Cost of Steel Beams: Factors and Considerations

Are you curious about the building materials that are revolutionizing the construction industry? Look no further than steel beams!

With their flexibility and strength, steel beams are becoming increasingly popular in construction projects.

But with so many types of steel beams available, how do you know which one to choose? And what factors affect the cost of steel beams?

Our comprehensive guide will answer all your questions and provide tips for selecting the right steel beam supplier. Don’t miss out on this informative read!


Importance of steel beams in construction

In this era where the construction industry is relatively developed, the requirements for building materials are becoming more and more stringent.

Building materials have gone through many reforms and innovations, starting from ancient materials such as stones and woods.

Nowadays, steel is one of the most commonly used building materials, and there are many new types of steel, each with its own characteristics. Steel beams undoubtedly are materials that can be flexibly used in various buildings.

They have many advantages and play a significant role in construction.

Compared to other metals, they have obvious advantages in bearing bending forces, pressure loads, eccentric loads, and other different requirements.

Types of Steel Beams

Overview of common steel beam types

1. I-Beams

I-beams, also known as universal beams, are long steel bars with a cross-section in the shape of an “I”. They come in two types: ordinary I-beams and light-duty I-beams.

I-beams are a type of steel beam with a cross-sectional shape that resembles the letter “I.

2. H-Beams

H-beam is an economic and efficient type of section steel with a more optimized distribution of sectional area and a more reasonable strength-to-weight ratio.

It is named after its cross-section, which resembles the letter “H” in English.

Because all parts of the H-beam are arranged at right angles, it has strong bending resistance in all directions, simple construction, cost savings, and light structural weight, making it widely used.

Related reading: H-Beam vs I-Beam Steel

3. Channels

Channel steel is a long steel bar with a cross-section in the shape of a groove.

It belongs to carbon structural steel used for construction and mechanical purposes and is a type of complex section steel with a cross-sectional shape in the form of a groove.

Channel steel is mainly used for building structures, curtain wall engineering, machinery and equipment manufacturing, and vehicle production.

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4. Angles

Angle steel, commonly known as angle iron, is a long steel bar with an angled cross-section on both sides that are perpendicular to each other.

It can be divided into equal-sided angle steel and unequal-sided angle steel. The two sides of equal-sided angle steel have the same width.

Angle steel can be used to form various load-bearing components according to different structural needs, and can also be used as connecting pieces between components.

Impact of beam type on cost

Before choosing to use high-frequency welded H-shaped steel for construction, many people are concerned about the cost.

Coupled with the fact that steel structures themselves are more expensive than other traditional structures, everyone is more concerned about this issue.

The following is an introduction to the relationship between the cost of H-shaped steel and steel structures.

1. High-frequency welded H-shaped steel spacing:

According to some data, under standard load conditions, the spacing between high-frequency welded H-shaped steel columns is better than 8~9m.

When it exceeds this value, the total steel content of the steel structure will increase, including but not limited to pur strips and wall frames, causing cost waste.

When the load increases, the column spacing needs to be correspondingly shortened. For equipment with a capacity of 10 tons or more, a column spacing of 6 to 7 meters is better.

If unequal column spacing needs to be used due to special reasons, then the shorter sides should be on both sides than in the middle.

2. Steel structure span

When the height of high-frequency welded H-shaped steel columns and load are fixed, the span within the range can be increased, which not only reduces costs but also makes the space spacious, resulting in rich overall returns.

However, this should be done under reasonable conditions. Do not overstretch the span and cause overall imbalance of the steel structure.

3. Roof slope

According to data, different roof slopes will affect the amount of steel used.

For single-span steel frames, you can choose to increase the roof slope to reduce the amount of steel used, while for multi-span steel frames, cost savings must be achieved in the opposite way.

Generally speaking, there are many factors that affect the cost of steel structures. In order to save costs, we can focus on the overall effect from the beginning of the design process.

Factors Affecting Steel Beam Prices

There are too many factors that affect the price of steel, and there are too many uncontrollable factors to give you a specific answer.

