Download PDF version (296.5k) Log In or Register to view the full article as a PDF document.
As a design-builder specializing in custom waterfront homes and challenging renovations, I encounter a lot of unusual structural problems. When my design involves long spans or heavy loads that exceed the capacity of ordinary sawn lumber, I turn to manufactured products like steel beams, engineered timbers, wood I-joists, and floor trusses. Steel, trusses, and engineered wood products expand my range of design options. But because I also build all my own designs, getting the job done on schedule and making a profit are important concerns. Although steel is light, strong, and economical, as a builder I often prefer to use engineered lumber because it speeds up and simplifies the framing. Whenever we're