The Load Calculator is here to help you determine the linear loads on your beam, joist, rafter, purlin, or other structural member. A linear load is measured in pounds per linear foot (plf), which is the product of the tributary width (measured in feet), and the surface load (measured in psf). The tributary width is the effective width that is supported by the structural member.
In the example below, the beam supports joists from the left and the right side of the floor. The left joist spans 16-feet, and 8-feet of its load is supported by the beam. The right joist also spans 16-feet, and 8-feet of its load is supported by the beam. So, the tributary width is 16-feet which is the sum of 8-feet from the left and 8-feet from the right.
Figure 1. Tributary Width.
Continue by submitting the information in the form in the left margin.
Free Beam Sizer is intended to be used by architects, engineers, designers and contractors to determine preliminary beam sizes. Although Free Beam Sizer was developed by a real structural engineer and is maintained by a real structural engineer, the intent of it is not to replace a structural engineer. All results shall be reviewed by a registered structural engineer before construction commences. Free Beam Sizer is a tool intended to help architects, building designers, manufacturers and contractors determine beam sizes during the preliminary design phase of a building project. Free Beam Sizer holds no liability for any beam size determined by its users. Final design shall be reviewed by a structural engineer experienced with the type of project being designed and registered in the jurisdition in which the project will be constructed.
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