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The main factors affecting the price of steel are as follows:

1. Differences in raw material costs

The price of steel reflects its value. “You get what you pay for” applies to all products. All products have costs, and the cost of low-priced steel will not be too high. Low cost means no guarantee of quality.

Can you continue to do business selling steel without quality assurance?

2. Different brands

If we want to do good business, we must choose steel with moderate prices, unique products, and guaranteed quality.

3. Different times

Time also affects the price of steel. For example, during holidays and events, the price will be relatively cheaper than usual. If you are not in a hurry, you might as well wait until the holidays to buy.

We all know that the more you buy, the greater the discount, so this is also an aspect that affects the price of steel!

4. Coating and surface treatment

We know that using different coatings and surface treatments will result in different production costs for steel, and naturally different prices.

5. Size

This is easy to understand. Different sizes of steel, such as length, width, height, and thickness, have different costs per unit length.

6. Import and export tariffs

Import and export tariffs will change with market conditions, so import and export tariffs at different times are different, and therefore the price of steel is also different.

7. Transportation

Using different transportation methods and distances will result in different transportation costs for steel, and ultimately the price of steel will be affected.

The longer the distance, the higher the cost.

Buying Tips and Strategies

What details should be noticed when purchasing steel?

1. Steel is currently widely used and brings great convenience to many production and life activities.

Of course, in order to ensure its use value, quality control must be strictly enforced during the selection process.

In order to avoid choosing inferior steel products, two details cannot be ignored.

2. Two details that cannot be ignored when purchasing steel:

1) Surface of the steel.

High-quality steel surfaces are like mirrors, with no sense of particles, unevenness, or scratches.

The smoother the surface of the steel, the more pure the material used; otherwise, it indicates that the material contains more impurities and should not be purchased to avoid unnecessary trouble during use.

2) Thickness.

The selection of steel must be based on actual usage requirements since the thickness of steel affects its load-bearing capacity. If used in large buildings, thicker and better load-bearing steel should be selected, otherwise accidents may occur due to the steel being too thin.

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In order to ensure the quality and safety of steel usage, the above two points are key factors that cannot be ignored when purchasing steel.

It is hoped that consumers can understand and ensure the selection of suitable steel products.

Selecting the Right Steel Beam Supplier

Steel is widely used in construction projects, with high quality requirements and unit prices, making steel procurement an important part of enterprise procurement management. Steel procurement directly affects the cost, quality and progress of the project.

Therefore, for steel procurement personnel, it is particularly important to understand what pitfalls should be noted in steel procurement.

Steel price information:

Always pay attention to steel price information. Steel prices often fluctuate and only by keeping a close eye on price trends can procurement costs be reasonably reduced.

Based on the urgent demand for products, choose spot or futures trading. Generally, futures prices are cheaper than spot prices.

Choice of supplier:

The choice of supplier should consider factors such as delivery time, payment terms, price, and supplier credibility.

Some may have low prices, but no credit terms or long delivery times; others may have higher prices, but shorter delivery times or credit terms. From a practical perspective, it is best to choose a supplier with its own logistics system.

Weight calculation:

Steel weight calculation methods include theoretical weight calculation and actual weighing methods. Procurement personnel should master these calculation methods, and weight deviations should not exceed 5%.

Steel procurement contract:

The steel procurement contract should clearly specify the quality standard, specification parameters, quantity, measurement, payment method, acceptance criteria, delivery time, breach of contract responsibilities and other terms.

Steel product inspection:

Steel structure engineering inspection focuses on the appearance, specifications, quality, quantity or weight, warranty certificate, etc., of the steel structure.


In general, the cost of steel sections is influenced by various factors, including the type, size, and market demand of the sections.

However, due to their high strength, durability, versatility, and other characteristics, steel sections are still a popular choice in the field of construction and structural applications.

It’s important to not only consider the initial cost of the steel sections but also their long-term benefits, such as reducing maintenance costs and improving safety.

With proper planning and budgeting, steel sections can be a wise investment for any building project.

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