LVL beam Cost Calculator (2024)

 Are you in the midst of planning a construction project and wondering about the costs associated with installing LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber) beams?

Look no further; we’ve got you covered. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of LVL beams and provide you with a detailed breakdown of how much it costs to install them, the price per foot, and the differences in prices for various types of beams.

Additionally, we’ll include a handy table for quick reference.

So, let’s dive right in!

Understanding LVL Beams

What Are LVL Beams?

LVL beams are a popular choice in the construction industry for their structural strength and versatility. They are constructed by layering thin wood veneers together with adhesives, creating a composite material that is both strong and stable. LVL beams are commonly used in load-bearing applications, making them a key component in many construction projects.

Types of LVL Beams

Before we get into the costs, it’s essential to understand that there are various types of LVL beams available, each designed for specific purposes. These include:

Standard LVL Beams: These are the most common type and are suitable for general construction purposes.

Microlam LVL Beams: These beams are known for their superior strength and are often used in heavy load-bearing situations.

LVL Flanges with Plywood Core: These beams are designed for applications where the edges will be exposed, offering an aesthetically pleasing finish.

Calculating the Cost of Installing LVL Beams

When determining the cost of installing LVL beams for your project, several factors come into play. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to consider:

1. Beam Length

The longer the beam, the higloaher the cost. Measure the span where you intend to install the LVL beam to determine the required length.

2. Beam Type

As mentioned earlier, the type of LVL beam you choose will impact the cost. Microlam beams, for example, are generally more expensive than standard LVL beams due to their enhanced strength.

3. Labor Costs

Don’t forget to factor in the labor costs, which can vary depending on your location and the complexity of the installation.

4. Additional Materials

Consider any additional materials needed for installation, such as brackets, hangers, and fasteners.

5. Engineering and Permits

Depending on your local building codes and regulations, you may need engineering services and permits, which will add to the overall cost.

6. Installation Method

The method of installation can also impact the cost. Consult with your contractor to determine the most cost-effective approach.

LVL Beam Cost per Foot

To give you a rough estimate, the cost of LVL beams typically ranges from $3 to $12 per linear foot, depending on the factors mentioned above. Keep in mind that these prices can fluctuate due to market conditions and location.

Installation Cost

The cost to install double LVL load-bearing beams typically falls within the range of $1,000 to $2,500. However, the average installation cost hovers around $1,650, with prices varying from as low as $800 to a maximum of $6,000.

Understanding the Breakdown

LVL beams offer a spectrum of sizes and installation options, each influencing the overall cost. Let’s dissect the factors:

Size Matters: The dimensions of your LVL beam significantly impact pricing, with larger beams commanding higher costs.

Installation Considerations: Installation costs for standard-sized beams (1.75 by 7.25 to 11.25 inches) range from $47 to $188. Remember, project specifics and additional work may influence these costs.

Spanning the Gap: Longer spans require beefier beams. LVL beams can span up to 60 feet, with costs ranging from $3 to $11 per linear foot, depending on the span length.

DIY or Not? Exploring Your Options

While LVL beams offer DIY potential, caution is advised. While materials alone may cost between $3 to $12 per linear foot, the intricacies of installation, structural considerations, and safety precautions warrant professional oversight. Attempting a solo installation may lead to costly mistakes or compromise structural integrity.

Price Differences for Various Types of Beams

Let’s take a closer look at the price differences between various types of LVL beams:

Standard LVL Beams: These are the most budget-friendly option, with prices starting at around $3 per linear foot.

Microlam LVL Beams: Due to their enhanced strength, Microlam beams are pricier, starting at approximately $5 per linear foot.

LVL Flanges with Plywood Core: These beams, known for their aesthetic appeal, typically start at $6 per linear foot.

LVL Beam Cost Calculator

To make it even easier for you to estimate the cost of LVL beams for your project, we’ve created a handy LVL beam cost calculator. Simply input your project’s specifications, and it will provide you with an estimated cost based on the factors we’ve discussed.

With this calculator, you can get a more accurate estimate tailored to your specific project.

Estimated Cost:

Tips to Save Money on LVL Beam Costs
When it comes to your construction budget, every dollar saved counts. Here are some savvy tips to curb LVL beam costs without compromising quality:

Negotiate Bulk Discounts

Engage with your local lumber yard to unlock bulk pricing discounts. Bulk purchases often yield significant savings, making it a win-win for your project’s bottom line.

Tap into Professional Networks

Forge alliances with local general contractors who can leverage their professional connections to secure wholesale prices on LVL beams. Collaborating with industry insiders can unlock exclusive deals and substantial cost savings.

Time Your Project Wisely

Timing is everything in the world of construction. Consider extending the timeline of your project to capitalize on fluctuations in lumber prices. By monitoring market trends and strategic timing, you can snag LVL beams at lower price points.

Shop Around

Don’t settle for the first offer you encounter. Compare prices from at least three retailers and contractor estimates before committing. This due diligence ensures you’re getting the best value for your investment.

Beat the Seasonal Rush

Summer is peak season for home construction, driving up demand and prices. Plan your project during off-peak seasons to avoid inflated costs associated with high-demand periods.

Purchase with Precision

Avoid excess spending by purchasing only the necessary quantity of LVL beams in the correct size. By adhering to precise measurements and project requirements, you minimize waste and maximize cost efficiency.


Is LVL More Cost-Effective than Steel?

While LVL beams offer superior strength and durability compared to traditional wood, they can also be a budget-friendly alternative to steel and concrete beams. However, consulting with a professional contractor and structural engineer is crucial to ensure compliance with building codes and project suitability.

What’s the Price Tag for a 20-foot LVL Beam?

For materials alone, expect to pay between $6 and $11 per linear foot for a 20-foot LVL beam. Including installation, costs can reach up to $2,500, contingent upon project complexity. Additional expenses may arise for specialized inspections or related project components.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of LVL Beams

LVL beams boast exceptional strength-to-weight ratios, affordability, and resistance to common wood issues like shrinking and warping. However, they may be susceptible to faster decay if not stored properly. While LVL offers versatility, it may require staining or painting to enhance aesthetic appeal.

Drilling Into LVL Beams: What You Need to Know

Before embarking on any drilling endeavors, seek guidance from an engineer or architect. Generally, vertical drilling through LVL beams should be avoided unless the beam width exceeds 3.5 inches. Improper drilling can compromise structural integrity and lead to long-term issues.

Finding the Perfect LVL Beam Size for Your Span

LVL beams support spans of up to 60 feet, with sizes varying based on span length. Consulting with a structural engineer ensures the selection of an appropriate LVL beam size tailored to your project’s specific requirements.

In Conclusion

When it comes to understanding the costs associated with LVL beams, it’s essential to consider factors such as beam length, type, labor, additional materials, permits, and installation method. By using our LVL beam cost calculator, you can quickly estimate the expenses for your construction project, helping you make informed decisions.

Estimated Cost:

If you’re planning a construction project that involves LVL beams, make sure to use this guide as your go-to resource. With the right information at your fingertips, you’ll be well-prepared to manage your budget and ensure a successful project.

In the world of construction, every detail matters, and understanding the cost of LVL beams is a significant step in the right direction. Whether you’re building a new home, adding an extension, or tackling a renovation, LVL beams play a crucial role in providing structural support.

So, the next time you’re faced with the question, “How much does it cost to install a LVL beam?” you’ll have the answers you need to make well-informed choices for your construction project.


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