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Required steel beam size for floor support

Required steel beam size for floor support

Required steel beam size for floor support


I am building a horse barn to hlep satisfy my wife's ongoing passion.  The structure will have two stories, the upstairs being used primarily for hay storage.  We were using 100 PSF total loading on the upstairs flooring.

There is a 24' x 20' section that has a beam the length of the 24' (dividing the 20' section into a 12' and 8' span).  The floor joices above are 2x12 - 22' (they span the entire 20').  The 24' beam was originally to be supported at the center with a post, but based on use requirements of the area below the floor I would like to remove the post and have a free spanning beam.  The maximum preferred beam height is 12".

I did not expect to need much of a beam as the joists will carry much of the load.  An engineered wood beam is not ruled out, but I was instructed that a steel beam would be more economical.

Thanks for any help.


RE: Required steel beam size for floor support

You may use 7 inch wide by 16 inch deep 2.0E Parallam PSL beam which is composed timber. Or you may use W12x45 steel beam.

From my experience, parallam is chipper and easier to get.

Good luck.

RE: Required steel beam size for floor support


Thanks for the information.  I checked into prices/availability around here (mid-Michigan); the PSL beam was ~$975 + delivery and at least a weeks wait, while the steel was ~475 including delivery an 2-3 days lead.  Go figure.

I'm a little uncertain mixing steel and wood are there any special concerns for the end supports. This will sit a stick framed 2x6 wall that in turn sits on a 8" reinforced block kneel wall (the cores are filled beneath the bearing point).  I was just going to use 2x6s.  Any better suggestions.

Thanks again for the information.


RE: Required steel beam size for floor support


Check the weight of your hay before you build.  According to AISC (9th Edition, page 6-8), bales of hay or straw weigh 20 PCF.  Therefore, a 100 PSF surcharge would equal about 5 vertical feet of baled hay - not very much, especially if your barn roof leaks and the bales get wet.  I've seen bales of hay stacked much higher than 5 feet in barn lofts.

I'm not a barn designer but I would carefully check the weight of the hay.

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