How Much Do Steel Beams Cost?

Typical Range:

$1,293 - $4,715

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 102 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated September 20, 2022

Reviewed by Ezra Laniado, Expert Contributor.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Installing steel beams costs between $1,293 and $4,715 (including labor) for most homeowners, with an average cost of $3,004. The price varies and depends on the size and span of the brand beams and posts. Expect a higher project quote if you need to replace a load-bearing wall. Installing steel I-beams in your home is an excellent way to increase the strength of your structure while opening walls and supporting heavier building materials such as masonry. 

Although “steel I-beams are more common in commercial and industrial construction as they allow for large open areas and larger rooms needed for production, showrooms, or warehousing,” says Ezra Laniado, Angi Expert Review Board member and owner of Landmark Construction & Development Group, Inc., “they’ve grown increasingly popular in residential construction since large open floor plans become more popular.”

Average cost for steel beams is $3,050, ranging from $300 to $8,250

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National Average $3,004
Typical Range $1,293 - $4,715
Low End - High End $300 - $8,200

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 102 HomeAdvisor members.

Steel Beam Installation Cost Breakdown

Several factors affect the final cost for steel beam installation. Costs associated with the following items vary due to permit requirements, material pricing, and labor rates where you live. 

  • Material and delivery cost of the steel beam

  • Permit cost and requirements

  • Hiring a structural engineer to determine the project’s needs

  • Labor and materials for permanent steel beam support installation 

Other items you’re likely to encounter that affect the final project cost include the following. 

  • Demolition, disposal, and preparation for labor 

  • Temporary structural support labor and materials during the project

  • Rental cost of installation equipment (e.g., a crane) if necessary

  • Labor and material cost to conceal beam(s) and perform finish work

Cost FactorAverage Cost Range
Steel Beam$80 – $190
Permit$90 – $450
Structural Engineer$390 – $1,400
Material Delivery$100 – $370
Installation$656 – $2,342
Total Cost$1,316 – $4,752

Cost of Steel Beams per Foot

Installing steel beams costs $100 to $400 per foot. This includes labor and materials for the installation but not additional services, such as removing a wall.

Here are some of the additional costs you might encounter:

Since your project may or may not require these extra components, it’s a good idea to talk to a general contractor near you. They’ll provide you with project details and an estimate.

Steel I-Beams Price List by Length

Steel I-beam prices range from $6 to $20 per foot for materials only.

Steel I-Beam LengthPrice Range
10 feet$60 - $180
20 feet$120 - $360
30 feet$180 - $540
40 feet$240 - $720
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Steel Beam Cost per Pound

Steel beams cost between $0.90 and $1.60 per pound. I-beams typically weigh between 6 and 12 pounds per foot but can weigh up to 50 pounds or more. Heavier beams are common in industrial or commercial construction.

The main price determination for a steel I-beam is not its design or length but rather the height and weight per linear foot of the beam. An 8-by-17 I-beam is 8 inches high and weighs 17 pounds per linear foot. It will cost less than a 10-by-35 I-beam. 

You can purchase either beam to the necessary length. However, it’s important to note the differences and how the beam(s) will function in your overall design before deciding which will work best for your particular project.

Steel Structural Beam Prices vs. Other Materials

Linear-foot prices of steel beams are on par with other materials for use in structural support, except for aluminum I-beams, which are more costly than steel.

Type of BeamAverage Cost Range for Material Only (per Linear Foot)
Steel$6 - $20
Wood$5 - $30
Aluminum$13 - $30
LVL$3 - $12
FlitchTalk to a contractor or home builder for an estimate
Engineered Wood$3 – $40
Glulam$5 – $40

Wood I-Beam 

Most wood beams run from $5 to $30 per linear foot but could cost upwards of $90 per linear foot for rarer types of wood. Whereas they once were the main type of structural beam, homeowners nowadays often use wood beams as decoration.

Unlike standard, rectangular prism-shaped wood beams, I-beams made of wood will often require a material price quote. Find a ceiling contractor in your area to get an estimate for I-beam prices per foot.

Aluminum I-Beam 

Aluminum I-beams average between $13 and $30 per linear foot, though some styles run up to $140 or more. More expensive models are thicker and taller and are usually not found in residential construction.

LVL Beam 

LVL beams cost between $3 and $12 per linear foot for just the material or $50 to $200 per foot installed. LVL stands for laminated veneer lumber and is a type of engineered beam.

Flitch Beam 

Flitch beam prices vary, so you’ll have to talk to a contractor or home builder near you for an estimate. This type of beam has a steel interior sandwiched between the wood. The material costs less than steel, but installation is more difficult than traditional wood beams. Because of this, flitch beams are less prevalent in construction.

