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Frequently Asked Questions

What size beam do you need for a 20 foot span?

For a 20 foot span, wood beam needs to be minimum 18 inches deep. If smaller, beam will sag ugly! Better design with truss 2 feet deep or more depending on snow load. Almost any wood will do the same - geometry of beam or truss is the important thing.

What is the average span of a beam bridge?

A modern beam bridge, for instance, is likely to span a distance of up to 200 feet (60 meters), while a modern arch can safely span up to 800 or 1,000 feet (240 to 300 m). A suspension bridge, the pinnacle of bridge technology, is capable of spanning up to 7,000 feet (2,100 m).

What is the maximum span for a 2x8 floor joist?

A look at an actual current joist span table will show that depending on the wood species, the allowable spans for a 2x8 floor joists with 40 pound live load with deflection limit of span/360, ranges from 10'5" (Western red cedar) to 12'9" (Doug fir-larch).

What is the span of a wood beam?

A rectangular wood beam is to be designed to support first floor joists only (no bearing walls or other loads). The beam is to be simply supported at each end on support walls (2x4s). Clear span between stud walls is 14 feet. Span length is then 14.3 feet.

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