2) Open ConstructionCalc ProBeam from Microsoft Excel: File Open. 3) Part 1 General Input. Here is a screenshot of Part 1 input.

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1 Example Deck Beam Design Using ConstructionCalc ProBeam Software Note: The following example assumes you are a beginner. You should expect this to go slowly at first. However, with a little practice, getting solutions with ConstructionCalc is about a one minute job. Awesome. 1) General. This member is deck beam A which has an overhang (cantilever). If you just completed the joist example, you ll note very few inputs change for the design of this beam. Cool. 2) Open ConstructionCalc ProBeam from Microsoft Excel: File Open. 3) Part 1 General Input. Here is a screenshot of Part 1 input.

2 a) General. With all ConstructionCalc programs you can type in a name of the member you re designing, job name, date, etc. in the three cells at the top. Also, you can type in your company name at the very top of the sheet. b) Span: Main span is the beam s horizontal distance from bearing wall to centerline of post, in our case, The program doesn t allow feet and inches input, so we convert this to Note: only enter numbers, no symbols, spaces, or units the program does that for you. Cool tip. You could do the feet-inches conversion right in the cell without reaching for a calculator. In the Main Span input cell simply enter =18+3/12 hit tab and presto, is displayed. The equals sign tells Excel you re entering an equation and it then does the math. You can do this in any input cell in this or any other ConstructionCalc program. Very cool. c) Maximum Allowed Deflection: This is the amount of deflection (sag) we re willing to allow for the beam s main span (we ll get to the cantilever in a moment. See red triangle note for more). Let s use the default values of L/360 for live load deflection and L/240 for total deflection. d) Cantilever Exists? Yes, the 4-8 overhang. e) Right Cantilever, Cr: This is the joist s overhang horizontal distance, 4.67 (Always use decimal feet, not feet and inches. You could enter =4+8/12 and have Excel do the math.) It doesn t matter whether the cantilever is actually on the right or left, the program always assumes it is on the right. f) Cantilever Deflection: This is the amount of deflection (sag) we re willing to allow at the cantilever end of the beam. Let s use the default values of L/360 for live load deflection and L/240 for total deflection. If we wanted to allow less deflection there, we would input higher values such as L/600 and L/480 respectively. g) Pitch if Sloped: Our beam is horizontal, so No. h) Load Duration: Since we re designing a deck beam which sees its worst live loading from people (as opposed to snow or temporary construction loads), we select Ten Years (Live). i) Add Self-Weight? This beam s self weight will not be included in any uniform dead load we input later, we need to add it now, so Yes. j) Loads Other Than Uniform Loads? The only load this beam will feel will be the live load from people. There won t be any point loads, wedge loads, or other odd loading, so we select No. 4) Part 2 Loads Input. Here is the only load we need. Note, unused loads can be hidden via the Hide / Show Loads dropdown at the top of screen. a) Uniform Loads Over the Full Length of Member: Our beam is designed assuming live and dead load over its entire length, thus this section is the one to use.

3 i) Live Load: Check the red popup note under Live, psf and you ll see Residential balcony 60 psf. We could probably get away with 40 psf as listed under Residential floor, deck, and storage, but I always use 60 psf if the deck or balcony is over 3 or 4 feet above ground level. ii) Dead Load: Dead load for a wood deck without ceiling is about 10 psf. See the popup note under Dead, psf. This includes the weight of the joist and the decking material, but no insulation or gyp ceiling, and it doesn t include the weight of the beam itself, which is why we selected Yes to Add Self-Weight, above. iii) Additional plf Unif Dead Load: There is a railing around the deck which we previously estimated at 15 pounds per lineal foot. This beam carries that entire load, so we add it here. iv) Snow Load: Snow load is a type of live load. It is possible, if this deck were in heavy snow country, that snow could be more than our 60 psf live load. If this were the case, we d input that snow load instead of our 60 in the same row. But our example is in light snow area and the weight of people will control our design, so no snow load. v) Tributary width: This is the width perpendicular to our member from which load is applied. Our beam carries half the main span of the deck joists plus the joist s entire cantilever span, plus the weight of the railing. I dislike calculators. Because we re using a ConstructionCalc program, we can do this math right in the trib width cell. Here it is: =10.75/ Try it yourself, always start an equation with an equals sign. Certainly you could have also reached for your calculator, punched in these same numbers then typed your answer in the trib width cell, but what a bother. b) A More Correct Load Computing Method: The most correct way of entering this beam s load is to get the reactions from the previous joist design and input them, like so: The reactions from the joist were 1094 lbs and 221 lbs for live and dead respectively from Reaction 2, Maximums. However, the joists were spaced 2 apart, so to apply a pounds per lineal foot (plf) load we have to divide these reactions by 2, which equals 547 plf and plf as input above. You will note the Total Uniform Loads are greater using this method than using the tributary width method above (657.5 plf vs. 599 plf Combined Total Uniform Load a 10% difference roughly). This is because the joists are continuous over this beam a structural concept that is beyond this example. Suffice to say, if you really want to be correct in applying loads to beams, girders, posts, and footings, you have to calculate the members bringing their load first, then apply those reactions as loads to the supporting members. However, most engineers and designers cheat and use the simpler tributary area method which still yields decent results, though not conservative.

