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In last month's Practical Engineering column, we discussed how to trace load paths and translate roof, wall, and floor loads into pounds per lineal foot of supporting beam. With this information, you can then choose the right beam size and material to carry the load. In this article, we'll look at some more uniformload case studies, then compare the performance and cost of sawn lumber with several engineered-lumber products in meeting these different applications. Sample House The five applications and spans that I have selected as examples of beams and headers are arbitrary but common ones (see illustration). First, I worked out the uniform loads for each of the beams, following the procedure outlined in last month's article. If you