Multiple, Complex Loads for Beams, Joists and Rafters

Calculate either simple span beams or beams overhanging a support at one end. Up to a dozen live and total loads may be entered for a single beam including six point loads, five partial uniform loads, and a uniform load. You may also size hips and valleys with a uniform increasing load plus a normal uniform load.

Sizes, Grades and Species

Solid-sawn members range from 2 x 4 to 14 x 16, and include multiple, built-up 2x members (up to four). Grades No.1 & No.2 are offered in twelve species groupings (57 species in all) using National Design Specification® Values. Custom grades and species may be evaluated for most species with user entered values. Glu-laminated members are available in two species groupings, Douglas Fir and Southern Pine, with four grades for each (two grades are for overhanging beams). Sizes range from 3-1/8 x 9 to 10-3/4 x 31-1/2, which meets almost every use encountered in typical residential construction. We also have the Rosboro X-Beam GLu-Lam in 3-1/2 and 5-1/2 in widths.

The Criteria Form

Set the basic criteria  for your beam, rafter or joist in one form.  Enter the duration of load, wet use, deflection limits, and unbraced length. A calculator, load diagram and note pad are one click away. The small raised grey squares provide instant help. Could this be Microsoft's original inspiration for  "tool tips"?

Please note: v2005 thru v2024 are nearly identical and operate similarly.









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The Selection Form

BeamChek quickly calculates hundreds of beam possibilities filtering out all but the most appropriate sizes and presents them in an easy to compare table that includes two grades in two species groups and glu-lams too. The sizes listed are easy to read nominal sizes!

The Beam Report

The report lets you readily determine if a beam is adequate without scrutinizing a jumble of numbers. The percentages compare critical to actual attributes of your selected member and the status of each is plainly listed as OK or FAIL. You may change the width or depth with a mouse click and have it recalculated instantly without leaving the form! The dead load deflection can be reviewed for its impact on the beam's appearance in the project and a camber height is recommended.

Custom glu-lam grades, glu-lam 'header' sizes, and LVL beams in common stock sizes from several manufacturers may also be analyzed with user entered values. Values may be saved to disk for repeated use.  Non-standard timbers may be sized in half- inch increments from 5x5 to 12x20 using the custom values form.

Steel Beams

BeamChek will size 36 ksi and 50 ksi wide flange steel up to W 30 x 127, standard flange up to S 24 x 121, channels and miscellaneous channels up to C 15 x 50 and A46 rectangular tube shapes to T 20 x 8 x 5/16. Analysis includes web yielding and crippling with minimum bearing area in lieu of web stiffeners. Steel plates for use in Flitch beams may also be sized with wood used solely for connection purposes and stability.

Solid and Built-Up Columns

Built-up and solid wood columns to 10 x 10, plus steel columns in round and square shapes complement our wide selection of tools for the residential designer.

        The Data Record

Before you print or save your calculation, view the beam data record for complete specifics of loads, conditions and beam characteristics which may include analysis of:

    Reactions, live load reactions, and possible uplift. 

    Maximum moment, shear, and reduced shear.

    Total beam weight and beam weight per foot.

    Total load, live load, and dead load deflections.

    Suggested camber for simple span glu-lams.

    Minimum required bearing area for both reactions.

    Base values, adjustment factors, and the adjusted Fb, Fv, E, Fc values.

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