Graphical Construction Glossary >> Roofs and roofing. >> hanging beam

hanging beam
A beam that is on top of the members that it is supporting. Typically used in ceilings where a conventional beam would look unsightly or would reduce limited head height.

parts of a roof
Sketch of a roof showing some of the parts.

In the sketch above you can see an old method of hanging the ceiling joists from a timber beam sat inside the roof space.

  • The beam has to span between to walls. Typically the ceiling joists span the shorter distance so the h/beams can get quite deep so it would be terribly unsightly to have them inside the room as an ordinary beam.
  • They have to be packed up off the walls the same height as the ceiling joist is deep.
  • In a hip roof they commonly have to have a raking cut on the top so that they do not intrude into the roof plane,
  • In the sketch above I show the method of connecting the ceiling joists to the beam with short lengths of 50 x 50 timber nailed into position.
  • New specifications would call for timber plate connectors.
  • Typically and good practice is the method of alternating the fixings from side the side of the beam. This stops any tendency that the beam would have to lean over if the fixing were all on the same side.

This system is just about redundant now with the use of gang nail trusses. In other types of construction there are many suspended ceiling systems available.

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Please Note! The information on this site is offered as a guide only!  When we are talking about areas where building regulations or safety regulations could exist,the information here could be wrong for your area.  It could be out of date!  Regulations breed faster than rabbits!
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