Types Of Steel Beams Used For Residential Construction maigne|May 28, 2019

Types of Steel Beams used for Residential Construction

What are the types of steel beams used for residential construction?

  1. W-beam
  2. H-beam
  3. I-beam
  4. T-section Beam
  5. L-section Beam
  6. Channel Beams

Steel has become one of the most important building resources, becoming the chief material to be used for various residential, commercial, and industrial construction projects. It is also one of the most abundant resources around, with steel products in the Philippines a good example of steel resources being sold in large amounts.

The abundance of steel makes it more accessible for other types of construction projects that initially used materials such as wood. This is more evident in residential projects, which are usually smaller projects that have initially used wooden materials as their main resource.

Lately, more residential projects have become bigger in scope and size, as evidenced by the rising amount of condominium projects being constructed across different part of the world. These bigger projects require the use of strong steel beams to support the structure and withstand the elements. During the construction of these residential projects, it is important to determine which type of steel beams should be used for specific sections. This is also why it is equally important to know more about the different type of beams used in residential construction projects.


Also known as the Wide Flange Beam, the W-beam is one of the most commonly used types of steel beams in residential construction projects. This type of steel beam is commonly used thanks to its lighter weight, which is perfect for smaller residential projects, as heavier steel can compromise structural integrity when used alongside light materials.

W-beams can also be easily welded, riveted and bolted, which can help improve the speed and efficiency when completing a construction project. While the standard I-beam is still the bigger and more durable option for bigger projects, the W-beam is a smaller and more accessible version that allows steel to be integrated into residential projects seamlessly.


H Beam

Longer and heavier than I-beams and W-beams, the H-beam is best suited for larger residential projects such as the construction of high-rise condominiums. These large buildings require strong foundations in order to have optimal structural integrity, making the H-beam the best option, as one large individual pile is able to sustain around 1,000 tons of weight. With more high-rise construction projects being undertaken across different parts of the world, H-beams remain at high demand.


One of the most common types of steel beams, the I-beam has been used in a wide variety of construction projects, becoming an integral part of a building’s support structure. The beams are also common steel products in the Philippines, where the demand is high. Unlike the H-beam and the W-beam, the I-beam has tapered flanges. The I-beam is commonly mistaken with the H-beam, as both have a similar shape and usage. While most common in industrial projects, I-beams have also become abundant in residential projects, as the growing urban landscape requires taller and stronger structures that can withstand a variety of conditions.

T-section Beam

T Section Beam

Commonly used as a load bearing section, the T-section beam is used as an interlinking point and a support base between wood or steel beams. A common sight in any residential project, these beams allow multiple sections of I or W-beams to be installed in a sizeable area without compromising structural integrity, allowing multi-level projects to be built. Rivets and bolts are used to link beams together, providing a sturdy base that can support the surrounding base structures. Most T-section beams are situated on top of steel pillars and beams as well, providing a balanced steel internal structure.

L-section Beam

Also known as angle beams, L-section beams are shaped in a 90-degree angle, and can have legs with unequal lengths, thus giving it its distinct L-shape. This beam is known for its exceptional strength to weight ratio, making it an ideal steel beam to use in residential construction projects. These beams are also used in corners of condominiums and housing, which improves the durability in one of the most crucial parts of a residential building. L-shaped beams can also be used to reinforce other steel beams as well, providing a somewhat clamp-like structure that will help prevent a large steel beam from stress and breakage.

Channel Beams

One of the steel beams regularly used in residential construction, C-shaped or channel beams are known for their distinct cross-section. Cost-effective and light, these beams are great material for residential projects, as they are commonly used for lighter loads. This type of steel beams is also used as a cost-efficient way to cover pillars and panels as well.

Key Takeaway

As the world continues its drive towards urbanization, the number of residential projects will continue to rise. As construction projects become bigger and more elaborate, it is important to ensure that these residential structures are using the right steel beams for the best structural integrity. With wood no longer a viable primary material for larger projects, the use of steel beams will allow for more ambitious residential projects.