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Tech Talk – Bearers and Joists

Tech Talk – Bearers and Joists

This one used to confuse me all the time, I would get them mixed up and around the wrong way, which would lead to much confusion between Adam and I. What is the difference between bearers and joists? What do they do?

What Are Bearers and Joists?

Bearers are the timber or steel that attaches directly to the stumps in the ground, that supports the deck of flooring structure. Joists are the timbers that then attach across the top of the bearers, after which the timber or particle board floor is then attached.

bearers and joists

This structure forms the base for the deck, or timber floor, or the second level floor. Whilst it appears to be such a simple structure, it forms the basis of the whole, home or deck. The size of bearer, usually needs to be engineered to ensure correct load distribution, to prevent a collapse of the structure.

Did you know the difference between bearer and joist, or was it just as confusing for you?

Nicole xx



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  1. Hi Nicole i,m a new builder of wood things i,ve always worked with steel but in 2011 i got cancer and i had a very long length of time recovering so i started to build things my first was a 12mt x 3mts it took me 2yrs but what great therapy so the next thing i decided to build was a deck under the pergola it was also great therapy . So now i,m beginning to build another shed so its going to be timber but until i read the plan of yours i did,nt no what bearers or joists were so now i,m building a shed i,ll be doing a lot of things i,ve never done before like the walls and the roof but i wish i had a plan of somthing like it . Its a fairly simple idea 5mts x 2 1/2mts x 2.4mts so if you no of somwhere i can get a plan i would appreciate it and thanks for the other imfo its been a big help. yours sincerely Glen

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