**What size beam for A 30-foot Span? **This is a question very frequently asked by persons looking to **build a house.**

The **diameter of the column** depends on the distance between its** two pillars,** its alignment, and the **overall weight**(load) applied to it.

So, we will discuss what size beam for a 30-foot span you would need considering all these factors.

**What Size Beam For A 30 Foot Span?**

**For a 30-foot span, a multiple-ply 2×12 or engineered wooden beams like LVL can be used. the size of the beam will depend on load factors and the type of material used. Consulting with a structural engineer is essential to determine the exact size and specifications for safety and compliance.**

30-foot span Beam Size Chart:

Method Used | Beam | Beam Size |
---|---|---|

LVL beam | or GLULAM | 16-18″ |

Steel | W beam | W18 |

Steel | UB | UB 450×180 |

Steel | ISMB | ISMB 450 |

## type of beam for a 30-foot span

When considering the appropriate type of **beam for a 30-foot span**, several options are available.

Here are some of the most common beam types:

### Timber Beams

Timber beams, also known as **wood beams, **are a popular choice due to their **natural look and availability. **

They are also a cost-effective option for **smaller spans. **

Timber beams have limitations in terms of **strength and durability,** and they may not be suitable for larger or** more complex structures.**

### Steel Beams

Steel beams are strong, durable, and can **span longer distances than timber beams.**

They are also** fire-resistant **and can be easily customized to fit specific project requirements.

Steel beams are typically more **expensive than timber beams,** and their installation can be more complex due to their weight.

### Engineered Wood Beams

Engineered wood beams, such as** laminated veneer lumber (LVL) **and glue-laminated timber (glulam), are made by** binding wood fibers **or veneers together with adhesive.

These beams are** strong, durable, **and can be customized to fit specific project requirements.

They are also more sustainable than **traditional timber** beams since they use less wood.

## Calculating the size of the beam needed

Calculating the appropriate size of the beam is crucial for ensuring the structural integrity of a** 30-foot span. **

Here are the steps involved in calculating the size of the beam needed:

### Determine the maximum allowable deflection

The maximum **allowable deflection** is the amount of bending or sagging that is acceptable for the beam.

This will depend on the type of **structure and its intended use. **

For example, **residential structures** typically have a maximum allowable deflection of L/360 (L being the span length) while **commercial structures **may require a smaller deflection limit.

### Calculate the moment of inertia and section modulus

The moment of inertia and **section modulus** are measurements of a beam’s **strength and stiffness. **

These can be calculated using mathematical formulas that take into account the **beam’s shape and material properties.**

### Determine the total load

The total load includes **the dead load** (the weight of the structure and any permanent fixtures) and **the live load** (the weight of people, furniture, and other temporary items).

### Use load tables or engineering software

Load tables or **engineering software** can help determine the size of the beam needed based on the **total load **and spacing considerations.

These tools provide information on the **allowable stress levels** for different types of beams and can help select the **most appropriate size.**

## What Affects The Beam Size?

The span and construction of *every structure differ,* of course.

This structural difference includes everything from** columns, floor joists, decking, **and grinders to beams and other structural members.

As a result, it is critical to know what sort of beam you require in the current circumstance before determining the** depth or size of the beam.**

### The beam load

The **load of the beam** is the most important consideration here. For this, you will have to consider **two types of loads **to determine the beam size efficiently.

That’s why most people seek help from **professionals.** But, here we are to help you out.

Loads might be **axial or lateral.** The distance between **the columns, the number of floors**, and whether or not it is **short or slim** all have a role in the load.

### The span trusses

When **span trusses** are clear, the outside wall only has to **carry half the load **that each of the walls has to carry.

For a better understanding, consider you have a structure of **24 X 24 footprint with trusses.**

The approximate load on the roof of this structure will be 30 pounds. Consequently, you have next to no storage in the ceiling.

If the structure has a wall in the middle, the **load will be minimal.** But, without the wall, the external wall will face **twice the load **we calculated now.

### Girders for flooring and beams

Once again, you should aim for a **beam width **of anywhere between** 1/3 and 1/2 of the span’s total length.**

A girder would have the same dimensions. The **flange would be thicker,** but that’s the only difference.

A **beam overhang** is an option as well. Overhangs are a great way to add visual interest and **structural support to a design. **

An overhanging beam cannot exceed **3/8 of the building’s span** it supports. Be aware of this while planning an** overhang for the support beam.**

The easiest approach to figure out how wide a beam should be for any given span is to **divide the measurement** (inches) by 20.

It will ensure that you get a precise measurement, rather than relying on an **educated guess**. So, Utilize the aforementioned formula to your advantage.

### Flooring joists

For hardwood flooring, you can also use **light-gauge steel joists.** In addition to trusses, they can be used interchangeably with these beams.

A 10-foot span may be covered with a **6-inch depth. If you want to span 2 feet more, **you will need an additional 2 inches of depth. But the maximum spread is 12 inches.

When you cross this 12-inch limit, you will need 3 inches of depth to span 2 additional inches.

**Following the formula is essential to ensure the floor’s stability by placing supports where they are needed.**

### Columns

The amount of floor space a column must **sustain dictates **the column’s size. In order to calculate the **floor area of a column**, take the middle column as the standard.

Measure the distance from the **standard column **to any other nearest column. There is this cumulative effect as you ascend the floors.

For instance, for a **750-square-foot space**, you would need a 6 X 6 column. To hold 6,000 square feet of weight, you will need **a 12 X 12 column.**

### Floor decking

There are situations when **girders and beams** won’t be necessary for your flooring. **Joists and decking** can be of use then.

So, you’ll need a new technique for gauging the **extent of your support.**

Metal decking has studs. They can be **2 inches deep and stretch 10**. Every inch of depth spans 5 more feet.

Deck depth isn’t the sole consideration. Over the floor, **pour 2 to 3 inches of concrete.** The proper size ensures stiffness.

### Dimensions coordination

A **more effective method **to use the dimensions you’re working with is to make sure they’re **all in sync.**

This will improve the overall efficiency of **the project’s construction**, which is always the aim.

## FAQs About Right Size Beam For A 30 Foot Span

### How Do You Span 30 Feet?

You can span 30 feet in one of the many ways possible. Usually, most people **prefer the steel beam.**

But other beam options such as **wooden structures, LVL,** and fabricated timber are also used.

### Is I-Beam Good For A 30 Foot Span?

Sometimes we use I-beam to refer to the steel beam. So, **I-beam or still-beam** is as good as it ever gets.

If you follow **the thumb rule** and consider the needed factors, then a steel beam is one of the safest options for** homeowners for a 30-foot beam.**

### What is the equation for a 30-foot span?

The beam size equation for any type of span is the same, which is **“M = (wL^2)/8”. **

In this equation, w represents the total load.

For measuring the steel stress you have to follow another equation, **which is @σ = Mc/I.**

### How Much Is A 30 Foot Beam?

A 30-foot beam may **cost from $150 to $550** or even more considering various factors.

For instance, prices for **steel I-beams** typically range from $180 to $540.

On the other hand, **H-beams **can cost up to three times as much as I-beams.

But they are three times as strong and three times as long in their spans of support.

## Final Words

For the sake of a building’s **overall structural soundness**, support beams are an essential component.

That’s why it is essential to determine not only the position of these beams but also their **appropriate length and strength.**

In short, you must know **what size beam for a 30 foot span** you need for your building.