How Much Does It Cost to Install Beams?

Normal range: $1,277 - $4,691

While most steel beam installations cost an average of $2,984, installing steel beams can range between $1,277 and $4,691.

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Allie Ogletree
Written by Allie Ogletree
Reviewed by Robert Tschudi
Updated September 14, 2022
Renovated loft
Photo: Christian Hillebrand / Adobe Stock

Upgrading your home’s infrastructure is a huge investment in both time and money, but being prepared can make all of the difference. When it comes to installing steel beams, you need to factor in things like the cost of the beams, installation costs, and add-ons like other support beams or additional renovations. All of these will help you estimate how much your unique project will run you.

See the price range for steel beams in

your area
How we get this data
Normal range for U.S.
$1,277 - $4,691
  • Average
  • $2,984
  • Low end
  • $300
  • high end
  • $8,200
LOWHIGH

How Much Does It Cost to Install Steel Beams per Foot?

The total cost to install steel beams ranges from $100 to $400 per foot. A large portion of that cost goes into the customization and installation of each beam.

Steel Beam Prices per Pound

Looking at the weight of the beams can also help you calculate the cost of your project. On average, steel beams fall between $0.90 and $1.60 per pound. However, it’s generally easier to calculate the price of steel beams based on the cost per pound, as different types of steel beams may weigh more than other types. 

For example, your typical steel I-beam will weigh somewhere between 6 to 12 pounds per foot, which is approximately $6 to $20, but that doesn’t mean that all steel beams are similar in weight. Some beams can weigh over 50 pounds per foot, especially if they’re used for industrial-based construction. For this reason, it is best to calculate the costs of a steel beam by looking at the height and weight compared to the number of feet.

What Kind of Steel Beam Project Can I Complete With My Budget?

Ready to get started on your steel beam project but aren’t sure how much you’ll spend? Though the average cost to install steel beams is approximately $3,000, you might be surprised by what you can and can’t do with your price range.

$500 to $3,000

If you’re hoping to add some curb appeal or minor stylistic accentuations to your home, this price range will do the job. You can create a charming veranda on your patio, a fenced-in area, furniture, or additional reinforcement to a stairwell with this budget.

$3,000 to $5,000

This budget will likely do the job for moderate beam installations. This includes, but is not limited to, the costs of basement beam installations or replacements and ceiling support beams. Keep in mind that additional surprise expenses may pop up that can lead to you paying more when working on projects like this.

$5,000 to $10,000

Speaking of additional expenses, if you need to factor in minor temporary supports or cable rewiring, expect to spend a couple of grand more on the total project, putting you in this budget range.

$10,000 to $20,000

For the higher end of the price range, you can factor in the cost to replace prime support sections of the house, such as the main beam. This beam is key to holding up your house and requires more temporary support and labor than other projects.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Steel Beams Yourself?

Since steel beams need to be sized and installed professionally, you cannot put in steel beams yourself. Not only do you need a local structural engineer to size and cut the beams, but you also need a professional to ensure that the design layout is safe for placing beams. An engineer will inspect the area and make sure that it passes inspections.

“Because of their size and weight, steel beams are not only unwieldy, they can be quite dangerous,” says Bob Tschudi, Angi Expert Review Board member and general contractor in Raleigh, NC. “We clear the site to only essential workers from the time the beam is hoisted from the delivery truck until it is safely secured.”

If you still want to get your hands dirty with some DIY fun, consider cleaning up the area before the professional comes to save on time, making a solid plan to present to the contractors, or painting and fixing the wallpaper in your home after the project is complete. All of these can help the project run more smoothly and hopefully save you a bit of time and money.

“For projects where additional ground-level support is needed, such as footings and piers, homeowners can save money by digging out small footings,” Tschudi says. “Since most piers are built with concrete and cinder blocks, the adventurous DIYer can even tackle this.”

Steel Beams Cost Breakdown

As mentioned previously, it costs approximately $100 to $400 per foot to install steel beams. This estimate includes both materials and labor, but keep in mind that you may need additional services that can increase this value noticeably.

Additional expenses include:

ServiceCost
Removing load-bearing walls$4,000 – $10,000
Basement support beam installation$1,270 – $4,950
Basement support beam replacement $6,500 – $25,000
Concrete footings and piers$300 – $750 each
Steel support columns$50 – $100
Installing a new ceiling$1,160
Rewiring electrical wires$6 – $10 per square foot
Relocating HVAC system$800 – $1,100
Rerouting gas lines$120 – $1,350
Design layout$0.40 – $3 per square foot

As you can see, though the cost of steel beams is pretty straightforward, many other expenses can make your project costly. That’s why it’s a good idea to speak with a local general contractor who can help you know exactly what your project and expenses might entail.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Beams by Type?

Compared to other types of beams, steel beams may be more costly. However, their added stability and durability may make them worth the price.

Steel I-Beams

Steel I-beams cost between $6 and $20 per foot on average before shipping and installation. They are one of the most popular beams used in the construction industry. These beams are exactly as they sound; the main beam is vertical and has two horizontal flanges that give the beams their trademark “I” shape.

Steel H-Beams

Steel H-beams are very similar to steel I-beams, only they’re heavier and can support more weight, thus making them more popular for commercial and industrial buildings. Three pieces of metal are beveled together to create the ‘H’ shape. For this reason, H-beams are more expensive, at $11 to $16 per foot.

Wood Beams

Wood beams used to be the go-to structural support beams in homes. Today, they are mainly used for aesthetics. These beams are easier to customize and are therefore more affordable than steel beams, ranging from $5 to $30 per foot. However, less common types of wood may be more expensive and cost as much as $90 per foot

This type of beam is less popular because there is a risk of termites, and the beams require more support than other options due to their weight and decreased weight-bearing properties.

Laminated Veneer Lumber Beams

Also known as LVL beams, laminated veneer lumber beams are an affordable alternative to steel and wood beams, coming in between $3 and $12 per foot. These engineered beams are crafted from wood, glue, and laminates. They’re often cheaper, smaller, and more lightweight than steel beams but heavier and more expensive than traditional wood beams.

Glulam Beams

Another type of engineered beam is the Glulam beam. Like LVL beams, Glulam beams are made from wood laminate. These beams range between $6 and $30 per foot, and though they are easier to install, they’re not as durable as steel I-beams.

What Factors Influence the Cost to Install Steel Beams?

Loft with steel beam
Photo: victor zastol'skiy / Adobe Stock

As with any home renovation project, many factors can influence your total cost for installing steel beams. 

Below are the most common things you need to factor in that can change your total cost:

  • Weight and length of the steel beams

  • Size of your property

  • Removal or reconfiguration of load-bearing walls

  • Whether or not your home requires additional support beams or columns

  • Electric, plumbing, HVAC and/or gas rerouting

  • Custom cuttings

Frequently Asked Questions

Installing steel beams requires a residential structural engineer. This is not a DIY project, as you will need a home remodeling pro near you to measure and cut the steel beams to your home’s configuration, and any mistakes can be very dangerous.

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