Beams for loft conversions

When planning a loft conversion in London the choice of beams is a very important structural decision. Builders and architects have their preferences as to the chosen material, but basically there are only two types of beams used.

 

Steel and Timber for loft conversions

Steel loft beams are the commonly used material for their incredible strength regardless of their small size. Where space is the issue in a loft conversion they are easy to use although manoeuvring them in confined spaces can prove quite difficult.

Timber beams are the alternative to steel for loft conversions although they can also be impractical. These two types of beams both have their positive and negative points and many companies and builders will implement both timber and steel beams in their construction of loft conversions in London.

In the use of steel loft beams the universal beam is the commonly used beam as they are easy to fit with timber joists because of the flat flanges which are parallel between the top and bottom. Rolled steel joists are similar to the universal beam in the regard of being much taller than it is wide. The only negativity of rolled steel joist is the fact that they have tapered flanges and that makes the use of timber joists very difficult. Although the universal and the rolled steel are mostly used in steel loft beams, a universal column is used in cases of space being an issue.

Timber loft beams for the use of loft conversions London are traditionally quite limited in their use mainly because of the short span they have. Modern homes and loft conversions currently use factory produced "I" beams when they use timber and are designed exactly like their counter part, the steel beams. They boast a central core of composite wood for added strength and time will not cause shrinking.

The great disadvantage they have in the construction of loft conversions is the fact that they are a lot more expensive than steel. Two other timber beams used in loft conversions are laminated and sandwich beams. Laminated veneer lumber is very strong and even with cutting it; it will retain its strength. Sandwich beams on the other hand are normally made onsite by builders or loft conversions London companies by sandwiching a piece of steel plate between strips of timber. These beams have no real structural strength and mostly used as floor trimmers.

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