What is an IPN beam? And what is its price?
IPN and IPE: behind these barbaric acronyms hides a very simple reality and a material more and more used in construction. An IPN is a beam, often metallic . Its shape, when viewed in cross section, looks like a capital i – or a lying H depending on the point of view. Its name owes it to its description: I beam with Normal Profile . This helps to differentiate it from the IPE, a European profile I-beam .
The difference between the two formats is in the shape of the wings, i.e. the base and the top of the beam. In the case of IPN, these are thicker in the center than at their ends.
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In which case to use IPN beams?
IPN beams are trendy in construction, both with architects and masons. They are more and more used to do work or renovate a building .
Indeed, IPN beams have a high resistance to loads and weight . They therefore make it possible to strengthen a structure, such as a load-bearing wall or a ceiling. This makes them very useful during a renovation or amplification, to eliminate a load-bearing wall or to support it during the operation. IPN beams can be used vertically, as a support, or horizontally, as a pillar. Either way, they will keep the structure from collapsing .
If this technique interests you and you want to integrate IPNs into your site, you will have to think carefully about your project. You will also need to get in touch with a mason or a professional craftsman who has already installed this type of beam. They will be in the best position to advise you and allow you to calculate your budget before you start your work.
Indeed, many factors can influence the final cost of your IPN . Among them are the material, size, weight or even the assembly on the site . The cost, ranging from 6 to 800 € per linear meter, can vary widely. Before embarking on the renovation of your home and the purchase of beams, you will therefore need to think clearly about your project to know which beam will best adapt to it.
The different types of IPN beams
Depending on the style of your building, your budget and, of course, your goals, you will need to choose between different materials for IPN beams . The options are varied: steel, iron, aluminum, galvanized, wood, glass, or stainless steel. To help you in your choice, here are the main characteristics of each.
They are the most widespread and the most used on the market. They have the advantage of being very resistant , having a long service life and being able to withstand significant loads . In addition, they can be modeled easily since there are many dimensions. They also have the advantage of being able to adapt without difficulty since they can be painted. This allows them to be easily integrated into a modern interior, as in the case of industrial “lofts”.
Due to their popularity and the offer on the market, prices are affordable and will range from around € 10 to € 800 depending on the model. It is also interesting to note that the price of IPN steel decreases according to the quantity you buy. So, the more you buy, the lower the cost per linear meter.
However, beware of the major drawback of steel beams: they are sensitive to corrosion . It is therefore necessary to take this into account for your project.
Iron beams have similar characteristics to steel beams: durability, resistance to heavy loads and sensitivity to corrosion . However, their price will generally be more affordable. This fluctuates however, and depends on the price of iron on the market.
It will generally take between 15 € for an IPN 80 and 55 € for an IPN 200 .
Galvanized metal beams
Like previous metal beams, galvanized metal beams are durable, strong, and can withstand heavy loads . But their great advantage is the fact that they are treated with a rust preventative. They will therefore be resistant to corrosion , which will be ideal for sites and projects exposed to this type of problem.
However, the anti-corrosion treatment, which provides additional protection for the structure, increases the price of the beams. They are therefore much more expensive than the two previous types. The prices for galvanized IPNs range from 100 € to 1000 € for the larger ones.
They have the same characteristics as steel and iron beams but they have the advantage of being light . They can therefore be handled more easily.
However, they are recent and more difficult to find on the market, which increases their price. You will have to spend a minimum of 100 € for a linear meter.
Stainless steel beams
These IPNs offer the same characteristics as those in iron and steel but it is not easy to estimate their price, because they are not very popular and therefore difficult to find on the market . Their cost will depend on which dealer you can find.
We are leaving the category of metal beams here, to examine other materials which have other interesting characteristics!
Glass beams are transparent or translucent . They support much less heavy loads than the other types of beams but, since they let in the light, they are ideal for a veranda or more “design” projects.
However, they are rare and difficult to find , which makes them very expensive. It will take around 200 € per linear meter.
Wooden IPNs are particularly appreciated for their warm appearance , but also because they fit perfectly into chalet-type constructions. Be careful, however, these beams are less resistant than the others and support less heavy loads.
They are therefore generally more used to support roofs or floors. They are often used as temporary beams during the construction site to support the structure, but with the objective of removing them at the end.
