Ask any builder about the quality
of dimensional lumber these days
and you're likely to get an ear full.
Then mention current lumber
prices and you'll likely unleash real
excitement, plus a raft of questions
about alternative materials. Suddenly
those engineered members
look pretty attractive. Wood Ibeams,
in particular, have a number
of advantages over dimensional
lumber, not the least of which are
the energy advantages.
Wood I-beams intended for residential
use commonly come in four
sizes — 91/2, 117/8, 14, and 16
inches. These depths offer ample
room for insulation and ventilation
in floor and roof assemblies.
Getting enough ventilation in a
cathedral ceiling, for instance, has
always been a challenge with conventional
lumber rafters, but is
much easier with wood I-beams.