4 c) Done. We ll finish this example using the tributary method loads from 4a above. Click on Calculate Now and let s check our results. 5) Check the span and loading: First, we want to make sure our spans and loading were input correctly, so at the upper right of the screen is a graphic showing both. You can see the main span, cantilever, and uniform loads over entire length. Yep, it s right. a) Part 3 - Allowable Solutions: This section shows all the types and sizes of members that will work. b) Because this is an exterior application, our preference is a pressure treated hem fir beam. Right off the bat we see no 4x s work, so we go to 5x and larger. Select Hem-Fir No. 1 from the dropdowns. Whoa those are large timbers. Let s keep looking. c) What about a glu-lam? We ll want a grade that can be treated with preservative, so I selected a HF/HF. You should absolutely check with your local lumber yard to see what they carry before making your final choice. They may have pressure treated in stock, or you may have to treat your own beam with preservative. At any rate, we see that a 5x15 or 6.75x13.5 will work, among others. d) How about a steel beam? For this application, a steel beam might not be a bad choice.

5 There are lots of choices in tubes or wide-flange shapes. I d probably go with a W12x14 (12 tall and 14 lbs per foot) a very efficient choice. Note that I chose to include web stiffeners always a good idea for heavily loaded beams and for cantilever beams. 6) Custom Member: What if we didn t want to use any of the above, but wanted to use Wolmanized PSL instead? You ll note it is not shown in any of the acceptable solutions in Part 3. But you can design any wood beam, joists, or rafter with ConstructionCalc ProBeam. Here s how: c b f d e a a) In Part 4, under Final Member, select Custom Beam from the dropdown. The Custom Member section automatically unhides directly above. In this section, you can input any wood, steel, aluminum, or other type of square or rectangular member. The trick is knowing that member s allowable stresses. Allowable stresses are published by certain associations and are not easy to come by unless you are an engineer. However, we ve included some common materials and their stresses, which can be accessed in the Paste Typ. Values dropdown. b) Select Wolmanized PSL, Level 2 from the Paste Typ Values dropdown. Now allowable Bending Strength, Shear Strength, Perpendicular Comp. Strength, and Modulus of Elasticity are automatically inserted for you. If you were designing a custom member that wasn t included in the Typ Values, you d have to supply these values yourself (from published sources). c) Now input the size you want. We ll try a 7x14. Recall that self weight was not included in the uniform dead load above, so it must be added. Fortunately it is a Typical Value and is automatically pasted in for us. d) Now check our Custom Member Results. We see that our selection fails, but in deflection only (bending and shear strength are fine), and further only by 2.6%. This means our Wolmanized PSL is plenty strong, but under full load may have a tiny bit more deflection than we specified in Part 1. Let s investigate more.

6 e) To get the full scoop on our member we go back to Beam Library and select Choose from All Sizes of Beam Type. This allows our failing PSL to be shown in Final Member Results and Final Member Additional Information. f) Now we confirm that the only (very minor) problem is Deflection. We can also check bearing length, actual deflection, and other items. I wouldn t hesitate to go with this choice. 7) Part 4 - Final Selection. We could stop at this point knowing any of the above works, but let s continue and see how efficient our glu-lam is. (You can rehide the Custom Member section via the Miscellaneous dropdown at the top of screen) a) Final Member: Let s check the 5x15. Select Glued Laminated. b) Beam Library: We want to choose from members that calc (meet code). Note, this dropdown allows us to choose any member whether it calcs or not. This can be useful at times to see how close or far a particular member comes to making it. c) Final Size: Select 5x15 from the dropdown. When you do, it is shown in large font to the right. d) Min. Bearing Lengths: This shows that the left end (non-cantilever) of our glulam could bear on a double stud within the wall (3 is greater than 2.23, so okay) and at the right support (post) the minimum bearing length is 3.56 (6x6 would work). Note this does not size the post or check the double stud itself! It only says how much of our glulam must be included for bearing. You could easily calculate the post, double stud, and footing for that matter, with other ConstructionCalc programs. e) Bracing / Blocking Req d For Stability. This red note appears when you re designing a cantilever. It is just a reminder that cantilevers have different stresses than non-cantilevers and blocking is particularly important with them. f) Final Member Results: this section shows by how much the selected member calcs for the four code-required design criteria. Usually, I just look at the bold sentence that says in our case: This member makes it by 23.9%. A good safe design. g) Pressure Treated: Nothing in the printout indicates pressure treatment is included in the design, and it is not. Wood preservative by itself does not diminish the strength of sawn wood no worry there. However, in the pressure treatment process, small perforations are sometimes made

7 to enhance absorption of chemicals. These can diminish strength up to 15%. Our 5x15 is 24% overdesigned, so even if perforated pressure treated material is used, we re still okay. h) Reactions. This section shows reactions, which are the downward forces brought by our Final Member to the members on which it bears the wall at the left and the post at the right. Remember, with ProBeam the cantilever end is always on the right. Note that Maximum and Minimum reactions are shown. Sometimes with cantilevers, Minimums will be negative, indicating uplift and the need for holdown strapping. Our minimum is positive 791 lbs, so no uplift or strapping is needed. When we get around to designing the post and footing, we could use the reactions shown since they will be the true load. i) Unbalanced Live Load Checked: ConstructionCalc ProBeam automatically checks live load on the cantilever only, live load on the main span only, and live load on both. Not all software does this, but we do because it is the only correct and safe way to analyze a cantilever. All the results shown reflect the worst case balanced or unbalanced loads so you don t have to worry about it. j) Final Member Additional Information. This section shows a bunch of extra information that may or may not be of interest to you. k) Printout. You may want to print this design. Because this ConstructionCalc product is nothing more than a fancy Excel spreadsheet, you have lots of printing options via File, Page Setup. Also, you can hide various parts of the display via the ConstructionCalc Hide / Show Loads and Miscellaneous dropdowns at the top of the page.

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