How To Measure for Deck Beams

A professional and licensed home contractor specializing in all areas of home improvement would never have to rely on guesswork when it comes to measuring deck beams. People in this profession can do this even with their eyes closed because of combined practical and theoretical experience. You can do the same by using the Beam Calculator at The following options are presented on that site while the summary is presented below. Keep in mind that although the Beam Calculator automatically calculates for you, you will have to fill in the blanks and answer the questions for it to come up with the correct results. You will also be asked to sign in and register to avail of this service.

Moving forward, here is the summary of how the Beam Calculator works.

1. Framing Calculator. You can start by calculating the distance between beams, the distance from the deck to your house, the joists to the beams, and the number of posts needed to support each beam. The rest is done for you after you finish filling in the numerical details.

2. Load Calculator. There will be a series of questions presented to you on the site suggested in the foregoing, to wit:

  • The positioning or attachment of the deck to your house.
  • The number of beams for the deck
  • Description of the area e.g. wooded or cleared
  • Condition of the deck e.g. exposed or hidden
  • Base loads measured as lbs per sq ft
  • Distance between house, deck, eaves, and joisting in inches

3. Joist Calculator. You are required to get familiar with the kinds of woods ideal for joisting so you can fill in the important details needed to calculate for this area. Questions begin with the type or specie of lumber, lumber number/grade type, what’s the weather like where you live, height/width/spacing of the joist, deflection limit, joist load and length measured in lbs per sq. ft. and in inches as needed.

4. Beam Calculator. Similar to what is asked to calculate the joist, you will have to fill in the necessary information about lumber types, lumber number/grade, humidity, deflection, the height/width of the beam, and the load and length values measured in lbs per sq. ft. and in inches.

5. Footing Calculator. Basically what’s needed for you to do here is to calculate the depth and width of the foundation needed to support the frame. You will have to choose a structure out of the four images presented and click on only one of the images to get to the answer.

6. Railing Calculator. Once you get to this category and complete the questionnaire, you will get a complete visual of your railing exactly how it’s supposed to look when combined with the deck beams. On this page, you will be asked to fill in the location of the railing, distances between posts, width/fraction/contact point of the balustrade, and the spacing in between the balustrades.

7. Stair Calculator. There are 18 questions on here which are divided into four categories for you to get the whole picture towards the end. First, General Framing; Second, Stringer Details; Third, Indoor Stairs Rough-In Opening; Fourth and Final, Matching Flared Stringer.

Eleven more tables are involved to complete calculating your deck beams but the rest, as with the foregoing means presented here, will simply ask you to fill them in and click “Calculate” so just be patient going through each one and visualize how utterly strong your structure will turn out once it’s completed.


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