Types of Construction Beams & Their Uses

Modern Attic Interior

What are Construction Beams?

Constructions beams are weight-bearing, horizontal supports that can bridge one area to another. Posts and columns (which are the beams’ vertical counterparts) have the job of supporting structures and integrity of buildings of any sort. If you look closely inside a home, you’ll find beams within the floors, walls, ceilings, decks, roofs, and garages.  If your next big home renovations project has to do with installing structural beams in your home, make sure you contact a structural engineer for that matter. They will be able to guide you in the right direction in terms of options, design, and materials. Professionals will be able to help you install or repair beams in your home, anywhere you need it. Even if our team can help you familiarize yourself with beam basics, this quick guide on beams will help you grab a handle on your project. 

Types of Structural Beams

  • I-Beams
  • Flitch Beams
  • Box Beams
  • Hip Beams
  • Cantilever Beams
  • Bond Beams
  • Joists
  • Headers
  • Timber Beams
  • Structural Composite Lumber
  • Glued Laminated Timber
  • Steel Beams
  • Concrete Beams


I-Beams are made of steel and get their name from it’s a similarity to the letter “I” in the capital, pretty clear, right? These beams are commonly installed in big commercial building projects as well as used for framing houses in their interior walls. Contractors place I-beams on top of foundation or basement walls. If placed here, they provide support for the top level of the home. I-beams are widely used in garages as well, where their purpose is to serve as a sort of “railing” for the motorized wheeled trolleys, used to open and close the garage doors.

Flitch Beams

These flitch beams are created by steel fabrication companies by fastening wood and metal together. To offer a more visual example: Imagine nailing the wooden sector to other structures, while the metal part provides more strength. By using flitch beams, this results in a beam much lighter than steel, but that can still bear good amounts of weight compared to a wooden one. For example, if you’re interested in removing a load-bearing wall, flitch beams will be particularly useful in this type of renovation.

Box Beams

These type of beams are commonly known as “box girders”, made of wood and steel. When secured at the right angles, the shape these create looks similar to a long, hollow box. However, box beams are generally made of wood. For instance, when creating a “three-sided” box beam, these would often be attached to the ceiling, which will add visual design and support. However, you can also create four-sided box beams.

Hip Beams

Imagine a “hipped” roof. If you’ve never seen one, though, they have four sloping sides. This “hip” is located where two or more roof sections meet. When this needs to be fixed, the most common beams required are hip beams. Each hip beam will be able to support certain smaller pairs of beams extending from it. Imagine this like branches extending from a trunk. Traditionally hip beams are made of wood, however, steel versions are available and becoming more common with time. This happens when homeowners transform their attics into beautiful lofts and living spaces.

Cantilever Beams

You can traditionally fine cantilever beams in balconies, bay windows, canopies and roofs. Cantilever beams create an effect as if protruding from buildings or homes. These distribute the weight along or at the unsupported section of the beam.

Bond Beams

You can traditionally find bond beams placed within Mansory. For example, stone, brick, cement, or clay walls.


This term refers to a group of beams which run in parallel to support horizontal structures. For example, in decks, ceilings, or floors.


These are beams that bear weight. They are commonly placed over openings such as doors and windows, in both exterior and interior walls.

Timber Beams

Timber, as the name resembles, is made of the trunk of a cut-down tree. These beams are traditionally used for building cabins and housing requiring timber frames.

Structural Composite Lumber

These are engineered wood products manufactured by gluing several pieces of wood or veneers. By doing this, it is ensured that SCL creates strong beams that won’t split.

Glued Laminated Timber

To create these beams, manufacturers glue layers of wood. This results in a strong and versatile wood product. These are very visually appealing if this is what you’re looking for. These work for curved beams and can even find them in vaulted ceilings.

Steel Beams

Iron and carbon are combined to create steel. This is a very durable material and is widely popular in various construction projects in homes and buildings.

Concrete Beams

Many contractors often used prestressed concrete beams to be used in floors, frames, and roofs.

Attic Interior Design Library With Exposed Beams

Contact A Professional Roofer

If you’re looking to start your next structural beam project, get in touch! We will be happy to answer any questions or concerns regarding your options, as well as getting an estimate for the amount of work to be done.

If you’re interested in structural beams in Woodbridge, CT contact SOS Restoration & Construction Inc at 203-215-6907 for more information!