Price range – £200 to £950
Average Cost – £575
Best/Cheapest price – £200
If you are a homeowner planning to build a home or are new to the construction industry, then knowing your steel will play a vital role in the quality of home structures you build. In any home skeletal structure of concrete and metal beams play a very critical role.
This post will help you explore what RSJ beams are, their purpose, and estimated costs. So, let us dive right in to learn all you need to know about RSJ beams.
What are RSJ Beams?
An RSJ beam is also referred to as a “Rolled Steel Joist” and is a length of steel bar used in your home or buildings. The purpose is to use a steel beam to replace any load-bearing wall. An RSJ beam will have a specific shape or profile to ensure maximum load-bearing capacity with a minimum quantity of steel.
Why are RSJ Beams Important?
The primary use of RSJ beams is to support the ceilings and other load-bearing structures. They are essential to provide structural support for new constructions or extensions. For example, you are extending a dining room or kitchen and wish to get rid of a load boarding wall. In that case, RSJ Beam is the right alternative as it can provide the same support as the wall did.
However, you will have to consider your budget and the project’s need to determine the exact skeletal steelwork of RSJ beams. There are quite a few options available in the market for you to choose from.
Types of RSJ Beams
Speaking about options about which type of RSJ beams may be a good alternative for you, here are four mainstream RSJ beams from which you can select. However, this will depend on the scope of your project and the extent of load you wish the RSJ beams to bear.
- C-Section Beams
The alternate name for C-Section beams is “channel beams’. Another way to identify these is that they appear like an upside-down U when you look at them.
- H Beams
H Beams are similar to I Beams, but they come in broader shapes and are more suitable if you need longer lengths RSJ Beams.
- I Beams
RSJ beams are most commonly referred to as “I Beams” as it is the standard shape available in the market. The I Beams earned this name because they will appear like an alphabet “I” and will have a flange at their top and bottom.
- T Beams
Yes, you guessed it right, these RSJ Beams appear like the letter “T”, which means there is no bottom flange on this one. T beams are a cheaper option, though that comes with shortcomings, i.e., they are not as strong as I or H Beams. They are also known as “flange beams.”
You can cut RSJ beams to any size as per your need; no matter the size RSJs can support almost any variety of weight. However, your professional will be able to calculate the exact type of RSJ beam that will be most suitable to support your building’s structure.
Factors That May Affect the RSJ Beam Cost
Before getting into the costing, here are some crucial factors that may affect your RSJ Beams’ expense.
- Size of the Beams You Require
The cost of your RSJ beams will depend on the length, thickness, and weight you want the beam to support. The heavier the weight, the thicker your beams should be.
While you remove any load-bearing walls, you must remember that you will also be eliminating all connections concealed within. These include electrical, plumbing, power sockets, radiators, gas, and lighting fixtures. Therefore, you will need to hire technicians such as plumbers and electricians to carry out their respective tasks. This will come at an additional cost other than what you will pay for the beams.
- Knocking down the Walls
In case of an extension project that requires the installation of RSJ beams, you will first have to knock down the relevant wall/s. This will come with a labour cost and builders are going to charge you extra. Ask your builders and factor it into the financial planning of your extension project.
- Accessibility Counts
How accessible are your room and home? This will affect your RSJ beams’ cost as moving them even a small distance can be challenging and builders will charge you based on how complex the job is.
- Finishing the Room Can Help you Save
If you wish to save money on your RSJ’s cost, then giving the room a finishing touch by yourself is an option. Why not take it as a DIY challenge and reduce the overall cost by doing the plastering and painting. This way you will only have to pay the RSJ Beams price and installation cost to the builder and/or structural engineer.
- Hiring a Skip
Whether you undergo an extension project or you’re building a new home, these projects will create a lot of waste. This is especially true when you’re removing any load-bearing walls because there will be a lot of heavy concrete chunks you will need to throw away.
For this, you will have to hire a skip in order to dispose of all the waste. So, do not forget to add in the skip hire cost when budgeting your RSJ beam installation or replacement project.
How Much Do RSJ Beams Cost
Now the big question is the dent an RSJ Beams installation will leave in your bank account. Well, let us dissect the cost of RSJ beams. However, these are just the estimated costs related to different tasks that may require the installation of an RSJ beam with different lengths.
In case you wish to use an RSJ beam for an external single doorway, you will require an RSJ with a 1m length. This will cost you between £200 and £300 and the labour cost may cost you up £500. On the other hand, for an external window opening, you will need a 2m long RSJ costing you £350 roughly with an additional labour cost of up to £600.
For Bifold doors, a 3m long RSJ will do with an estimated cost of up to £400, and labour may charge you anything from £650 to £700. In case of a house extension activity, you will require RSJs with an average length of 4m costing £700 with a labour cost of up to £900.
In case you are considering a loft conversion, you will require a 5m long RSJ beam that costs around £700. For this type of activity, you can expect the labour to charge you between £850 and £900.
Once again you must remember that the labour charges may vary by your location and builders. For the latter, you must conduct some research and pick a well-reputed builder offering you the best price. For example, All South-East and London areas will price RSJ beams installation higher the anywhere else.
Additionally, your structural engineer will calculate the exact RSJ beams’ shape and size, so that will be the ultimate element that will determine the cost of your entire activity.
Things to Consider When Dealing with RSJ Beams
Your builder and structural engineers will take over all responsibilities of getting the RSJ beams and putting them in place. However, as a commercial property owner or a landlord, it is your responsibility to keep a check on few things such as
- Choosing a Highly Reputable/Qualified Builder
You must always make sure that your home or building’s structural integrity stands any test of weight or time. Therefore, you must do your due diligence and only hire a well-reputed and experienced builder in your area.
Trying to save money on installation may end up costing you a lot more if an inappropriate installation compromises the structural integrity of the building. Plus, it is a dangerous job; therefore, be wary of hiring shady builders.
- Hire a Structural Engineer
In order to ensure that the builders are doing the right job, you must always hire a structural engineer. It will be their job to ensure that the RSJ beam used is appropriate for the load it will bear. While it may cost you between £250 and £900 to hire a structural engineer, it will prevent any risk of damage to your home or building in the long run.
- Get an Approval from the Council or Building Regulations
To make any structural alteration to your home or building, you will need approval from the building regulations. You can ask the structural engineer to provide necessary plans and submit them to the local authority or council. Click here to learn about the building regulations approvals in the UK.
- Party Wall Agreements are a Must
A Party wall is when your RSJ beam will be resting with a neighbour’s wall. In this case, you will need to sign a party wall agreement with the affected neighbour/s. This can help prevent any future disputes and possibly any legal costs.
- An Alternate Accommodation
If you are going through a considering extension activity, the builders may need you to vacate the property for health and safety reasons. Therefore, think about the cost of an alternate accommodation such as a hotel or staying with a family or friend for a couple of days.
If you are a commercial property owner or landlord thinking about extending a specific section of the building, or about to start new construction, RSJ beams ensure a strong structural infrastructure. However, after reading this post you can make a well-informed decision and consider all aspects to choose an option that suits your needs as well as budget.