Engineered Beam

Engineered beams typically range from $3 to $40 per linear foot. The most common engineered materials are LVL or Glulam, which are both made of wood laminate. One advantage to engineered beams is that they take less time to install, but they don’t last as long as steel.

Glulam Beam

Glulam beams are engineered wood beams with prices ranging from $5 to $40 per linear foot. These structural beams consist of dimensional lumber laminated together with adhesive. They’re often used to span large areas and for aesthetic appeal.

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Steel Beam House Construction Costs

The use of steel structural support beams is typically in conjunction with other support structures. Listed below are other construction costs related to steel beam installation. 

Basement Support Beams

Expect to pay between $1,270 and $4,950 to install a basement support beam for the first time (such as during a new home construction). If you need to replace a basement beam, you could pay anywhere from $6,500 to $25,000, but less complex jobs won’t cost more than $10,000.

Steel Columns

Steel columns usually range from $50 to $100 for just the column. They’re often seen in basements as a permanent fixture but are sometimes in place for support (e.g., when removing a load-bearing wall).

Steel Girders

Steel girders are a type of structural beam and cost between $6 and $20 per foot, not including installation. While often considered the same thing as a steel beam, girders are typically larger than your average beam and provide horizontal support.

Support Beam Replacement

The average cost of replacing a support beam in a home’s living space or basement is $6,500 to $25,000 or more. Replacing a beam in a crawl space will likely cost between $1,500 and $4,000, and the average cost to repair or clean a crawl space is about $6,000. These beams are typically smaller and don’t bear as much weight, making them easier to replace. 

Note that because steel beams are so durable, you might never need to replace them. A properly installed beam can easily last 200 years or more. Other materials (such as wood) don’t last nearly as long. 

Replacing a Load-Bearing Wall With a Steel Beam

Replacing a load-bearing wall with a steel beam and a support structure to create an open-floor plan costs $4,000 to $10,000 on average and is often part of a large home remodeling project. Removing a load-bearing wall costs $1,200 to $3,000 for a single-story home. You’ll also need wall and ceiling finishing after the steel beam installation.

Types of Steel Beams

Steel structural beams are available in different shapes. They’re all considered I-beams, but they each get their name based on the design and which letter the shape resembles.

I-Beam

I-beams are the standard for structural support steel beams. They consist of two parallel pieces that sandwich a perpendicular piece between them to create a structural unit that’s often installed horizontally for load-bearing support. There are several other names for variations of I-beams. The most common variables are H-beams and S-beams. Standard I-beams can span up to 20 feet. 

H-Beam

H-beams are also called W-beams. They lack any sort of tapered flange at the top and base, thus resembling the letter "H" when laid on its side. H-beams are generally wider than I-beams and are much heavier. Because they’re stronger, H-beams can bear weight at longer lengths of up to 330 feet.

S-Beam

S-beams, also known as junior beams, are notable for their tapered flanges at the top and base, which supply greater strength at lighter densities. Ideally, this mix works well for smaller buildings where the structural support to the wall doesn’t need to be as strong. S-beams are usually available in lengths up to 100 feet.

DIY Steel Beam Installation vs. Hiring a Professional

Steel beams require professional sizing and installation. This is not a DIY project because you’re dealing with structural engineering. An engineer should size your beams and ensure that the placement is correct for both inspection and security purposes. Contact a residential structural engineer near you for a quote.

FAQs

How much does structural steel cost?

Current rates for structural steel are between $0.90 and $1.60 per pound. Steel prices are subject to the fluctuations of the market and worldwide demand. Supply and demand influence the cost of the material. When there is a lot of steel available and not many people use it, prices are low. When many projects require it all at once, the opposite is true.

How much does Better Header cost?

Better Header flitch plate header prices depend on the project. The New York-based company can provide estimates for jobs in their area.

How much does a Lally column cost?

A Lally column is at least $2,500. Prices depend on the workspace and type of existing beams. Lally columns are common in basements and provide structural support.

What are LiteSteel beam prices?

LiteSteel beam prices run from $5 to $20 per foot. These galvanized steel beams are lighter than traditional steel.

How much does a steel beam weigh?

The weight of a steel beam depends on its size and thickness. Steel beams can be cut to virtually any length and typically weigh between 6 and 12 pounds per linear foot. A 10-foot long I-beam weighing ten pounds per foot will weigh 100 pounds. Commercial building construction often uses larger steel structural beams that weigh over 50 pounds per linear foot.

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