It will take between 6 and 18 € for a beam of this type.
What influences the price of an IPN beam?
In addition to the type of beam you choose, other factors must be taken into account when calculating the price of your IPN. This is the case of :
- The size of the beam : that is, its height, width and thickness;
- The dimensions of the section : that is, the quantity you will need;
- The linear density of the beam ;
- The load-bearing capacity and its resistance to the weight to be maintained .
All of these factors directly influence the cost of your beam. You will therefore have to select the IPN that will suit you best according to the specificities of your site.
Obviously, the larger your beam, the more expensive it will be so you will need to know which model to buy. For this, the beam sizes are standardized and are easily identifiable by their references. These range from 80 to 600, which is the size in millimeters of the height of the IPN. For example, if your beam is 80mm high, it will be IPN 80. If its height is 180mm, it will be IPN 180. Note that the height is what you see when you look at the uppercase i in section. The width of a beam, on the other hand, is always equal to half the height.
The size and material of each beam make it possible to calculate the resistance and linear density of each IPN, that is to say the load and the distribution that it will be able to withstand. This will take you to choose the type of IPN to use for your project.
The installation of an IPN beam: Why call a professional?
In order to calculate the overall cost of an IPN, its purchase price is not sufficient. It is also necessary to anticipate and foresee the cost of the installation.
However, the price of the installation will be influenced more by the difficulty of the installation than by the type of beam. Its installation may seem simple. Indeed, it suffices to place it on a support and / or on holes made in the walls, then to seal it. However, all handling requires specific management and tools. The beams sometimes weighing up to 20 kg per meter (as in the case of an IPN iron 300), it is difficult to maneuver and handle them without experience and without mechanical assistance.
In all situations, the installation remains a complex and important job because the IPN’s objective is to support the structure of the building. It will therefore be necessary to call on a professional who already has experience in installing IPN to ensure that the beam is correctly positioned.
Before sealing it, the professional must check that its support is stable and that its horizontal or vertical level is the right one. This step is crucial because the beam ensures the safety of the overall structure and will therefore by default ensure the safety of the inhabitants. Indeed, a badly installed beam or not distributing the loads well can weaken or even destroy the constitution of the building, directly engaging the safety of the people residing there!
This clearly explains the importance of entrusting this stage of the work to a professional with experience, even when you are used to doing the installations yourself. Indeed, it is not a question here of simple DIY. The installation of IPN requires significant know-how, experience and especially specific tools to be able to handle the beams easily.
It is therefore important that you seek out the right mason or craftsman for you. Do not hesitate to ask him for his references concerning the poses he has done. The price of a good mason is on average 50 € per hour . However, this will always depend on the complexity of the site. Also remember to request multiple quotes and compare offers.
Knowing the cost of installing an IPN is therefore not a simple calculation. The overall cost of an IPN includes, on the one hand, the price of the beam and, on the other hand, that of the installation. The former will be influenced by the type, weight and size of the beam, as well as the amount of beams you need. The second, for its part, will vary in relation to the handling and the characteristics of the installation.
In order to choose your beams well and to know the overall cost of them, it will be important to find out from a professional, whether a mason or a specialized craftsman, detailing your project. He will be the best able to advise you.
Which joist to choose for a load-bearing wall?
You want to open your room by knocking down a wall. Know that there are two types of walls in your house or apartment.
- The walls that we call standard. They can be deleted and edited as you wish.
- The load-bearing walls . It is they who are responsible for the stability of the whole edifice. This wall is built of stone and concrete or brick in most cases. It will be at least 15 cm thick and will make a thudding noise if you tap on it.
Now that we know this, let’s see how to lay an IPN to compensate for a load-bearing wall. Before even starting the work, you will need to call an architect . This will give you advice on how to avoid repercussions on the structure of the building. You can also contact a technical design office who will give you the best solution to set up, to open this wall. This office will tell you what type of IPN joist to use,as well as its thickness. As you can see, a small mistake can have serious repercussions on your building, even going as far as the destruction of it. Don’t embark on this adventure without some very strong DIY skills. We recommend that you request a masonry quote instead . You will thus benefit from the professional’s guarantee in the event of possible problems.