation instead of wood beams?

installing steel beam load bearing wall cost

Why use steel?

Residential construction has traditionally often used wood beams, since the expanse needing to be supported is typically much smaller than the wide-open area needing support in a large commercial building.

As homeowners desire more and more open design elements in their houses, RSJ steel beams are becoming the choice of experts. Not only are these beams strong, but they are also resistant to pests such as termites that can destroy a wood beam, and the beams are also not prone to rot or mould.

Steel is environmentally friendly.

Steel is environmentally friendly in that most steel produced today is made from recycled steel. An entire steel frame often lasts for several decades.

Budgeting is easier.

While steel beam prices are higher than using wood, the cost of steel beams tends to remain more constant than the price of wood which constantly goes up or down.

This consistency makes it easier to plan a pricing budget even though it will be more pricey than the wood alternative. It also allows a construction team to provide you with a more accurate quote from the start of the steel beam installation process.

metal support beam for installing steel beam load bearing wall
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steel beams for residential construction

Steel leaves less scraps and cleanup mess.

When you use steel, there is going to be less waste since the beams are pre-measured and ordered to fit without cutting pieces and leaving wood dust and pieces of lumber behind to clean up.

Steel is smooth with no defects.

While some rustic designs may desire the look of unfinished or knotty wood, steel offers a sleek option. Unlike wood, steel is manufactured, so it is going to be smooth without defects of knots or blemishes found in wood.

Steel remains strong and stands up to disaster.

Steel will not split when trying to work with it like wood often does. Once it’s in place, it will stand up against warping or cracking that are common problems when using wood. A steel beam will outlast a wood beam and will not burn during a fire. They are strong to resist natural disasters as well.

Steel is the popular sound choice.

Because of all of the benefits of steel as well as its strength, RSJ beams are being used more and more in residential remodels and construction to provide the necessary strength for the structure.

installing steel beam load bearing wall
installing steel beam load bearing wall

What is the cost for a steel beam installation?

Pricing factors impact overall cost of steel.

Two main things that change the bottom line price for a steel beam installation are the cost of the beam and the installation costs.

The price of the beam is based on the height and weight per size of the beam. This is expressed using numbers which an engineer will understand to properly order the right cut beam. While their price is more consistent than wood, the cost will change based upon the market and demand since it is a commodity.

Installation costs are not the place to cut costs

The installation cost is not something to ever scrimp on, since it is very important this process is done right. Some additional cost factors may include the cost to hire an engineer to view the construction plans and determine the necessary size and strength of the beams needed, the cost of the labor to install the beam, and the price to have the beam delivered and lifted into place, which will most likely include the cost of renting special equipment.

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Which support beam is right for you?

Select the best type of RSJ beam

Choosing the type of beam is a very important step since without the proper support, the entire structure could potentially collapse.

Because of their tapered ends, I-beams only support vertical weight. The main vertical section of the I-beam is called the web. The web supports the entire weight of the structure, and its thickness determines the strength of the beam to determine the amount of load it is able to bear.

When horizontal support is called for, the project may need to use a different type of beam. Steel I-beams come in different designs, but the most commonly used in residential construction are the H-beam and the S-beam.

installing steel beam load bearing wall cost
installing steel beam load bearing wall in London

What are H-beams?

The To further complicate matters, an H-beam is sometimes referred to as a W-Beam. It gets its name because when you lie it down on its side, it resembles the letter “H”.

The “W” comes from the web design section of the beam. Whichever you prefer to call it, these beams do not have tapered flanges a the top or the base and are usually a bit wider and heavier than a typical I-beam, making them able to bear weight at longer lengths to add support to the structure.

S-beams work well in home remodels.

In residential reconstruction, S-beams are often used. They tend to work well for smaller spaces where not as much structural support is needed. They have a tapered flange at the top and at the base of the beam and are sometimes called Junior beams.

It is the tapered edge that provides more strength with a lighter density beam.

Installing methods help set the beam in place for a strong structure.

Follow the preferred method.

The preferred method for steel beam installation is to use two anchor bolts that are embedded into the concrete inside the beam pocket. A template is usually used to line up the bolts with the holes in the steel plate that is placed over them later.

A steel bearing plate is placed over the anchor bolts and adjusted using nuts beneath and above the plate for each bolt. The beam is then set on top of the bearing plate and welded into place, and the space below the bearing plate is packed with a special grout.

steel beam installation cost in London

Use a steel plate

There are a few different styles of steel beams as well as different methods of installation. One way is to use a single steel plate that goes between two wooden planks. In this method, the steel company provides holes in the steel plate that allow the assembly to be bolted securely into place.

Another option is to purchase Junior I beams that often fit securely into the wall.

Steel beams need to be sized and placed by a professional

Steel beam installation including setting an RSJ beam into place is a job meant for an expert and not a do-it-yourself weekend project.

Consult a structural engineer to determine what method of installation and type of steel beam is required. If you are using a steel plate, the structural engineer will specify which plate to use. Steel beams should always be installed by professionals.

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By | 2018-06-13T15:58:22+00:00 June 13th, 2018|Categories: Builder’s Advice, News|Tags: |