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General Facts about Beam Considerations, Post installation and Costs

The placement of structural steel beams in residential construction is gaining in popularity due to the many advantages that steel gives over traditional wood structural beams although they are not commonly used. Structural steel beams are actually the standard in industrial and commercial construction since they are capable of bearing a greater load of weight with a smaller profile. To increase the strength of your structure while opening walls and supporting heavier building materials such as masonry using the new-construction phase of your home is an excellent way. This is not a DIY project therefore, structural steel beams need to be sized and installed by professionals. For both inspection and security purposes a structural engineer should not only size your beams but also ensure that the post installation is correct. Therefore, some of the things that might affect your post installation are discussed below.

Raw Steel Prices

The important factors that affect the price paid for the beam itself separate from post installation costs are the size and weight of the beam. Its price however, fluctuates with market conditions thus making in near-impossible to tell what the price of a beam might be in general sense since steel is a commodity. As expressed by the commodities arm of the stock exchange the fluctuations of steel market and worldwide demand are subjected to steel prices in other words. The supply and demand of the material itself along with associated commodities and the outlook for use in markets as far away as Asia do have a heavy influence in steel beam prices. Prices become low when there are a lot of steel available and not many individuals using it. The price of steel has dropped markedly from a high of $1265.00 per ton to a low only $90 per ton in 2016 since its above peak in 2008.

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steel beam frame

Cost of Labor

The only portion of the cost that homeowners can expect to pay for their metal beam installation range from several hundreds to thousands dollars depending on the market, strength and size conditions. Some of the other factors that can impact the final pricing are: a cost of $400 to $600 on a project averagely to an engineer who views the plans and site to determine the strength and proper size of the metal beams needed. Secondly, a cost of around $200 to $400 should be paid for every beam to the contractor performing the installation which takes about half a day per beam. Finally, for labor and equipment rental per day to lift the beam into place it did cost from $600 to $1200.

Structural Steel Beam Types

The most common structural beam used for residential projects is the I-beam although there are two major designs. However, the H-beam and the S-beam are the two distinct forms which the beam comes on. The height and weight per linear foot of the beam when expressed numerically are the main determiner of price when it comes to a steel I-beam and not its length or design. Therefore, the differences and functions of the common beam designs should be noted so as to have a perspective of the most efficient beam to be used.


It lacks any sort of tapered flange at the top and base thus resembling letter H when laid on its side thus the name H-beam and it is also known as W beams. H-beams conform to the standard specifications required for steel structural shapes that are used when framing commercial buildings and they are generally wider than I-beams. H-beams of the same-density steel are much heavier than I-beams and people also believe that they offer stronger results since it has a higher linear weight and also because of this wider structure. H-beams are able to bear weight at longer lengths for up to 330 feet because they are stronger.


The most common beam used in residential construction is S-beam. These are also known as junior beams because of their tapered flanges at the top and base. To supply greater strength at lighter densities the tapered edges come in place. For smaller buildings where the structural support to the wall does not need to be as strong and too much support creates structural issues the mix ideally works well. In lengths of up to 100 feet you can be able to access S-beams.

Choosing the Correct Beam for Work

The strength, weight and the type of beam you need for your project is directly in correlation to the work that needs to be conducted within the building. If the beams are load-bearing and attached through joists to the wood of floors and ceiling above them remember that the structural beams of a building are incredibly important in the overall construction of any building and supporting walls. A building might literally crumble or crave in once weight is applied to the structure without this structural support. Because of their tapered ends all I-beams only support weight in a single vertical direction. The web supports all the weight of the structure which is the main vertical section of the I-beam. Therefore because these beams only offer vertical supports there are situations that horizontal support may be needed thus calling for a different type of beam or structure.

Steel Beam Outside

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